Why Cassian Andor and Ruescott Melshi are friendship goals

(L-R): Melshi (Duncan Pow) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Melshi (Duncan Pow) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Cassian Andor and Ruescott Melshi’s friendship is one of the most underrated elements of Andor. Just like Cassian, Melshi was initially introduced in the Star Wars film Rogue One. He is one of the rebels who volunteers to go to Scarif with Cassian and Jyn Erso to steal the Death Star plans. Even though Melshi has limited screen time in Rogue One, there is clearly trust and history between him and Cassian.

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Andor

When Cassian refers to the terrible things he and the other rebels have done on behalf of the Rebellion, Melshi is part of that group. He makes it clear that he, Melshi, and the rest of that group have to go to Scarif because if they don’t, all the sacrifices they’ve made will have been for nothing. When they get to Scarif, Cassian entrusts Melshi with being one of the rebels to lead the main squad.

Now Andor is showing the origins of their friendship, a friendship that is surprisingly wholesome given their circumstances.

Exploring Cassian Andor and Ruescott Melshi’s relationship in Andor

Melshi is one of the first people to be real with Cassian in the prison when he tells Cassian not to look at the number of days left in his sentence and that he’ll be there as long as the Empire wants him to be. The two of them then grow closer while working at table five together.

When the prisoners are in their cells and Cassian unsuccessfully tries to get Kino Loy to tell him how many guards are on each level, Kino refuses to divulge any information and eventually begins ignoring Cassian. As Cassian tries to get Kino over his paranoia and says, “Nobody’s listening!” Melshi gives Cassian a silent look of understanding, making it clear without saying anything that he is on the same page as Cassian.

After the prisoners on level five begin to get wind of what’s happening on level two and Melshi says, “They set ’em all free,” Kino starts physically attacking Melshi, and it is Cassian who gets Kino to stop and calm down. It is partly to ensure that the Empire doesn’t realize the prisoners know as much as they do, but it is also Cassian immediately jumping into action to protect his friend.

These moments in episodes 8 and 9 set the foundation, but Cassian and Melshi’s budding friendship truly shines in episodes 10 and 11. After helping to take control of the prison facility and helping to free other prisoners, Melshi waits outside of the command center until Cassian safely emerges. He could’ve run out to fresh air and freedom much sooner, but he sticks around to make sure he can escape with his friend.

Upon reaching the edge of the prison, Cassian shouts at Melshi, “Whatever happens now, we made it!” Even with everything that is happening, he wants to take a moment so he and Melshi can savor the freedom they won together. It is a small detail, but it speaks volumes that Cassian doesn’t say, “you made it” or “I made it,” but “we made it.”

It also speaks volumes that they are concerned about Kino and why he isn’t jumping into the water before they jump in. They try to hear what Kino is saying and to reach him because they don’t want to leave him behind, but they can’t get back to him before being pushed into the water by the rush of escaping prisoners.

Following the plunge into the water, it is unclear what happens to the other prisoners, yet the audience sees that Cassian and Melshi stick together as they emerge from the waters and onto the surface of Narkina 5.

In the next episode, as Cassian and Melshi cling to the side of a cliff as they wait until an Imperial ship passes overhead, Melshi says, “I can’t climb back up” and “My hands won’t work” and asks Cassian if hears him. Cassian says, “I hear you.”

This is one of the best things a person can say to a friend when they are struggling or suffering. Letting a friend know their feelings have been heard and are valid is more powerful than forcing them to suddenly feel better and inspired, or just telling them to suck it up and get over it and push forward.

Hearing Cassian say, “I hear you,” knowing he means it, and that he is truly in this with him gives Melshi what he needs to climb up the cliff when the Imperial ship finally passes. They escape Narkina 5 together and go to Niamos so Cassian can retrieve the credits, blaster, and manifesto from Nemik he left behind before getting arrested in episode 7.

The conversation between Cassian and Melshi before they part ways on Niamos at the end of episode 11 further proves the strength of their friendship by showing that while they have grown close, they are not co-dependent on each other.

Melshi recognizes how fortunate they were to escape the prison and make it off of Narkina 5 alive. He recognizes that the horrifying injustices happening in Imperial prisons across the galaxy are bigger than either him or Cassian, and that they need to split up so they can double their chances of one of them making it and letting the galaxy know what is happening.

Cassian giving Melshi his blaster and their embrace before departing is a final reminder of how much the two characters care for and want to look out for each other, even as they part ways. The audience also knows that they will meet again and their relationship will continue as they have yet to join the official Rebel Alliance and do those terrible things on behalf of the Rebellion that were mentioned in Rogue One.

Melshi and Cassian’s friendship demonstrates that hope, kindness, and beautiful relationships can form even when the world is in its darkest hour. They embody true friendship goals by genuinely listening to one another, sticking around when they need each other most, and going their separate ways when necessary.

Next. Andor: Why Luthen Rael doesn’t take credit for the Aldhani heist. dark

Andor comes to a close on Disney+ this Wednesday, November 23.