With the Jon Favreau helmed television series The Mandalorian having already been announced, it came as a massive surprise to Star Wars fans when Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the news that another live action Star Wars series would be coming to new Disney streaming service. What is more surprising, however, is that it will focus on a character that we already know, Diego Luna’s rebel spy Cassian Andor, who was first introduced in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
With The Mandalorian being set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the same time period as the new animated series Star Wars Resistance, it makes a lot of sense for the Cassian show to make a jump backwards in time to explore other parts of the Star Wars universe. But with so many options for characters and places to explore why was this show a good pick? Well, here are some reasons why…
One of the eras that Star Wars fans love to explore, even before the cancellation of the old expanded universe, was the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The fall of the Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire is a time when the galaxy is in the most turmoil. Yes, the Emperor has convinced many that the Empire is a good thing, but there a many who see it as evil, creating a time of huge strife and oppression.
Whilst we know the broad strokes of what happens during this period, there is still a lot that hasn’t been explored. Star Wars Rebels was set during this time, but focused on the adventures of one small rebel cell. Rogue One showed a huge event in the stealing of the Death Star Plans, but this was something that literally led right into the start of Episode IV. There’s still so much untold about this time.
With Cassian being a part of the Rebel Alliance for years, the series is open to exploring more of this period, especially in its bigger moments. It could show the rise of Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) as leaders of the Alliance. It could show the inhabitants of Mon Cala declaring themselves for the Rebellion and how they obtained the fleet. It could show the discovery of the temple on Yavin 4 and establishing their base there. There’s no end of huge things that the show could explore and expand upon, answering questions that Star Wars fans have been desperate to have answers to.
Whilst Cassian was simply a Rebel agent in the events of Rogue One, it wasn’t until the comics that it was revealed that he was also at one point a Fulcrum Agent. Originally appearing in Star Wars Rebels, Fulcrum was revealed to be the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), who was actively recruiting people for the Rebellion. Eventually this role went on to former Imperial agent Alexsandr Kallus (David Oyelowo).
It turns out that there were a number of Fulcrum Agents, whose main responsibility was recruiting people into the fight; and whilst this would be an interesting area to explore it would also be a great opportunity to bring the original Fulrum, Ahsoka, to live action for the first time.
A character initially hated by many fans when first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, she has gone on to become one of the most beloved people in the entire Star Wars universe. Her inclusion would not only bring in the fans, but would also allow connections to many different eras (she’s one of only a few to survive the events of both the original and prequel trilogies). More interestingly, it would also allow the inclusion of a lightsaber wielding force user, something that the show would struggle to do without her.
With the show being set during the gap between the original and prequel trilogies, the series could sneak in a good amount of characters that could appear as either semi-regulars or one-off guests. Other than the previously mentioned members of the Rebellion such as Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Ahsokah Tano, the series could feature characters like Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) and his partisans, who also appeared in Rogue One. We know from Star Wars Rebels that Saw and his group interacted with the Rebellion before the events of the film, so let’s see more of this, lets show why the Rebellion doesn’t approve of them or their actions by expanding on this.
Speaking of Star Wars Rebels, the series itself comes to a close before the events of Rogue One, but we know that some of these characters are still around and actively working with the rebellion during this time. Let’t have Chopper, Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), or Zeb Orrelios (Steve Blum) appear on screen. Depending on how far back the show begins they could even feature Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) before his appearance on Star Wars Rebels.
We’ve looked at all of the things that the show could include, but the one that we know it definitely will involve is Cassian himself. We didn’t get to see much of his character during the events of Rogue One, mainly thanks to there being so much story to explore and a great cast of characters for him to share the screen with, but it did become quickly apparent that he was possibly the most interesting character there.
A Rebel spy, he was devious and able to sneak his way into many locations and situations; he was incredibly smart, able to capture and reprogram an Imperial security droid; he was willing to kill to complete a mission, yet would also go against his orders to do the right thing if he thought it was wrong. He was a man with more complexities and depth to him that a simple spy or freedom fighter.
The new series is bound to explore these aspects of his character and will hopefully go into his past to explain more of why he’s like this and the kind of person he is. With Rogue One being one of the best entries to the new Star Wars canon since the Disney takeover, it makes a lot of sense to explore this more; and it’s a no-brainer to focus on the most well-rounded character in the film
With the series still a few year away, I’m sure that there’s time to Disney to tease us with more of what will be included in the show soon before the expected release date of 2020.