Every Main Character In Andor, Ranked Worst To Best

Spoilers for "Andor" up through episode 6 follow.

When Disney first announced that a bevy of new "Star Wars" programming was heading to its streaming service, the initial reaction to "Andor" was somewhere between "meh" and "ugh." Oh, look, another prequel story about a character who's already dead. Where could such a story possibly go? What interesting facts about Cassian Andor's life remain to be uncovered? Most importantly: why?

And yet, "Andor" may end up being the best "Star Wars" show on Disney+. "Star Wars" traditionally engages in pretty black-and-white storytelling, but "Andor" is flourishing in the grays. There are no heroes here, just people struggling to survive. Diego Luna deserves much of the credit for that, as his reprisal of the dangerously-irked freedom fighter has proven there is a lot more to squeeze out of his story. Cassian doesn't say a lot, but Luna's performance speaks volumes. Aided by a smart and mature script — sadly, a true rarity for "Star Wars"— the story of the Rebellion's earliest days is utterly riveting

One thing that "Star Wars" has always done well is give us colorfully-named characters to root for and to loathe, and "Andor" is no slouch in that regard. The show is a hive of scum and villainy, and each one of its characters would be right at home in Mos Eisley. Accordingly, we've assembled the most unsavory (and important) of the bunch, and ranked them neatly from worst to best.

14. Syril Karn

Most villainous characters have some quality that you can't help but secretly admire, even while they do horrendous things. Darth Vader's disdain for failure. Lord Voldemort's unhinged giddiness. The Joker's sadistic sense of humor. These traits aren't quite calling cards, but they humanize what is often inhuman. There is nothing admirable or even interesting about Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). He's a wannabe fascist employed by a second-rate security firm. His delusions of grandeur would make C-3PO's head spin. 

Syril's emotional range lands somewhere between borderline comatose and mostly expressionless, with only flashes of more when he briefly shouts at his lackeys. Syril's "best" moment was when he tried to give a motivational speech and completely fell on his face. He didn't know what to say or how to relate to the other men. In all likelihood, he's a borderline sociopath. Given what we see of his mother, it's probably not his fault. 

You know who's a really interesting character? Syril's boss. His world-weary pragmatism was endearing and also completely relatable. He knew that nothing good would come from drawing the Empire's attention. Let sleeping Wookiees lie, and all that. Make a show about that guy, Lucasfilm.

13. Cinta Kaz

We are supposed to believe that Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu) is a real tough cookie. One of the other characters explicitly tells us so. "She's stone cold and fearless. Probably the toughest one here." Honestly, without this bit of dialogue, you'd be right to question what Cinta's doing in the crew (and, by extension, on the show). She kills an Imperial in cold blood, though you could argue it was necessary. She patches up Cassian's blaster wound, implying some familiarity with ugly wounds. Her scowl game is on point. But, otherwise, she's just sorta there. Does she even have three lines of dialogue?

There's a brief reference to Cinta sharing a sleeping bag with Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay). Does that pass for character development, or is Cinta another token LGBTQ+ character that Lucasfilm briefly tosses on the screen and then quickly pans away from? That may be an uncharitable assessment, but then again, Cinta barely speaks and spends the little bit of screen time she gets frowning. Hopefully, she'll be given something meatier to do before "Andor" concludes. As it stands, she's just not very interesting or engaging.

12. Taramyn Barcona

Taramyn Barcona (Gershwyn Eustache Jnr) is reminiscent of those unnamed commandos who snuck onto Endor along with Han Solo and the others in "Return of the Jedi," although Taramyn actually has an active role in the story. A burly man, Taramyn exudes an air of civilized menace. He isn't out-and-out unpleasant like Cinta, but test him at your own peril.

Vel is clearly the ringleader of this circus, and Taramyn is her number two. He's the one who gives Andor a crash course on what's to come, including how to behave like an Imperial. The former stormtrooper is a consummate soldier, calm and steady. He doesn't freak out when a random TIE fighter comes wandering by, and during the heist he charges into the opening to try to help Vel, getting shot for his effort. We don't know why Taramyn gave up Imperial life, though, and personality-wise there isn't a lot here. Hence, the lower ranking.

