There will be a forthcoming live-action Rogue One prequel series starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor! You can bet that my mind starting racing with all sorts of possibilities about what this new series means for the Star Wars canon. Firstly, it will be so great to see Diego Luna reprise his role as Cassian Andor. Cassian was one of my favorite new characters in Star Wars when he first appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. So, it gives me great pleasure to once again open up the “Star Wars Idea” box to share some of my thoughts with you. Using reference material from the movies, books, and comics, let’s have a closer look at what we could possibly see in this new show. To put it more bluntly, here’s 10 things we hope to see in the Cassian Andor live-action series.
1) Fulcrum Agents
And by Fulcrum agents I mean Ahsoka Tano. Well, Ahsoka would be wishful thinking. I can’t deny it would be amazing to see Ahsoka make her first live-action appearance. That’s because Ahsoka Tano was the most prominent Fulcrum agent, and was the individual responsible for the group’s inception. Fulcrum was the title that many Rebel informants and spies adopted when handling precious information about the Galactic Empire or, in some cases, infiltrating it from within. Other notable Fulcrum agents included former Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) Agent Alexsandr Kallus, and Captain Cassian Andor. Even if Ahsoka is a longshot, much of the show’s espionage angle would definitely need to nod in Fulcrum’s direction. Cassian could act as a sole agent or coordinate with other Fulcrum agents to deliver sensitive Imperial information up the chain of command to the office of Mon Mothma herself.
2) Imperial Security Bureau (ISB)
The day-to-day operations of the Galactic Empire didn’t always fall to the Imperial Navy nor the Imperial Army. In fact the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) was very instrumental as an intelligence agency and in the matters of law enforcement, state security, and ensuring citizen loyalty to the Empire. Even the most passionate of Imperials couldn’t escape the ISB’s scrutiny. If there was even a whiff of sympathy for the Rebellion, the ISB was sure to investigate. One of its most well known figures, Admiral Yularen, played a key role in the third season of Star Wars Rebels. Acting on the authority of the ISB, Yularen and Grand Admiral Thrawn detected a traitor in their ranks. Oddly enough, the ISB’s own Agent Kallus grew disillusioned by the Empire’s cold tactics and defected to the Rebel Alliance. Aside from that, the ISB can have quite the scary side. Another former ISB agent, from the Aftermath trilogy of novels, Sinjir Rath Velus once made use of extreme torture methods to extract pertinent information from Rebels and Imperials alike. The Cassian series is a perfect opportunity to showcase more of the ISB’s role in the Empire. Headquartered on the Empire’s homeworld of Coruscant, it would also give us the opportunity to see the familiar planet on screen again. We can see how the Imperial Senate operated or glimpses of the Jedi Temple turned Imperial Palace. There’s so much that can happen just through the ISB’s inclusion.
3) Rae Sloane and/or Grand Moff Tarkin
Either Rae Sloane or Grand Moff Tarkin could be welcome additions to the Cassian Andor series, perhaps more the former than the latter. Grand Moff Tarkin is already a well established character, what with taking governance over the Outer Rim territories of the galaxy. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, Tarkin worked closely with Captain Rae Sloane of the Imperial Navy. Sloane was staunchly loyal to the Empire and would accept no favors from anyone, which earned the respect of Tarkin who remarked that by accepting no favors means you don’t owe anyone for anything. Sloane had crossed paths with many notable Star Wars characters, including Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, Wedge Antilles, Temmin “Snap” Wexley, and Brendol Hux (father of the First Order’s General Armitage Hux). It’s past time that Rae Sloane makes her live-action debut. For such a dedicated Imperial, the Cassian series could show Sloane in her formative years, continuing to rise in the ranks of the Imperial Navy. Her exploits in the navy have taken her between the Inner and Outer Rims of the galaxy so she could appear anywhere to counter the increasing threats of the Rebellion. If anything she could act as a primary or recurring antagonist in the show. You know plenty of Star Wars stories include that “almost got ‘em” scenario.
