Who is Captain Cassian Andor of the Rebel Alliance explained

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Heroes come from the unlikeliest places and are often unaware of their potential to impact billions of lives. That’s Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in a nutshell, whose sacrifice paved the way for the fall of the Empire and the destruction of the first Death Star.

When we were first introduced to Captain Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he was already a respected spy and assassin for the Rebel Alliance. He had undertaken several successful missions for the Rebel Alliance, but Cassian Andor wasn’t always so successful.

What was Cassian Andor’s Early Life Like?

Cassian Jeron Andor was born “Kassa” on the planet of Kenari and had a younger sister. He met and was taken to Ferrix by Clem and Maarva Andor, who renamed him Cassian Andor. His birth father was killed at the Carida Academy while protesting against the Republic during The Clone Wars, but Cassian had left with Clem and Maarva by then. Still, the people of Kenari were Separatists, and during his childhood, Cassian considered the Republic and Clone Troopers his enemies. After the rise of the Empire, his new home planet, Ferrix, came under the suffocating rule of the Empire. His adoptive father, Clem, was executed when an Imperial officer assumed that he was part of a protest against Imperial authority. This was just the first of many times Cassian experienced the cruelty of the Empire firsthand, and this laid the foundation for the person he eventually became.

Cassian’s life 5 years before joining the Rebel Alliance

Andor takes place 5 years before the events of Rogue One, and at the start of the series, Cassian is the polar opposite of the person he is in his debut film. In Andor, we run into Cassian on Pre-Mor, and he’s a self-serving thief who sells Imperial parts for money. On Pre-Mor, Cassian is on a personal mission to find his sister, but he ends up killing two Pre-Mor security guards. This brings him to the Empire’s and Luthen Rael‘s (Stellan Skarsgard) attention. As the season progresses, Cassian helps Luthen Rael, a secretive Rebel leader who doubles as an antique seller from Coruscant, when Cassian agrees to take part in the Aldhani heist. The heist is the Rebellion’s first major victory against the Empire. Cassian takes his share of the money from the heist and goes home to Ferrix, as he hopes to take Maarva along with him to a safe planet where the Empire won’t find them. Maarva refuses to leave her home as she wants to stand up to the Empire, and a heartbroken Cassian leaves her behind to go live on the resort planet of Niamos.

No corner of the galaxy is free from the Empire’s oppressive rule. The biggest turning point in Cassian’s life comes on Niamos, when he’s arrested for “suspicious behavior” and sent to the Narkina-5 prison for 5 years. It’s during his stint at Narkina that Cassian meets future Rebel Ruescott Melshi (Duncan Pow) and Kino Loy (Andy Serkis). The treatment of prisoners in Narkina is brutal. They are all pushed to their breaking point, leading them to break out of prison. Following the events of Narkina-5, Cassian returns to Ferrix after he receives the news of Maarva Andor’s death. In the Season 1 finale, Cassian decides his life has no meaning unless he fights the Empire. He knows he’ll die either way, but he wants to go down fighting the oppression of the Empire, which he’s experienced firsthand. Cassian officially joins the Rebellion.

Captain Andor: Hero of the Rebellion

From there, the events of Cassian’s life are well-known to most fans. The second and final season of Andor will explore Cassian’s years as Captain Cassian Andor of the Rebel Alliance, where he serves as a pilot, spy, and assassin until the Battle of Scarif. Together with Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian retrieves the Death Star plans on Scarif. However, he and Jyn meet their tragic end at the hands of the same weapon Cassian and all his fellow inmates helped build at the Narkina-5 prison. It’s a tragic end to a heroic life, and Cassian and Jyn’s efforts allow the Rebellion to get their hands on the Death Star plans, ensuring that Luke Skywalker can destroy the superweapon in A New Hope.

In the early days of his life, Cassian probably had no idea what kind of impact he would have on the galaxy. His struggles helped turn him into one of the galaxy’s unlikeliest heroes and the Rebel Alliance’s most valuable member.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Andor are streaming on Disney+.