The official production brief for Andor has shown up on Reddit, and it is loaded with information on the series’ characters and the shoot itself. The character spotlights are definitely the juiciest as they reveal some key information about the main characters, while also providing speculation points on what may happen in the series itself.
Below are the more insightful character descriptions for Maarva Andor, Cassian’s adopted mother, Luthen Rael, an antiquities dealer who is recruiting for the rebellion, Bit Caleen, Cassian’s on-and-off girlfriend on Ferrix, Syril Karn, a deputy inspector with an obsession with Cassian, and Dedra Meero, an ambitious ISB agent who will be hunting Cassian.
He’s a very different person than the accomplished warrior-spy that we meet in ‘Rogue One,’” Gilroy says. “He’s sort of an adopted son of a family that saved his life, and he’s grown up on this planet, Ferrix, in a really strong community. And he is kind of the guy that nobody wants to see right now. He owes money to everybody. His mom’s on his case all the time, and he’s certainly not lived up to his potential at this point. He makes a situation infinitely worse in the opening scenes of the show—he’s become a fugitive. He’s had the worst day of his life when we start the show. We’re going to spend twenty-four episodes, exploring his odyssey to become the person who gives his life for the galaxy.”
Maarva Andor – Cassian’s adopted mother
A new character created for the series is Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva Andor, played by Fiona Shaw. “Maarva has gone from being a prosperous businesswoman in this town to being [still] respected but she’s aging,” explains Tony Gilroy. “Her son is confusing and a disappointment. It’s something that she worries about constantly. He’s had so many troubles. And when our show starts, he’s really in deep trouble.
“Andor” presents a universal story for Shaw: “I think Maarva is a pilgrim. I think her husband is also a pilgrim. These are souls wandering through the universe trying to make a living and trying to not look at the thing that we all try not to look at, but maybe we’ve been forced to look at, which is governmental power and Imperial power. It’s a wonderful tale of morality, in that all individuals should keep an eye on who’s got the power, because before you know where you are, you’re serving that power rather than living a free life.”
Explains Tony Gilroy: “Luthen Rael is the master puppeteer of our show. He is the character that links many characters, and he comes at the revolution with an incredible intensity. When you meet him, he’s got a secret identity. He has a very upscale gallery where he sells galactic antiquities. But the hunt for antiquities gives him permission to go off and fly around and do different things. Luthen has been out in the galaxy for the past thirteen years talent- scouting, building relationships, buying stolen military equipment from one place, selling it someplace else, making sure that people talk to each other, building this huge network. He deals with Mon Mothma on one end, and he finds Cassian on the other end. The timing of their meeting is very providential for both of them.”
Luthen is somebody who has dedicated his life to the rebellion, who is prepared to give his life to the rebellion and expects you to do the same. He is somebody who is ruthless to the core and has such incredible drive and intelligence and is always thinking ten moves ahead to everybody else.”
Explains Tony Gilroy: “Everybody on Ferrix can take everything apart and put it back together— it’s a city of mechanics and improvisors, and she’s no exception. She and Cassian have been flirting and dating and circling each other and breaking up since he was, like, ten years old. They know everything about each other. They’re meant to be together, and yet it’s been impossible all these years. When we come in the show, she’s done with him. He’s burned every last bridge. But they do have this business together in stolen material and that will come to controversy in the first episode.” Describing her character, Arjona offers:
“Bix is a hardworking woman. She’s a complicated woman who is very handy and strong. I wouldn’t necessarily consider her tough, but I think she’s a lot stronger and a lot smarter than a lot of people may think she is. She adds, “Bix is the owner of her salvage yard, so she’s very much in charge and in control, and you see it by the way that people behave around her as well. She’s also very selfless, and is a great and loyal friend and confidante to Cassian.”
Starts his journey in “Andor” as the Deputy Inspector for the corporate authority on the planet Morlana One, until he suffers a spectacular downfall, and vows to pursue Cassian Andor, no matter the personal cost. Soller found himself captivated by the moral ambiguity Tony Gilroy had woven into the very fabric of the new series.
“She is a true, true believer,” Tony Gilroy says. “She is a really hardcore advocate for the ISB; she is relentless. She is inspired. She has deep insights into what the rebellion might be thinking and what they might be doing next, anticipating their behaviors.” For Toby Haynes: “The ISB are the worst of the worst. They’ve got their spies everywhere, and they’re listening to everybody and putting all the pieces together. Dedra is fighting her way up through this male-dominated organization into a pivotal role. She’s ruthless, she’s fiercely intelligent and she’s uncompromising.”
Gough relished the opportunity of playing a woman in a mostly male world. She explains, “She will do anything for the cause and so much of the time, she’s looking around feeling like a lot of her colleagues are very mediocre….For me, although she’s on the side of the villains, she’s also evangelical in her belief in the Empire, and, in common with all great villains, she has this absolute belief that what she’s doing is right, no matter what she does—and she does some seriously reprehensible things.”
Nick and I will talk more about this production guide on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.