Cassian Andor was a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe when Rogue One premiered in 2016. Diego Luna’s character was marked by his unwavering commitment to the Rebel Alliance and its ideals. But in the earlier drafts, Cassian wasn’t all that he seemed to be. In fact, he would have been Jyn Erso’s enemy instead of her ally.
Via Yahoo, screenwriters Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz recently participated in a live Rogue One watch party hosted by IGN. During the viewing, they shared noteworthy insights about how the story evolved over the course of the writing process. But perhaps most shocking of all was their revelation that Cassian was originally going to work for the Empire.
“I think this was a rationale that I added in, was that he had lost people who had been killed by [Forest Whitaker’s character] Saw Gererra,” said Weitz. “And all he wanted from the Empire was the go-ahead and the ability to kill Saw Gererra, rather than Galen Erso. “That kind of transmogrified along the lines – post-me and Gary – into a Rebel intelligence officer who had done terrible things. And here, he chooses not to.”
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Tony Gilroy rewrote the movie and formally established Cassian as one of the heroes. Cassian was also re-envisioned as a more complicated protagonist who committed murder in the name of the Rebellion. Whitta conceded that Cassian became “more nuanced and more interesting” as a result.
Additionally, Weitz and Whitta revealed that they toyed with alternate titles for the movie before Lucasfilm settled on Rogue One. Some of the possibilities included Dark Times and Rebellion. Their goal was to differentiate from the films of the main Skywalker Saga (all of which have three- or four-word subtitles) by giving the spinoff a shorter name. Regardless, they also considered calling it Shadow of the Death Star.
Do you think Rogue One’s writers made the right choice by changing Cassian Andor from a double agent to a hero? Let us know in the comments down below!
Recommended Reading: Star Wars Omnibus: Shadows of the Empire (Star Wars: The Rebellion)