Warning: this story contains spoilers for the three-episode series premiere of Star Wars: Andor, now streaming on Disney+. "These days will end, Cassian Andor," spymaster Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) tells thief Cassian (Diego Luna) in 5 BBY, five years before the Rebellion's first major victory against the Empire in A New Hope. Half a decade in the future, the rebellious Cassian — born Kassa in a tribe of "dark-eyed" people on the planet of Kenari, abandoned after an Imperial mining disaster — will give his life for the cause, perishing after a mission to steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One.
Andor begins in the era of the Empire, with Cassian a wanted fugitive hunted by Pre-Mor Authority Deputy Inspector Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) for the deaths of two of his men in the Pre-Mor corporate zone on Morlana. Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) — Cassian's on-again, off-again ex and salvage scrapper — connects him with Luthen, a wealthy antiquities dealer who has come to buy Cassian's valuable untraceable NS-9 Star path unit.
"I came looking for something more, and I think I've found it," Luthen tells Cassian in their first meeting on Ferrix as Karn's Pre-Mor Enforcement soldiers surround them. "I'd like you to come with me."
"Luthen is different to everything you've seen before," Luna said in a press brief. "He's very eloquent, he's very elegant, he's very intelligent, he's very informed, and it's a nice layer for the story and a beautiful and interesting character for the audience to meet."
In series creator Tony Gilroy's prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Skarsgård plays a character who is attempting to recruit a disparate group of supporters to take on the ascendant fascist regime. He'll connect Cassian with Republic senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), co-founder of the Rebel Alliance.
"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 11 intensity," said Gilroy. "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."
Gilroy added: "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."
See new images from Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3 of Andor in the gallery below. New episodes of Star Wars: Andor are streaming Wednesdays on Disney+.