With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story soaring to new box office heights with each passing day, it’s clear that the first standalone Star Wars film by Disney is a tremendous success. Rogue One officially passed Captain America: Civil War to rank as the second biggest film of 2016. Based on the numbers, it looks like the film is well on its way to smashing more box office records. Grossing over $800 million worldwide, the Rogue One now ranks in the top ten highest-grossing domestic films of all time. Recently, we learned more about some of the details of the film, like director Gareth Edwards’ cameo, how Carrie Fisher ‘loved’ Her Rogue One cameo, and the Rogue One deleted scenes.
The most recent Star Wars film follows a ragtag group of rebels who fight to obtain the plans for the Death Star. In the film, much of the details about Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) are surrounded in mystery, so we decided to take a closer look at his backstory. In case you missed it, our team found out more information about other members of Rogue One, like Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen).
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Rogue One.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Cassian Andor.
According to Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, written by Pablo Hidalgo, Captain Cassian Andor has worked for the Rebel Alliance using at least four different aliases. As fans are well aware, working undercover is nothing new for the rebel heroes and heroines in the Star Wars universe. In the text, we’re given a glimpse at some of the other names that Cassian has worked under while out in the field.
When Andor was working in disguise as a government agent on Ord Mantell, he was known as “Willix.” When Rogue One was first in pre-production, a rumor circulated that actor Diego Luna would be playing a character named Cassein Willix. On another mission, Andor was called “Aach” while acting as a contact for a senator on Darknell. Cassian was also known as “Joreth Sward” when he went undercover and assisted Imperial Admiral Grendreef.
Interestingly enough, Andor has also used the alias called “Fulcrum” while incognito. While working as a recruiter for the Rebel Alliance in the Albarrio sector, Cassian used the codename “Fulcrum”. For fans of Star Wars Rebels, this name should come as no surprise, given that characters like Ahsoka Tano and Agent Kallus have also used the same codename while working with the Rebel Alliance. With Star Wars Rebels continuing on Disney XD, we might learn more about a Rogue One & Star Wars Rebels connection potentially revealed in future episodes.
In Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, we learn more about Cassian’s background story, including a few hints about his upbringing and childhood experiences. First off, we discover that his father was killed when he was young. In the text it says, “His father was killed at the Carida military academy during a protest against the expansion of Republic militarism.”
In the film, Cassian angrily tells Jyn that he’s been in this fight since he was six years old. Although not many details are given about the rebel captain in the film, the visual guide notes that Cassian is 26 years old. At the time of Rogue One, Andor has over two decades worth of experience with fighting for survival.
For Cassian, there’s definitely a lot of backstory that could be explored in greater detail with future Star Wars media. In Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Hidalgo elaborates, “Though not a formal Separatist, Andor became part of a Confederacy-backed insurrectionist cell at a young age, tossing rocks and bottles at Republic walkers and clone soldiers.” Perhaps more details will be revealed about Cassian Andor in the upcoming Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film, Star Wars Rebels, or future Star Wars projects.
On screen, Cassian and K-2SO carry on a tradition of Star Wars odd couples. In Rogue One, it’s a close call on who has the most amusing back and forth banter— Chirrut and Baze, Jyn and K-2SO or Cassian and the brusque speaking droid. We’ve seen other charming pairings like this before, with Han Solo and Chewbacca, along with C-3P0 and R2-D2 from the original Star Wars trilogy. In Star Wars Rebels, Chopper, the lovable yet cantankerous droid has an undeniable sense of charisma, just like K-2S0.
According to Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Cassian and K-2 have more than one reason for their unexpected bond. Hidalgo writes that Cassian was the one to reformat K-2S0, removing his Imperial programming and working together with the droid on missions with the Rebel Alliance. However, his work did have one caveat—K-2SO is the epitome of having #nofilter.
In the Rogue One novelization, we’re given a greater insight on K-2’s background story with Cassian. Author Alexander Freed notes that Cassian was the one to program the droid with individuality, a quality that made him hyper aware of the odds of success and failure with their missions. In a particularly heart-wrenching scene, K-2 sacrifices himself with the hope that Cassian will complete his mission.
