Star Wars: Cassian Andor and the dark side of the Rebel Alliance

Star Wars: Cassian Andor and the dark side of the Rebel Alliance

Star Wars

There was never any doubt that the Rebel Alliance was the good faction of Star Wars. In the first trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Again and The Return of the Jed I) it was impossible not to feel close to these heroes who, despite the overwhelming superiority of the Empire, managed not to give in, to fight for good. Viewers then grew up with the idea that this ideological contrast between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance was an immutable dogma, a certainty that was broken with the release of Rogue One, where one character in particular showed the less noble side of the Rebellion. : Cassian Andor.

To understand the importance of a figure like that of the rebel agent, it must be recognized that Star Wars, thanks to the birth of a thriving cross-media sector, has undergone its own evolution with respect to the dichotomy of its origins , where being imperial meant being inherently evil. A change that in 2012, the year in which Star Wars enters the Disney constellation, and we are witnessing the birth of the Story Group. This team of authors is responsible for a different identity of Star Wars, which found a vital spark with the birth of the Canon and the first chapter of the new trilogy, The Awakening of the Force.

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Cassian Andor: the dark side of the Rebellion

Without the poetic aspect of Lucas' original concept , Star Wars began to develop a series of gray areas, in which this contrast between the two poles, especially in the stories set during the time of the Rebellion, allowed to show different aspects of the different sides. Within the imperial ranks, for example, characters have appeared, such as Thane Kyrrel or Ciena Ree, who have shown how even under the imperial uniform there can be men of honor and capable of opposing the most sinister imperial laws. If this is true of the imperial faction, can't we assume that even among the Rebels there are individuals who represent less noble aspects of the Rebellion? People like Cassian Andor.

Cassian Andor isn't the first rebel fighter to question the solid assurance that every action of the Rebellion is imbued with justice. It would be enough to mention the figure of Saw Gerrera, who in the animated series showed a certain independence of thought, even developing his own warfare, ferocious and ruthless, so much so that he was considered an extremist by the rebels themselves. Although born within a production created for a young audience, this first change of perception of the Rebellion finds its full form in Rogue One. A film that, in hindsight, differs from the typical features of the previous Star Wars chapters, taking on the tones of a war movie that is influenced by genre films such as that dirty dozen.

Cassian, unlike other faces in Star Wars, is a child of the obscurantism of the imperial rise. There is little information about Andor's past, mainly contained in works supporting Rogue One, but he is portrayed as a man raised in violence, considering that as a child he comes into contact with aspects of war, starting as a child soldier for the Separatists. . On the death of his father, killed during a demonstration against the militarization of the Republic (an event that can be placed during the events of The Attack of the Clones), Cassian becomes a soldier of the Separatists. Upon the defeat of the Separatists and the consequent birth of the Empire, Cassian Andor is recruited by the nascent rebellion, being assigned to the command of General Davits Draven, which makes him an intelligence agent. Role in which we find him right in Rogue One, where he is tasked with discovering what the Empire's plans are for its new, devastating weapon, the Death Star.

The Rebel Alliance beyond heroism

No more adventurers, but assassins and spies. The almost poetic aspect of the Rebel Alliance is then undermined by the film by Garreth Edwards, which shows the brutal, mean side of the adventures of Star Wars. Realistic, if we think that at the base of the mythology of Star Wars are these forgotten soldiers, perished on a suicide mission that was supposed to offer a future to the galaxy. Although hinted at in Rogue One, as per tradition, Star Wars' rich production of parallel content offers a more precise vision of Cassian Andor's personality and its importance in the early ages of the Rebel Alliance.

“… I never doubted Captain Andor's abilities or his dedication to the rebel movement. He is truly one of our best and most skilled (operatives), and I trust his evaluations of him on missions. I worry about him, anyway. I understand that our movement to survive requires brave men and women who have to do terrible things that we would rather not talk about. But what happens to these people next? Are we helping them enough to live with what they have done? Do we encourage them when they feel guilty? Do we comfort them when they can't sleep? And do we notice when they stop feeling guilty? When do they stop losing sleep? "

Cassian Andor, on closer inspection, is a perfect example of the Rebel Alliance in its early stages. A complex leadership, struggling with an unfortunate situation in which the Empire shows ruthless lucidity, creating disagreements within the rebels themselves, undecided on which approach to take. The message of Rogue One, and of Cassian Andor in particular, is that revolutions start from below.

It becomes evident that the Rebellion cannot be a hodgepodge of guerrillas that strikes in an uncoordinated way and without a moral line, but that it must necessarily embody an ideal, keep in mind that the end is not it must justify the means, but be the goal to aim for. It is the moment in which Cassian feels the weight of his actions, seeing in Jyn Erso's heartfelt speech to the rebel leadership before his mission on Scarif a sort of cure for his own inner sufferings, for the doubts born of years as an agent forced to face decisions. difficult.

Although Cassian Andor is dead with the rest of his team who recovered the plans of the Death Star on Scarif, we will be able to see Diego Luna again take on the role of the rebel spy in a series dedicated to him on Disney +. Although we have not yet communicated what Cassian Andor's missions will be that we will see in the production of Disney +, we can imagine that the tone of the series will be different from what has been experienced to date with titles like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, challenging the showrunners to find a narrative key that allows you to create a story with heavy tones, capable of showing the shadows behind the birth of the Rebel Alliance.

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