This Star Wars: Andor article contains spoilers.
In the first three episodes of Star Wars: Andor, we get a glimpse at Cassian’s (Diego Luna) life as a child on the Mid-Rim planet Kenari and how he came to know Maarva (Fiona Shaw), a mother-figure in his life whom he lives with on Ferrix. Through flashbacks we see that they met in the wreckage of a ship that crashed on Kenari when Cassian, or Kassa (Antonio Viña) as he’s known by his people, was a young boy.
Kassa goes with his friends to investigate the crash, but after one of them dies at the hands of an injured officer, he stays behind. Kassa explores the ship, growing more angry as he goes on. He eventually stops in the bridge to take out his anger on the control panels, doing his best to smash the consoles to pieces. Maarva, her partner Clem (Gary Beadle), and the droid B2EMO (Dave Chapman) run into the boy while trying to salvage parts from the ship and avoid detection by incoming Republic forces. Not wanting to leave the child at the mercy of the Republic, who she has a clear distaste for, Maarva decides to bring Kassa with them despite Clem’s assurances that “he’s got people here.”
However, even though Maarva replies to Clem saying, “Yeah, people who’ve just killed a Republic officer, it’ll be open season here the moment that frigate lands,” seemingly referring to the man who the Kenari children took out after he killed their leader, the officers on board and in the wreckage of the ship, including the guy taken out by their darts, clearly have the hexagonal Separatist logo as opposed to the more gear-like Republic insignia. Whether this line, or the inclusion of the Separatist logo rather than the Republic one, are a mistake or continuity error is yet to be determined, but either way these flashbacks show how many planets in the Mid and Outer Rims were treated by the larger powers of the galaxy. It ultimately doesn’t matter who crash lands on Kenari, but instead how they treat the people there.
Based on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we know that Cassian has “been in this fight since [he] was six years old,” and expanded universe novels and tie-ins have established that he was a member of an insurrectionist cell backed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (the official name of the Separatists) as a child. By indicating the existence of Separatists and the Republic in these flashbacks, Andor confirms that Cassian left his home planet during the Clone Wars.
Even though his insurrectionist cell was backed by Separatists and he fought in the Outer Rim against the Republic, it’s not clear as of yet whether he ever pledged full allegiance to the Separatist cause. Given that he eventually joins the Rebellion against the Empire, what we know so far about his character, and that he was a literal child at the time, it seems like he wasn’t so much into the politics of the fight as much as he was interested in standing up for the people forgotten by both the Republic and Separatists. Regardless, his experiences as a child during the Clone Wars undoubtedly forged him into the man we see in Andor and Rogue One.
Star Wars: Andor is streaming now on Disney+.