Star Wars: Andor has premiered on Disney+ with its first three episodes, and they quickly re-paint the picture of who we thought the hardened Rebel spy was. As revealed in the premiere episode, Andor is following step with The Book of Boba Fett in telling a two-part story: Cassian Andor's struggles in the early Imperial era of 5 BBY, and his origin story dating back to when he was a young boy and had the very first encounter with the Empire that would change his whole life.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!
Cassian Andor Origin Story Revealed
As it turns out, "Cassian Andor" is just an alias: Cassian was born "Kassa," part of an indigenous forest tribe on the Mid Rim planet of Kenari. For reasons not yet explained in the show, Kenari was invaded by factions of the Republic during the initial transition into the Empire, for some equally unknown mission or purpose. Kassa's tribe is seen to be made up of all teens and children, leaving massive looming questions about what may have happened to the adults.
The flashbacks kick off with the kids spotting a Republic vessel either being shot down or crashing over the planet, prompting the kids to investigate. The leader of the group (and older girl) is shot dead by one of the surviving engineers on the ship, prompting the rest of the kids to kill the invader. While the rest of the group hurries to the task of getting their fallen member home, Kassa is curious and investigates the wreckage. That curiosity nearly gets young Kassa killed, until he is saved by Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw), a scrapper who loots the ship and saves Kassa from the brutal retribution that the Empire will inflict upon Kenari and its natives. Kassa was then brought to Maarva's home and given a new life and identity as "Cassian Andor" from Fest.
However, Kassa being saved comes at the cost of losing his young sister, who was left behind on Kenari. The Andor series is set in motion by adult Cassian committing a killing while trying to track down his sister, so that bond (and the wound over breaking it) is very much still in his core.
What Happened to Kenari in Star Wars?
Additional scenes of the corporate security forces of looking for Cassian Andor reveal that the official story is that Kenari suffered a mining accident that resulted in a toxic leak that killed the natives and made the planet uninhabitable. However, Star Wars fans all know what "mining accidents" are in Imperial code-speak: a euphemism for acts of genocide or annihilation.
Rogue One makes the tie clear, as the Planet Jedha (and Saw Gerrera) were wiped out by the Death Star in Rouge One: A Star Wars Story. The Empire in part destroyed the planet to cover the tracks of Jedha's Kyber Mines, which has been looted to make the power crystals for the Death Star ray – ergo, Kenari may have had some kind of resources that was equally treacherous to harvest, and eventually the Empire wanted to erase all traces of its acts there.
What Kenari had worth harvesting, and what the Empire ulitmately did to bury that attrocity are answers that Andor will have to reveal in the coming weeks.
Andor streams new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.