One more Star Wars villain we know and love could make an appearance in the Cassian Andor series, whether as a regular or recurring antagonist. Thrawn has been a fan favorite character for many years and was brought back into the Star Wars canon from the Legends continuity. The way I would envision Thrawn in the Cassian series would not be as a conqueror or enforcer, but rather calculating, cunning, and precise, much to the spirit of the character. Thrawn always held onto the notion that the true defeat of one’s enemy lay not within their battle tactics, but in their art, their philosophy, even their very being. Thrawn not only battled his foes in the physical sense, he also waged war via the battles of the mind. Where many individuals might think they’re about to pull a fast one over Thrawn, he’s already three steps ahead. Thrawn has also been known to respect his foes’ victories, however inconsequential they may be. So while Cassian or a band of Rebels can win by the skin of their teeth, Thrawn is constantly observing their actions and inactions, formulating and understanding his enemies. Bringing Thrawn into the fold could also introduce a detective element to the series. Think Sherlock meets Star Wars. An interesting bit of Star Wars trivia though: Lars Mikkelsen, the voice of Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels, also starred in Sherlock, and his brother Mads Mikkelsen portrayed Galen Erso who appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
5) Clone Wars Flashback
Rogue One used flashbacks to good effect at the very beginning of the movie, so why not give Cassian the same treatment? If all you have to go on for Cassian is Rogue One, then perhaps you’ll recall him telling Jyn Erso that he’s been in the [Rebellion’s] fight since he was six years old. In expanded media we learn that Cassian was born on the Outer Rim world of Fest. Cassian was, in truth, a child soldier during the time of the Clone Wars. Interestingly, Cassian fought with an insurrectionist cell supported by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (Separatists) against the Galactic Republic. It wouldn’t even need to be a long flashback at all, but a gritty look at his upbringing as a boy caught up in a bloody war. I mean how cool would it be to see clone troopers, battle droids, and the Clone Wars in live-action again? It’s even said that Cassian’s father was killed during a protest against the expansion of the Republic’s military in their sector. That death must have hit pretty close to home, and that story brought to life in the series could visualize how Cassian was shaped into a morally questionable individual.
6) Bail Organa and Princess Leia
Bail Organa feigned loyalty to the Empire and the Imperial Senate during the time of the Galactic Civil War. In truth, he was one of the most influential Rebel sympathizers there was, not to mention one of the founding members of the Rebel Alliance. Bail Organa was kept abreast of much of the Empire’s reach in the galaxy through his own secret intelligence network. Ahsoka Tano crossed paths with Senator Organa many years before the Battle of Yavin. In fact, it was Ahsoka who took over Senator Organa’s covert intelligence network and adopted the codename, “Fulcrum.” This is how Cassian’s show can continue to bring in familiar faces from the Star Wars lore. In the novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, Princess Leia’s young years and her eventual discovery of her father’s role in the Rebel Alliance come to light. When she discovers her adoptive father’s secret, Leia wants nothing more than to prove herself a worthy asset to the Rebels’ cause. Leia even makes an appearance in Star Wars Rebels coming to the aid of the “Spectres.” Leia is observed following her father’s footsteps. As a member of the Imperial Senate she only appears to be loyal to the Empire. Star Wars carries with it a theme of hope. Leia has been a personification of that. She can bring that to the Cassian series along with a fair amount of thrill. This is a princess and a Rebel hero who’s willing to get her hands dirty.
7) Mon Mothma
Genevieve O’Reilly made for a great Mon Mothma in Rogue One. More of her performance would be great considering that all of Mon Mothma’s scenes were cut from Revenge of the Sith. When you consider that Mon Mothma is the beating heart of the Rebellion, her appearance in a Cassian centric show is practically a necessity. Because she publicly rebuked Emperor Palpatine, Mon Mothma was considered Public Enemy No. 1 by the Empire and had to constantly be on the move to avoid the agents of the Empire. Intelligence was always coming her way so Mon was constantly keeping busy. Mon strongly desired to have a peaceful resolution to the Galactic Civil War and only resorted to drastic measures when they were absolutely necessary. While she possessed a kind heart, Mon Mothma often grappled with the violent tendencies of the Rebellion and grew concerned for individuals such as Cassian who had to resort to lies, deceit, torture, and even assassination to ensure the Alliance’s continued success.
