In Rogue One we are introduced to a whole cast of characters, including a group of Rebel soldiers that are apparently willing to follow Cassian Andor to their deaths despite his background. At the end of the film approaches, we aren’t clear on Cassian’s background but he’s done enough for audiences to see that he doesn’t have the cleanest hands in the Rebellion.
While the film is great at showing us the reality of being a foot soldier in the Rebellion, it didn’t do much to show us why the Rebels soldiers were so quick to abandon ship and join the crew of Rogue One nor does it make a point of telling us what their relationship with Cassian is. Andor fixes this by reintroducing us to a couple of characters and taking the time to explain exactly why certain characters won’t hesitate to help each other, specifically Melshi (played by Duncan Pow) and Cassian.
During his time on Narkina 5, Cassian Andor adapted to his new environment and the way things were run very quickly, understanding that trying to argue his case with people that saw him as no more than free labour wasn’t going to get him anywhere. Instead, he made himself useful and took the time to learn how things were run, bonding with the other prisoners and actively trying to figure out how to escape from his cage.
Ruescott Melshi was one of the prisoners that he managed to befriend and it seems that the two of them formed a very strong bond while working together to break out of their prison because, upon escape, they team up and swim away together while every other prisoner goes their own way.
Officially Joining the Rebellion?
We know that the two of them decide to join the Rebellion at some point, but the question is when do they do this, and will they join at the same time? After their experience at Narkina 5, it would make sense if they were still trying to avoid anything to do with the Empire or the Rebellion, but Cassian will now understand that there isn’t actually any way to truly avoid the Empire. They are looming over everyone, just waiting for you to make a mistake so they can punish you for it.
Cassian Andor seems to be very close to officially joining the Rebellion and offering up his services, though he probably won’t make the jump immediately. He’ll probably want to return home to see his mother and all he left behind first and I don’t think there’s any better motivation to join a rebellion than watch your enemies harm your mother (while this is not something that has happened yet, I wouldn’t put it passed Dedra to harm Maarva just because she can).
This small team-up gives a little more context to Rogue One and tells us a little bit more about who Cassian was to those Rebels. They’ve been through a lot and while they are loyal to the Rebellion, they’re loyal to each other first.