11. Karis Nemik

You remember the dweeby little character named Mouse in "The Matrix"? He was the guy who tried to hook Neo up on a private date with the "woman in the red dress." Karis Nemik (Alex Lawther) seems cut from the same cloth. Both are young, inexperienced characters surrounded by seasoned pros. They're both technical wizards devoted to their respective causes. Both have a love for distinctly ugly headwear, and both exit rather early in the story. Such characters don't tend to live long.

The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar evaded the machines by using analog technology. Karis has a thing for retro tech for a similar reason: It's untraceable by the Empire. Not only that, but Karis can maintain it in the field. The tech is archaic and hard to master, but indispensable in the Rebels' fight against the Empire, which requires secrecy above all else. All of this makes Karis a vital member of the team, despite his inability to stay awake on watch. However, his most important contribution is yet to come. It seems likely that Karis' diary will help convince Cassian to join the Rebellion. Karis may be gone, but he still has a role to play.

10. Linus Mosk

There is a strong probability that we will never see Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns) again. That's a real pity, as his Scottish inflection paired wonderfully with his unapologetically fascist can-do attitude. The combination harkens back to the original "Star Wars" trilogy, where Imperial officers with British accents and stiff upper lips peacocked around. That's where the resemblance ends, though. Those others were all cut from the same cloth: older, graying men more comfortable giving commands from a safe distance. Built like a bowling ball, Linus barrels forward with the terrible weight of inevitability. 

After Linus and Syril badly bungle the raid to capture Andor (which is totally Syril's fault, as he let Andor get the drop on him), the Empire's bureaucrats came down hard and took over for Pre-Mor Security Inspection. Syril is back home eating cereal and getting lectured by his passive aggressive mother. The punishment fits the crime. But what happens to Linus? Where does he go? We may never know, and that's a real bummer.

9. Dedra Meero

Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) is a severe, driven woman. She probably has to be in order to compete in the male-centric Imperial bureaucracy; how many women officers do you remember seeing in "Star Wars"? Even in a galaxy far, far away, sexism is alive and well. However, that means that the women who do rise into positions of power are even more dangerous than their male counterparts.

Though she wears the exact same pale gray uniform as the rest of the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) officers, Dedra's somehow appears more austere. Maybe that's a byproduct of pulling her hair back so tightly (all the better to let her forehead veins throb). However you cut it, Dedra is one promotion away from rewriting all the rules. She has the conviction of a true believer and the emotional disposition of someone who was locked in the closet as a child. But if there is a real threat to Andor and his companions, it is undoubtedly Dedra. She alone is cognizant of both the possibility that the seemingly disparate terrorist groups are united in a common cause, as well as the threat that a decentralized rebellion poses to the Empire. And she has the iron will to crush any such activity under her boot. Imagine if she paired up with Linus Mosk!

8. Bix Caleen

Like many characters on "Andor," we don't know much about Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona). The show is about cloak and dagger espionage, and all the principal characters seem to be kept at arm's length to deepen the intrigue. Even Andor himself remains somewhat mysterious. Despite starring in "Rogue One" and the show bearing his literal name, we still know little about him. 

Of all the characters we've met, Bix remains one of the most enigmatic. Bix has history with Andor, which may or may not suggest that she was one of the tribespeople Andor grew up with. At the very least, she knows where he came from. Few others do. Bix appears to be a legitimate mechanic with close ties to the underground. She puts Andor in touch with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), and though we presume that she doesn't know about his other clandestine activities, it's entirely possible that she's part of his rebel network. After all, Luthen has known about Andor for some time, which means someone has been feeding him information. If not Bix, then who? 

Bix is also smart, capable, and a tough customer all on her own. She only comes undone when Timm (James McArdle) gets himself killed, and that's probably more the guilt talking than anything else. Timm certainly didn't earn those tears.

