In “Rogue One,” Cassian is an officer and spy for the Rebel Alliance who is sent to accompany Jyn Erso on her mission to track down her father, Galen. Earlier versions of the movie’s story, however, had Cassian follow some very different paths.
During an interview with“Rogue One” co-writer Gary Whitta revealed a few details about the movie’s writing process. According to Whitta, the initial treatment and first full draft revolved around Sergeant Jyn Erso, a Rebel soldier who commands a strike force alongside a “Cassian Andor-type character.” Whitta noted that, at that point, Jyn’s companion had an entirely different name.
Even when Cassian Andor was properly devised by Whitta and co-writer Chris Weitz, the character was quite different to the one who appears in the finished movie. During an IGN WHF Theater Event in 2020 (via), Whitta and Weitz explained that in later iterations of the story, Cassian was an Imperial double agent. “He was a rebel soldier who was secretly working for Krennic,” Whitta said. “But then, as he grew closer to Jyn and realized that the Empire had built this weapon, he’s like ‘I never signed up for this! I didn’t sign up for killing planets!'”
This Cassian actually almost made it to the screen, too, as Whitta claimed they shot some of his scenes early on in production. For whatever reason, though, the movie’s creative crew opted for a less villainous version of Cassian, leading to the heroic — if ruthless — rebel spy we all know and love.