8) Saw Gerrera
One of my favorite moments in the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels was when Saw Gerrera publicly scolds Mon Mothma for being too much of a pacifist who is unwilling to make the tough calls when the Rebellion needs an effective leader the most. While physical conflict is inevitable, Mon Mothma believes that resorting to the Empire’s tactics defeats the purpose of the freedom from tyranny they’re fighting for. Saw Gerrera, according to Mon Mothma, is an extremist who is willing to go to any lengths to accomplish his mission, even if it means collateral damage. Saw Gerrera and his Partisans were Rebels in name, but they were often regarded as terrorists for the tactics they used. If Cassian walks in a morally gray area then interactions with someone of Saw Gerrera’s notorious reputation can be entertaining watching someone attempt to reason with someone who’s too far gone. If Forest Whitaker is open to reprising the role then I say bring him along. He did a great job performing the character in both Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One.
9) Enfys Nest
This is some wishful thinking on my part, as I grew to admire the character of Enfys Nest from Solo: A Star Wars Story. To be brief, Enfys Nest led the Cloud Riders, a band of swoop bike riding pirates who were actually their own Rebel cell. They continuously were at odds with the crime syndicate called Crimson Dawn as well as Tobias Beckett and his gang. By the end of Solo, Han and Chewbacca leave a large supply of the hyperfuel called coaxium to Enfys Nest who persuades the pair to join the rebel uprising much to their indifference about it. Although not seen in the movie, in the novel adaptation of Solo: A Star Wars Story it is revealed that Enfys Nest delivered the coaxium to Saw Gerrera and was then introduced to a young Jyn Erso. Enfys was surprised at Jyn’s young age for a warrior, but advised her to make the world regret underestimating her. That being said, the Rebellion was always in need of regular supplies. Enfys Nest led a lot of hit and run campaigns with her rebels and it’s one of the themes that made Solo have a fun “space western” feel to it. Cassian Andor, and many of the characters of Star Wars, are truly connected in a massive web. One string leads to another, and the characters of Cassian Andor, Saw Gerrera, and Enfys Nest have the Rebel Alliance in common. How great it would be to see a slightly older Enfys Nest continuing to undermine the criminal underworld and the Empire alongside Cassian.
10) The Whills
In what is perhaps the most mysterious aspect of the Star Wars canon, the Whills are briefly mentioned in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story though their existence was made canon in the novelization of The Force Awakens through an entry from the Journal of the Whills. To summarize, the Whills were beings that recorded the important events in the galaxy. They are closely associated with the Force itself. A shaman of the Whills is also said to have told Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, that the secret to immortality when dying and joining the Cosmic Force required one’s absolute selflessness. In Rogue One, the world of Jedha is home to the Temple of the Kyber, but was also known as the Temple of the Whills. Jedha was also home to two Guardians of the Whills in Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus.
I’m not saying that the Cassian series should spill the beans on the Whills for good. Even a hint of their existence or what they really are would give me chills. Revenge of the Sith did this to great effect when Palpatine seduces Anakin to the dark side when telling the tale of “Darth Plagueis the Wise.” The Sith Legend was mentioned only once and it still tantalizes us to this day. We still don’t have a canon understanding of Darth Plagueis nor Palpatine’s distant pasts. Even A New Hope did this way back from the beginning when Luke asks Obi-Wan, “You fought in the Clone Wars?” In the 70s we were all thinking: “What the heck are the Clone Wars?” Today we have that answer. If you didn’t know this, the way George Lucas envisioned the Whills, when he was filming the first Star Wars movie, was as a plot device that connects Star Wars to our real world. By recording the most important events in the galaxy in the Journal of the Whills, those events would eventually turn into stories, then into legend, then into myth, until finally those myths came to our galaxy for us to experience. The way I picture it in my head is that long ago, in our galaxy, someway or somehow we came to possess the contents of the Journal of the Whills. Today, every time a film opens with the iconic phrase, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”, what follows is an adaptation of the myths that happened so long ago for our entertainment. It’s all good fun in the genre of fantasy. For the Cassian series, all I’m asking for is a little nod to the Whills once again. After all, it is Cassian who first utters the word “Whills” into the Star Wars canon.
Star Wars has quite the future ahead of itself. It should go without saying that Star Wars is without a doubt my favorite entertainment franchise. Through watching the movies so often, playing the games, and reading the novels and comics, I try to keep on top of the lore as best I can. Hence why I tend to be so detailed in my descriptions and hypotheses. That’s also why I’m so excited over the possibilities that a Cassian Andor series can bring to the franchise. As always, I’m ready for the story that Lucasfilm wants to tell and I honestly can’t wait to see what they do with this show. If you enjoyed reading this opinionated piece, I encourage you to have a look at our other Star Wars related posts right here on Mammoth Gamers!