7. Lieutenant Gorn

Of everyone who's part of the raid on Aldhani, Lieutenant Gorn (Sule Rimi) somehow has the least amount of screen time and one of the most fleshed out backstories. Outside of Avrel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), we don't really know why any of these people are risking their lives. On a meta level, this lack of information raises the stakes, as neither the audience nor the characters themselves really know who can be trusted. It's "Star Wars" meets Quentin Tarantino, and it just works. 

Lieutenant Gorn (we're not given a first name, which only generates more intrigue) is in it for love. He fell for a local girl, but she was killed by the Empire. Now, it's payback time. As motivations go, it's a good one. It's certainly more believable than Finn's team-changing moment in "The Force Awakens." 

Watching Lieutenant Gorn go about his regular day-to-day business while plotting against his coworkers has been some of the best parts of "Andor." It actually humanizes the Imperials in a way that we haven't really seen before. In particular, Lieutenant Gorn's deft move to ensure the facility would be minimally guarded during the raid was a stroke of reverse psychology genius.

6. Avrel Skeen

Avrel Skeen drips with "do not trust me" energy. For one thing, he ransacks Andor's belongings. He says he did it because Vel asked him to, and while that's probably true, it's likely that he would've done it regardless. His mysterious tattoos seem to indicate that Avrel did time and was possibly in a gang. The others don't know what the tattoos mean, because apparently Avrel never felt the need to tell them. And then there's the whole "knife to the throat" business. Arvel is right that Andor isn't being truthful with them, but he's also projecting because he hasn't been forthcoming either.

Like some of the others, this job is personal for Avrel. His story about how the Empire killed his brother makes that point crystal clear. That Avrel offered the story by way of apology for attacking Andor, but did not actually apologize, is a powerful example of the "show, don't tell" principle, and one of the best moments on "Andor." But it turns out that story was just a ruse. Avrel is every bit the rogue that Cassian is. In story terms, he's Cassian's dark reflection. Like Darth Vader with Luke, Avrel illustrates what Cassian might yet become.

5. Maarva Andor

Most people's first reaction to seeing Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw) is probably, "hey, isn't that Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia?" It's a knee-jerk reaction, and one we're fortunately able to get past quickly, because Maarva is a total badass. She adopts Cassian — or abducts him, depending upon how you look at it. Either way, Maarva is nice to him and eventually gives him her own name. Oh, and she encounters Cassian when she's illegally scoping the wreckage of a freighter for valuable parts. It's little wonder that Cassian grows up doing largely the same thing. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. (What's the "Star Wars" equivalent of that saying? The poodoo doesn't fall far from the Bantha?)

Maarva is no longer the person chasing money around the galaxy. These days, she just hobbles around her home, mostly worrying about Cassian. But she's not a decrepit shut-in. She needs a cane to get around, but it doubles as a bat should she need a weapon. When Pre-Mor Security Inspection comes knocking on her door, she doesn't flinch and she doesn't cooperate. You get the sense that she would've fought back if the odds were even, but Pre-Mor brought an entire platoon, and there's only so much that an old woman is capable of. Still, what she can do is awesome. She spooks the guards left to watch her and sends them running. "That's what a reckoning sounds like," she says. "It's when it stops, that's when you'll really want to start to fret."

4. Vel Sartha

Let's break down the fledgling Rebel Alliance using terminology from "The Office." If Luthen Rael is the manager, then Vel Sartha is the assistant to the regional manager. She's not the assistant manager, and she's certainly not co-manager. She's "in the know" only to the degree that Luthen feels is necessary. She has no power of her own, but expects the others to fall in line simply because she says so. Fortunately, she's level-headed and her decisions make a lot of sense, which usually wasn't the case with Dwight Schrute on "The Office."

Vel is not the kind of charismatic leader that people naturally rally around. She leads by example. She doesn't ask anyone to do anything she wouldn't be willing to do herself. While Luthen is off gallivanting — often quite literally — Val is down in the dirt, living off the land the same as the others. She commands respect, but never demands it. And that's a good thing, because it wouldn't work any other way. There are more hard cases drawn to "the cause" than there are idealists. Vel is surrounded by scoundrels, not nerf herders. People like that only fall in line behind someone who is more or less like themselves. Vel is still a bit of a closed book, but the fact that every one of these tough people defers to her elevates her considerably.

