Andor is a limited series on Disney+ that tells the story of Cassian Andor, a spy who helped the Rebellion to overthrow the Empire. This particular series departs from the usual family adventures and focuses on espionage, political intrigue and drama between the rebels and the Empire.
Endor continues down even darker, more mature path for Star Wars franchise, It is geared towards an adult audience rather than being typical family fare. It all stems from the Rogue One film and its connection to darker themes.
Endor’s connection to Rogue One
Image Source: Disney+ via Twinfinit
The series takes place during the prequel timeline before the film Rogue One. Cassian’s origins and backstory are explained further in this series. Viewers can see Cassian’s early childhood and his adult life as he is recruited into the Rebel Alliance.
In Rogue One, we saw what eventually happened to Cassian when he helped Jean Erso steal the Deathstar’s plans for the Empire. This was a dire consequence never seen in family adventure films. The general rule is that family-friendly movies and shows should have a happy and satisfying ending. They are also more light-hearted, funny and humorous.
Endor follows the same tone of Rogue One, with a darker and more serious story. The main theme of the story deals with self-sacrifice to help stop the tyranny of the Empire and save the lives of countless innocent people.
Rogue One is also the first Star Wars film to separate the main films. This allowed the story to distract from the hordes of alien races, droids, and villains of the Jedi and Empire. Currently, Endor is telling a very human story without the main character having access to Jedi powers.
At this point, no characters from the Empire have yet appeared in the plot, nor are there any foreign characters with a significant role. Cassian is also an older adult (if we go by the age of the actor), and it would be easier for adults to understand and/or relate to him. These elements are similar to those in the Rogue One movie, which is also more for adults than children.
Andor. the dark theme
Image Source: Disney+ via Twinfinit
With only three episodes as of the time of publication, it is too early to determine the themes that will be explored throughout the series. From what we’ve seen so far, a broader theme is defining what makes a hero. At the beginning of the series, Cassian is not yet a hero aimed at the greater good.
In the first episode, he decides to get information about his lost sister from Morlana Forest. After leaving the nightclub, two Prix-Morlana security guards chase Cassian and attempt to rob him after threatening him at the club. Cassian fights back, and knocks down one of the guards, who dies after hitting his head on the ground. When the other guard tries to bargain, Cassian kills the guard with his blaster pistol.
We will probably never know if Cassian is remorseful for the incident or if he planned to punish the guards with extreme vengeance. However, the entire scene emphasizes the seriousness of the series and gives us insight into Cassian’s impulsive and desperate character. He’s not afraid to kill (or murder in this case), he’s reckless, and he’s dangerous. When compared to the quintessential hero of the mainline Star Wars movies, Luke Skywalker, the opposite is true.
Luke Skywalker and the Jedi treat life more carefully and the Jedi Code prohibits killing unless it is a last resort. The Jedi Order also emphasizes that one should never kill or execute an unarmed enemy. Mainline movies showed that only someone out of evil does this, such as when Anakin Skywalker killed Count Dooku. Finally, the Jedi must think seriously about the consequences of killing an enemy and the suffering it causes.
In Endor, Cassian does not hold these values, and we get the sense that he is more focused on self-preservation rather than any delusions of honor or grandeur. Cassian, seemingly not wanting to surrender, was already plotting to fight against the guards. However, viewers will never know what would have happened if Cassian had skipped his credits and didn’t protest.
Back on his homeworld in the Star Wars universe, we also see how he isn’t doing very well, both financially and relationally. It’s a bleak setting, and in the first three episodes, there’s no sign of anything funny or uplifting. As Cassian’s past collides with the Prix-Morlana guards who are hunting him in the present day, things are looking deep and grim.
The more mature and deeper the direction Endor is taking to the Star Wars franchise, is a good thing. Without being overly dark, it’s opening up more of the Star Wars universe for the different characters and stories to take center stage. In Endor’s case, it’s building more history and lore within the most famous events of the mainline Star Wars movies.
Andor recounts how Cassian searches for his lost sister, and is recruited by the Luthen Royal to join the rebels to help those oppressed by the Empire. This is shaping up to be an interesting story that is worth watching all the way.