It’s been a couple of weeks since the first season of The Mandalorian concluded and proved, both to us the audience and Disney themselves, that live-action Star Wars television could work. Well, it concluded if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with Disney+, and if not then the season hasn’t even started for you yet, unless you resort to alternative methods to watch it like I did. The season very much felt like a trial run, an experiment, and kept things very simple and straightforward. Looking back, that’s one of the season’s biggest strengths but now that the show is an overwhelming success, I hope that Star Wars on the small screen can become a more complex and ultimately more rewarding experience. The Mandalorian’s second season is set to debut later this year but I’m much more intrigued in the Rogue One prequel series that will focus on rebel spy Cassian Andor. I guess I’m just more of an espionage fan than I am a western fan. Also, being a canon junkie, the Andor series sits at an intriguing point in the timeline that could mean greater crossover with the wider continuity than The Mandalorian, which sits alone in it’s 5-year post Return of the Jedi timeframe. Other than one potentially big tease, The Mandalorian succeeded without the appearance of known legacy characters, but the Cassian Andor series exists in a more populated area of the timeline and it could feel odd if familiar faces don’t appear when they logically should. I still want the series to feature mainly new characters but speculating on who else just might appear is a lot of fun, so let’s do just that.
George Lucas has always said that R2-D2 and C-3PO are the heart of Star Wars and I would tend to agree. They’re wonderful in the original trilogy and, while they are the centre of some of the prequel trilogy’s worst scenes, they continue to be charming in those films too. While I enjoy the sequel trilogy, the classic droid pair certainly got the short end of the stick and I wish they had more moments to shine throughout the three films. The Rise of Skywalker was a great showcase for Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, even if Abrams and Terrio didn’t follow through on their convictions of where to take the character, but R2-D2 was really left out besides his great reunion with Luke in The Last Jedi. Presuming that the Cassian Andor series takes place just a year or two before Rogue One, the two droids will be with the Rebel Alliance just like they were in their cameo appearance in the film. When Cassian finishes a mission and comes in from the cold, either to Yavin IV or the earlier base on Dantooine, I would love to see Threepio and Artoo at the headquarters, but preferably the series could make up for the sequel trilogy’s mistakes and have R2-D2 actually go on a mission with Cassian. It would be cool to see the dynamic between Artoo and K-2SO. Plus, the two classic droids even appeared in an episode of the animated series Star Wars: Rebels so why not this live-action show too?
Diego Luna loves Jabba the Hutt. During the press circuit for Rogue One, he talked often about his love for the character and the desire he has to touch the large alien gangster slug’s body. I say that Lucasfilm should let Luna’s dreams come true and have Jabba appear in the prequel series. This isn’t just wish fulfilment and fan service though, I think it would fit nicely with the canon and what we know of the rebellion – and Cassian – during this time. The Galactic Civil War doesn’t erupt into open conflict until the battle of Scarif in Rogue One and the rebels had to do some questionable things to maintain their secrecy during this cold war period. These characters aren’t the morally good heroes the Star Wars films of old may have led us to believe and Cassian himself has done some bad things for the greater good, like killing Tivik during his introduction in Rogue One. Seeing more of these morally ambiguous actions in the series will make Cassian’s repentance in Rogue One so much stronger and so seeing him visit and strike a deal with Jabba, one of the worst criminals in the galaxy, will show how desperate and scrofulous the alliance is at this point. And hopefully we get an appearance of Rotta the Huttlet from the Clone Wars movie too considering he’s the heir apparent of the Hutt empire but was never seen again.
I remember making a similar list as this a few years ago about characters I wanted to appear in Star Wars: Rebels. It was soon after the release of Rogue One and, because the animated series and anthology movie take place during the same point in time, my list was full of Rogue One characters, including Cassian. We eventually saw animated versions of Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera, even the Massassi temple on Yavin IV, but alas, no Cassian or K-2SO. So now I’m hoping for it to be the other way around: the crew of the Ghost should appear in the Cassian Andor series. I love Rebels so very much and on a good day I’ll admit that I prefer the show to any of the movies, and so I desperately want to see live-action versions of these characters. I love that we saw the Ghost in Rogue One and The Rise of Skywalker, with Chopper having his cameo in the former and Kanan’s audio cameo in the later, but seeing the rest of the characters would be something else. I’ll happily take a cameo with them walking in the background or having a small scene with Cassian, but considering both Cassian and the crew of the Ghost are working out of the same base and going on missions given by the same leader, why not give them a more significant role?
In many ways Star Wars supersedes the definition of a cinematic universe. It’s a film series first and foremost, just one with almost infinite branches leading off into new and exciting directions that eventually connect with others and double back on themselves to create a truly interconnected web of storytelling reaching across multiple generations. Individual stories and new characters are key but connectivity is important too, and with the success of The Mandalorian I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucasfilm feel the need to connect their two Star Wars television series, and I’m not totally against the idea. While separated by films made 40 years ago, the Cassian Andor series is only set about 11 or 12 years before The Mandalorian and so it’s not out of the question for the new series to feature younger versions of the Mando cast. We could get some vital backstory on Cara Dune, who is likely a rebel shock trooper at this period of time and therefore could know Cassian. Cassian and K-2SO could bump into the titular Mandalorian when he was a more violent and sinister bounty hunter. Or what about Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga back when he was a magistrate and hadn’t pursued any criminal dealings yet. Or they could make Bill Burr the Stan Lee of the Star Wars universe and have him appear in the Rogue One prequel as an Imperial sharpshooter, which was his backstory mentioned in episode 6 of The Mandalorian.
Well, I think that about does it. I’ve discussed several characters I want to see in the upcoming Cassian Andor-focused Star Wars Disney+ series, and I don’t think any of them are beyond the bounds of possibility. What do you think of my suggestions? Who do you want to see appear in the show? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.