3. Mon Mothma

Although the Rebel team on Aldhani faces down an Imperial garrison supplemented by TIE fighters, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) may actually be in more danger than anyone else on "Andor." She is a senator with waning influence and power as the Emperor consolidates his grip on the galaxy. She can't trust a single person around her, and must proceed as though everything she does is being scrutinized. She can't even let down her guard at home, not even with her husband, who seems content to live a life of luxury. Only with Luthen can she truly express herself, and such meetings are fleeting by necessity. 

Mothma lives in a constant state of fear, but can't allow any such emotion to show, as surely it would give her away. Her life is false, a balancing act over a long and fatal fall. If she stumbles, Mon Mothma will not be the only one to suffer. Her family, most notably her daughter, is also a potential target. On the other hand, it's perhaps because of her daughter that Mon Mothma wages this shadow war in the first place. 

Special note must be given to O'Reilly, who was initially cast in "Revenge of the Sith" because she bore a striking resemblance to the first actor to play Mon, "Return of the Jedi" star Caroline Blakiston, but has since made the role her own. O'Reilly plays Mon Mothma with a cultured polish and stifled emotion that works on several levels: as the highborn senator of wealth, as one of the leaders of the Rebellion, and as a woman who fears losing it all.

2. Luthen Rael

At the risk of spoiling what has just been made clear: It seems a foregone conclusion that Cassian Andor will end up as the top-ranked character on the show bearing his own name. We'll get to justifying Cassian's place in the number one slot in a moment, but the race was closer than one might assume, because Luthen Rael is simply awesome. 

If "Andor" depicts Cassian's hero's journey, Luthen is the wise mentor who explains his place in the world and helps unlock his potential. Luthen is Cassian's Obi-Wan Kenobi, but with a more pessimistic worldview and a groovier second identity. Luthen quickly wowed us when he met Andor on the planet Ferrix and calmly explained what was about to happen. He knew what the Pre-Mor security team would do before they did it, and wired up some explosives accordingly. It was as much a teaching moment as it was a meet and greet, and we came away impressed by this uber spy-soldier.

And then Luthen came home to Coruscant and donned that glorious costume. The moment when his personality shifted to match the wardrobe, changing from serious and dour to a new-age space hippy, is when we truly appreciated just what this man is capable of. Like Mon Mothma, Luthen is hiding in plain sight in the very belly of the beast. Despite his gruff attitude, he feels responsible for the people he's put in harm's way. His quiet anguish as he waits for word from Aldhani is perhaps the only time we see who Luthen really is.

1. Cassian Andor

Despite co-starring in "Rogue One" and headlining "Andor," we still don't really know Cassian Andor. What he is has been clear since the beginning: soldier, spy, mercenary, and scoundrel. We sense the inferno bubbling away within, even if we don't quite know why he's so angry. Frankly, that's all for the best. "Andor" has been routinely excellent, but the dullest parts have all involved flashbacks to when Cassian was a boy. In "Rogue One," he says that he "has been in this fight since he was six years old." That's enough. The hows and whys of it are academic and unnecessary. 

It is with the titular character that "Andor" has shown itself to be a cut above the rest of the Disney+ "Star Wars" series. Cassian is a man consumed by a nameless rage. Unfocused, it will eventually land him in prison or the grave. Luthen Rael offers salvation by giving Cassian a purpose and a way to channel that anger into something productive, but joining the Rebellion means putting his life in the hands of others. Trust is not an easy thing to give, especially when lies come easier than breathing.

Andor's character-defining moment comes at the season's halfway point. Avrel's offer to split the money 50-50 and abandon the others surely crossed Cassian's mind. Who wouldn't be tempted by 80 million credits? Cassian's refusal, and his quick-draw response, clarifies the difference between the two. He wants only what he was promised, a tiny percentage of the haul. He is a man of his morals, and he's willing to kill anyone who compromises them.