It’s been a pretty exciting week or so for Star Wars fans. We finally have firm confirmation that Pedro Pascal will play the lead in The Mandalorian. Disney also announced and that Carl Weathers and Gina Carano will join him in the cast. But that wasn’t all. We also learned that Cassian Andor will be getting his own Rogue One spinoff series on Disney+ as well. So what does all this mean for Star Wars fans?

Well, it means a lot of things. First and foremost, it signals a paradigm shift in Star Wars storytelling. The Skywalker saga and its episodic films will come to an end with Star Wars Episode IX in December of next year. The franchise will no longer have the Skywalker family and its influence on the galaxy on which to focus. That’s not such a bad thing.  Moving away from a hero-centric emphasis is exactly what Star Wars needs. I fully expect The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor spinoff to deliver.

Cassian Andor

Image: Lucasfilm

Why Cassian Andor Spinoff is Good for Star Wars

Way back in June I said that there was more to Star Wars than just the Skywalkers. As evidence I referenced Battlefront: Twilight Company, Alexander Freed’s exceptional novel focusing on the Rebel infantry. Galaxies are big, and the galaxy far, far away has a lot more going on in it than just what transpires around the Skywalker family. There’s a harder, grittier side to Star Wars we’ve only just begun to see in film in Rogue One and in Solo: A Star Wars story. If Rogue One is any indication, “harder” and “grittier” are sure to describe the Cassian Andor series.

Cassian Andor in unused footage from ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’. (Image: Lucasfilm)

Cassian Andor: Anti-Hero

Cassian Andor shares a dubious honor with Star Wars mainstream anti-hero hero, Han Solo. Namely, both, within minutes of meeting their character, commit murder. In Andor’s instance, it set the tone for the film and the character. This was a dangerous, tumultuous time in the galaxy. You did what you needed to do in order to survive. With that background, the new series is sure to delve even deeper into the intricacies of Andor’s life as a Rebel spy. Cassian Andor has already proven his loyalty to the Rebellion. As in Rogue One, he will surely face hard choices in the show that will skirt the precipice of morality.

Cassian Andor meets with a fellow spy… just before Cassian kills him. (Image: Lucasfilm)

Rogue One’s darker tones and moral debate propelled it to the near-top of my favorite Star Wars films list. These are the Star Wars stories we need to see and experience. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the Cassian Andor series has in store.  How about you?