At the time of Rogue One, the Rebel Alliance is a fighting for survival and struggling to resist the monstrous power of the Empire. Fans of the franchise and more recent canon like Star Wars Rebels can attest to the fact that the Rebellion was in dire need of strong, brave, and loyal soldiers. Naturally, members of the Rebellion acquire a specialized skill set through years of infiltration and sabotage missions over the years.
For Cassian, he’s certainly had his fair share of espionage and reconnaissance work. In Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, it states, “Cassian has spent most of his career in Alliance Intelligence working for the Operations department—a dangerous posting that places agents directly in contact with the Empire.” If K-2SO were here, he might want to add that, “Statistics place the odds of an agent surviving 20 field missions at 23 percent—roughly four-to-one odds against”, an addition that alludes to the fact that he’s pretty much like James Bond.
Cassian carries around a compact security kit hidden in his boot, complete with a “sensor-baffling wallet” (we kid you not!), which grants him an extra advantage anytime he’s in a bind. We also learned that he carries around a suicide pill in his jacket, a hint that gives those final moments at the beach on Scarif an added layer of meaning.
Captain Cassian Andor wields a BlasTech A280-CFE weapon, as seen in action throughout Rogue One. At first, we get a look at the blaster while Cassian is on the Ring of Kafrene, and later on the planets Jedha, Eadu, and Scarif. As a core pistol, the A280-CFE draws similar parallels to the rectangular NN-14 blaster that Han Solo gifted to Rey in The Force Awakens.
Later, we’re shown why the BlasTech A280-CFE gets its name of “covert field edition." In Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, we learn that the blaster, “...features a modular construction that allows a core pistol to be reconfigured into a sniper or assault rifle.” We also see this first hand when Andor loads his gun into sniper configuration and nearly kills Galen Erso while on Eadu. He may have decided against taking the shot, but we were able to see his BlasTech A280-CFE weapon in action, and also the pinpoint accuracy of his aim.
As a rebel captain, Cassian was well-respected by his superiors thanks to his previous missions with the Alliance. However, others, like Mon Mothma, seemed to worry about the future for other rebel soldiers like him. In the Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Dossier by Jason Fry, Mothma expresses concern about his future, noting that the rebels must do “...terrible things that’d we’d rather not talk about,” and then poses the question, “If we succeed and overthrow the Empire, what kind of life will someone like Capt. Andor have?”
When we’re first introduced to Cassian, he’s faced with a tough life-or-death choice regarding his anxious contact, Tivik, on the Ring of Kafrene. On screen, Andor makes the decision in a matter of seconds, but thanks to the novelization by Alexander Freed, we get some more insight on Cassian’s inner dialogue. Freed writes, “They would’ve caught you, Tivik. You would’ve broken. You would’ve died. And neither of us would deliver your message.”
Cassian also wrote a debriefing about the mission in the Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Dossier: “I eliminated the troopers and then neutralized Tivik to prevent him from being taken into Imperial custody.” Naturally, he didn’t want to kill Tivik if he didn’t have to, but it seems like he had to make the decision on the spot, or risk Tivik spilling any information about the Rebel Alliance to the Empire.
Diego has mentioned in an interview for BUILD about how he was excited about the prospect of the role as Cassian Andor in Rogue One, but he wasn’t sure if he was really being considered for it. Two years ago, Luna received a call from his agent saying that director Gareth Edwards wanted to meet him.
Although he didn't know the specifics, Luna did know that Edwards was preparing to work on Rogue One. However, Luna assumed that the director wanted to meet about a future project on the horizon, like a tiny independent movie after finishing up the Star Wars blockbuster. Luna figured that the meeting would be brief, and didn't really think that he would find out any details about any possible role. Instead, director Gareth Edwards started telling him about Star Wars in hushed tones, telling him about the story he envisioned for Rogue One.
