Captain Cassian Andor has taken a bit of a backseat during the the pre-Rogue One analysis of of Jyn Erso and Director Orson Krennic, but he is indeed a vital part of the new standalone Star Wars movie. A Rebel Alliance combat veteran and intelligence officer with spies all around the galaxy, Andor is the glue that holds the entire operation together.
A brand new character created for Rogue One, he’s a “by-the-books” information officer charged with supervising Jyn Erso during the mission to steal the Death Star plans, as well as keeping the peace between different members of their ragtag crew. He’s described as a loner who comforts himself with the information he steals from the Empire, so it makes sense that his only friend is a former Imperial security robot that he reprogrammed.
Andor is played by Diego Luna, and Rogue One is arguably his biggest role to date. The actor ventured into American sci-fi with his role in Matt Damon’s Elysium a few years ago, but he’s largely known for his roles in smaller, more independent films like Y Tu Mamá También. Luna said director Gareth Edwards purposefully chose him for his experience in indie films, because of the more intimate direction he wanted to take Rogue One in. It shows Disney’s commitment to expanding the Star Wars film franchise, balancing its main film series with standalone films that expand on the series’s tone and theme.
There’s still much we have yet to learn about Captain Andor, including where he comes from, who his family is, and whether he and Jyn form a romance (that’s one of the biggest queries, as a lot of people want a Jyn/Cassian ship). But here are a few tidbits about the character, as well as the actor playing him.
He is an experienced rebel and fighter
Unlike Jyn Erso, who’s described as a rambunctious rebel whose behavior is widely unpredictable, Andor knows how to keep his head on straight. His experience as a combat veteran has made him cool, calm and practical in the heat of battle, and he’s also good at diffusing tense situations. However, that collectiveness comes at a price, as his previous combat experience has left a lasting mark.
Andor has ties to Saw Gerrera’s insurgency
Andor, being a rebel spymaster, not only has spies within the Empire, but also has connections to different underground resistance movements. Specifically, Tivik (Daniel Mays) is his connection to the insurgent group led by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) on the moon of Jedha. Tivik could be the link that brings Jyn Erso and Saw Gerrera together, who have a long history together.
Andor’s patch shows his rank
Andor wears his signature brown jacket with a patch showing two green pips, which designates his rank in the Rebel Alliance. The two pips shows that he is a captain, which likely means he’s navy instead of army. However, there have never been green pips before in Star Wars, at least not that we’ve seen. Could it means Andor is Special Ops, or is it just because they ran out of blue dots?
Diego Luna went camping with ex-military to research role
Luna said he spent a night camping with former Marines and Navy to research the role. Specifically, he wanted to learn about what it’s like to be captured and tortured, because Andor has been captured in the past. He also learned about how to patrol, sneak into enemy territory, and, most importantly, how to work as a team.
K-2SO is his best friend
One of the things that brings Jyn Erso and Andor together is their mutual pasts as lone wolves. Jyn Erso grew up as an orphan after her father was taken away by Director Krennic for the Death Star project, and Andor has spent much of his life and career feeling disconnected from others, despite being one of the most connected people in the Rebel Alliance. It’s said that’s why he reprogrammed K-2SO, an enemy security droid, to be his companion. It’s ot because he wanted a robotic servant, but because he needed a friend.
Andor straight-up murders one of his sources
Calm as Andor may be, don’t let his chill exterior fool you. Luna recently confirmed that Andor kills one of his spy contacts early in the film, because they were going to “blow everything.” This shows that Andor is not just a straight-laced officer, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his intelligence operation running. Could it be Tivik, his link to Saw Gerrera’s insurgency, who tries to sell out the Rebel Alliance? Only time will tell.
Andor and Jyn develop a strong bond
Andor is brought on largely to keep Jyn Erso in check. And he really doesn’t trust her, going so far as to try and confiscate her laser blaster before the big fight. However, over the course of the film, the two of them become very close, forming a strong bond that helps secure their hopeful victory against the Empire. There is speculation that a relationship could develop between them, but right now there’s nothing to back it up, other than a momentary hand holding.
Diego Luna got seriously injured during filming
Luna said he took some major blows during filming, largely thanks to the production’s focus on practical effects and explosions. He said his cornea got scratched up so badly that he had to wear a patch during the final days of filming. No word whether the eyepatch will end up in the movie itself, but fingers crossed because that would be look awesome.
Rogue One opens December 16, with Andor and his crew battling the forces of evil to secure plans for the most dangerous weapon in Star Wars history. Good thing they’ve got a battle-ready spymaster on their side.