Andor 1×04 is the beginning of a new story for Cassian – a new story for the Rebellion. It’s also our first look at the grander picture outside of who Cassian Andor is, and who he becomes. We meet Mon Mothma and get to experience the contrast between the Empire and the fledging movement to oppose them. But it’s early yet. We’re still in the dark days where it “seemed certain the bright flame of resistance would be extinguished.”
How do we get to the Rebellion that, according to Lucas himself, would “cast the light of new truth across a galaxy of oppressed and beaten peoples”? That’s the journey. Because as much as this is Cassian Andor’s origin story, it is also, in many ways, the Rebellion’s origin story. We already saw the beginning of it in Obi-Wan Kenobi. But the movement we see in Andor is much more organized, even if it’s still in its infancy.
Ironically, Cassian Andor himself is likely to do a lot to advance the Rebellion he still doesn’t truly seem to believe in. The lost boy we saw in the first three episodes is still that, a lost boy. He has yet to find his home. But that’s exactly what the Rebellion will probably become. And perhaps, thanks to this story, his story, we can go from looking at the Rebellion as a good idea filled with heroes we care about, to a thing we care about in the abstract. Just as we can go from hating the Empire because it’s evil to hating the Empire because we know what it is, and the people who’ve contributed it to make it so.
And it all starts with other people…
Mon Mothma, for example, is the perfect secondary character to Cassian in that she’s very different from him. They aren’t doing the same, and probably wouldn’t be able to do what the other is doing. But that’s not just okay, it’s perfect because that means that, through them, we see two different sides of the same thing. Cassian is the soldier – no, the spy. Mon Mothma is the politician. In a way, they do have that in common, they’re very good at lying. At hiding who they truly are. It’s what they’ve had to do to survive.
But the Mon Mothma we meet in Andor is fully committed. She’s putting her life on the line for this idea, this thing that doesn’t fully have a shape yet. She isn’t the only one, of course, but she’s one of the most high-profile people risking it all. And for her, any wrong step can mean the end – not just of her life, but of this thing she’s desperate to protect, this idea that feels bigger than she is.
Luthen Real seems to be in the same boat, except he’s not a character we know yet. Sure, he seems to believe in Cassian, and on that, we agree with him …but why? What makes him so sure Cassian Andor is what he needs – for this mission and beyond, and what the Rebellion needs? Hopefully, the character is around long enough for us to find out. And hopefully, Dedra Meero isn’t around long enough or us to understand the Empire side of this equation. That might end up being illuminating, but it probably won’t be fun for the one character we already care about.
What does Cassian want?
Cassian Andor doesn’t want to be part of the team, or of the Rebellion, even. He doesn’t care about a cause, or he doesn’t want to care, because caring means investing and that means it’ll hurt when you lose things. And someone like Cassian is used to losing. He’s built his life on that loss. That’s what makes him so good at what he does.
He’s not careless, but he’s also never too careful because, at every point, the only thing he’s risking is himself. Especially now that he’s left Marwa behind. Ironically, that might just be what the Rebellion needs to get off the ground. Not a hero, or a politician, but someone willing to do whatever it takes, whenever it’s needed. Right now, he’s doing it for money, but presumably, at some point, he won’t.
What does Cassian really want? A place to belong. A reason to do the things he does. And someone to hold onto as the world falls apart. He will find that, and in doing so, he will help save the galaxy. Heroes come in all shapes and forms, after all.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of the first three episodes of Andor? Share with us in the comments below!
The first three episodes of Andor are available to stream now on Disney+. New episodes will be available on Wednesdays starting next week.