After that meeting, Luna went through another five months of recording audition tapes, flying to London, and another month of waiting for any additional news. Luna received a call from an unknown British number when he was in a hotel in Budapest, filming another movie. Although he assumed it was a drunk dial from one of his cousins, director Gareth Edwards officially welcomed him to the world of Star Wars. Ecstatic, Luna accepted the role, but he had to keep quiet about it for another three months.
It should go without saying that preparing for a role in Star Wars is physically demanding. In several interviews, actor Diego Luna talked about how he prepped for his role as Cassian Andor. Luna was excited to perform most of his own stunts, and Director Gareth Edwards had him perform intensive military training for several weeks. In the film, we see Andor scaling walls to escape Stormtroopers while on the Ring of Kafrene and climbing up the towering Imperial citadel on Scarif.
When shooting Rogue One, one minute Cassian is shown running on sand in Jedha and the next he’s crouched in full sniper mode in Eadu. While some of the Rogue One trailer footage didn't make the final cut, the cast was still able to get into character while preparing for their roles. To get a feel for the action, director Gareth Edwards had some of the cast go camping while on set. Luna said that they would patrol the studios, and act as if they were out in the woods, fighting for survival. Like others on set, Luna walked away with several injuries, but he was felt it was worth it, being that it was a Star Wars film.
In case you didn’t know, actor Diego Luna has a serious fixation when it comes to Jabba the Hutt. As stated in several interviews, Luna has repeatedly mentioned his a strange fascination with the slug-like alien. With an overwhelming curiosity about feeling the slimy texture of the Hutt, Luna told Vanity Fair that he’s always wanted to touch him, and "the texture of Jabba is something [he] needs to discover." In an interview with MTV, Luna played a “Would You Rather?” game and openly admitted that he would rather french kiss Jabba the Hutt than punch an Ewok in the face.
Although both options seem to be a huge buzz kill, Luna doesn’t seem to mind. On his birthday, tons of fans shared hilarious photoshopped images of the actor and Jabba on social media. Amused by the more imaginative creations, Diego reposted some of the fan art on his Instagram and Twitter, thanking his fans for the sentiment.
When it comes to filming Star Wars, some actors would be hard pressed to be able to pinpoint their favorite moment. When asked about his favorite memory on set, Luna didn’t hesitate and launched into a story about sharing a serious fanboy moment with director Gareth Edwards.
On Luna’s first day on set in London, he arrived to the studio before rehearsals started. One of the producers told him to meet up with Edwards, who was doing a camera test in one of the studios. Luna assumed they were filming something on an Imperial station. Gareth welcomed him, and suddenly they both heard a loud burst of heavy breathing. Luna immediately turned around, excited, and they both gleefully looked at the towering presence of Darth Vader.
Luna laughed during the interview, and noted that the actor anti-climatically came by to ask Edwards if he should enter from stage left or right. Luna said that he felt like he was taken back to when he was six years old. There were plenty of references to A New Hope, and it made him feel nostalgic and super excited while filming Rogue One.
In most of Rogue One, we see the rebel captain wearing typical soldier wear, with his Correllian-cut jacket and military fatigue pants. When Cassian heads to Jedha with Jyn and K-2SO, he sports a blue-colored parka which actually pays homage to The Empire Strikes Back. Cassian’s fur-trimmed jacket is reminiscent of the original coat that Han Solo wears while on Hoth. Although Han’s jacket is brown in the film, costume designer Glyn Dillon opted for a blue colorway for Cassian’s coat. “Han’s parka jacket on the little Star Wars toy I had as a kid was painted blue,” Dillon told Entertainment Weekly in the Rogue One Collector's Edition magazine. “It was only when we were researching... that we discovered [the real one] wasn’t blue at all.”
The final result looks awesome, and shares a resemblance to the original inspiration worn by Han Solo. In The Art of Rogue One, Dillon elaborated on Cassian’s final look in the film. “We gave Cassian a shirt that flaps open like Luke Skywalker’s in Return of the Jedi. It’s very much a classic kind of Star Wars look,” Dillon noted, referring to Captain Andor’s khaki-colored shirt worn towards the conclusion of the film. The costume designers worked hard to pay homage to the original Star Wars trilogy, while also giving each character’s costume a fresh twist.
Earlier, we learned that Cassian was actually the one who reformatted K-2SO, the former Imperial droid who became his snarky companion. With extensive background experience in voice acting and animation, actor Alan Tudyk brought Kay-Tu to life. Tudyk has been a part of every Disney film since Wreck-It Ralph in 2012, and he certainly knows how to make any filming process more amusing on set.
In Rogue One, K-2SO tries his best to lie and help Cassian and Jyn when they are questioned by Stormtroopers after the attack by Saw Gerrera’s rebels. Although Cassian tries to intervene, starting off with some sort of explanation, K-2SO abruptly back-hand slaps him across the face. Apparently, this was not in the script, and the unexpected move was so funny that it actually made the final cut. If you watch carefully, you can see actor Diego Luna break into a smile before covering his face with his hand.
Some eagle-eyed fans have already spotted a real-life connection to Diego Luna’s family. According to Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, the rebel captain’s full name is Cassian Jeron Andor. His middle name, Jeron, might be a reference to Diego Luna’s son’s name, Jerónimo. In multiple interviews, Luna has spoken in depth about how his son loves Star Wars, and even got to accompany him while filming in London. When Luna brought his son to the filming set, he was thrilled to experience being in the pilot’s seat and pretending to launch into space.
Interestingly enough, Diego Luna has said he has been a fan of the Star Wars films ever since he watched them when he was six years old. The most obvious parallel we can draw here is from his actual line from the film, when he argues with Jyn after the death of her father. Cassian tells Jyn that he’s been in this fight since he was six years old, approximately twenty years before we see him in Rogue One.
While working on the film, actor Alan Tudyk had to sport a particularly tight bodysuit for his role of K-2SO. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Diego Luna shared some of his hilarious experiences on set with Tudyk. Luna referred to Tudyk’s costume as pajamas, and said he definitely had his work cut out for him when it came to staying in character.
To bring K-2SO to life, Tudyk had to wear a form-fitting suit as part of the extensive motion-capture animation process for his robotic character. In addition to his unconventional costume, Alan Tudyk also had to wear a set of seven foot tall stilts. Tudyk towered over his co-stars while wearing the stilts, and especially loved to make hilarious impersonations of the cast.
Luna told Conan O’Brien that he had to struggle to stay in character with Tudyk during some scenes, being that he was always at eye level with his crotch. Tudyk and Luna have both said that they were given a lot of freedom with their roles, and improvisation played a big part in the filming process. John Boyega, who played Finn in The Force Awakens, also loved to make amusing impersonations while on set. We can’t wait to see a blooper reel!
Born in Mexico City, Diego Luna has made history for being the second Latino actor to land a lead role in a Star Wars film. Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was the first, playing Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens. In Rogue One, Luna spoke with his natural Mexican accent, a choice that's helped create more dialogue about diversity and representation.
One fan shared a poignant story about her father’s reception to the film; he was surprised to hear a lead male who sounded like him. Luna reposted the story on his Twitter account. “I got emotional after reading this!” he commented. Since then, other fans have also shared how much of an impact the film has had on them, directly related to the diverse casting choices from Rogue One. With rumors circulating that Disney is looking into hiring a female director for a future Star Wars film, it looks like we have a new hope when it comes to more inclusivity and diversity.
Luna chose the role for a reason and has been highly enthusiastic about being a part of Star Wars. “He’s there to remind everyone that nothing matters more than the cause. I think that’s a beautiful thing.” Luna said to Entertainment Weekly in The Ultimate Guide to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. “This is about the people taking control, about rebels who decided to change the world—or change the galaxy, in this case. It’s a beautiful message for the world we’re living in today.”
Is there any trivia we didn't cover about Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Let us know in the comments!