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Is ‘Andor’s Luthen Rael a Jedi?

Andor‘s first season has concluded with an epic finale. The series focuses on the period of time when the rebellion was just beginning, introducing many early rebellion leaders. Andor sets itself apart from other Star Wars content with a gritty tone and the distinct lack of Jedi. While the tone will stick around, there is hope that a Jedi will appear. The more Star Wars content that fills in the time between the prequel series and the original trilogy, the more Jedi seem to have survived Order 66, so one more isn’t out of the question. On top of that, a Jedi appearing in the series would explain Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) familiarity with Jedi fighting methods when he sees Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And a certain mysterious character, in particular, has people suspicious: Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård). The character was created for Andor and is a driving force for the rebellion. He serves as a go-between for several rebel factions and is in direct contact with famed rebel leader Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly). Luthen heads a series of spies who are deep in the Empire under the codename Axis. His full backstory is not yet clear, but some fans have theorized that he is a Jedi hiding from the Empire.

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Luthen’s Kyber Crystal

Image via Disney+

The first piece of evidence in this theory is the Kyber Crystal that Luthen possesses. In episode 4, “Aldhani,” Luthen gives Cassian a downpayment for his help in the Aldhani mission. Luthen having a Kyber Chrystal is suspicious as they are rare. It suggests Jedi origins because Kyber powers lightsabers and each Jedi receives a Kyber Crystal when they make their lightsaber. If he is a Jedi, then this crystal would have once powered his lightsaber. But he removed it, likely getting rid of the replaceable pieces to better hide his identity (though, on the other hand, his cane looks suspiciously like a lightsaber). The Kyber he kept because it cannot be easily replaced, meaning that, one day, he could wield a lightsaber again. However, Luthen is also a collector of antiquities, so it could be something he came across another way. But his wearing it around his neck and telling Cassian that he wants it back after the mission indicates that it’s more than something he just found and that he knows the significance of it.

Related: ‘Andor’ Is the Most Exciting That Star Wars Has Been in Years

The Jedi Relics in Luthen’s Collection

andor-luthen-gallery-holocron

Luthen’s antiquities store is full of Jedi-related artifacts, despite the Empire’s ban on anything pertaining to Jedi. These items could put Luthen in danger, yet he keeps them. His collection includes Plo Koon’s mask, which allowed the former Jedi to survive on planets with oxygen. This could be explained in that either no one knows it belonged to a Jedi or that there are other masks for members of this race. Though, Luthen could have kept in memory of a fallen friend. Luthen also has a mask belonging to one of the Temple Guards, undeniably a Jedi relic. Yes, many would have been left, especially in Coruscant, but Luthen owning one should raise eyebrows. Carvings from a Mortis Mural appear in Luthen’s shop as well. These are fully explained in Star Wars: Rebels, but suffice it to say, they can be found in Jedi temples and are tied to ancient Jedi secrets.

In Rebels, Palpatine is very interested in the Mortis mural on Lothal, so having one in Coruscant is far from safe. Finally, and most notably, Luthen has both Jedi and Sith holocrons in his shop. These items are used to store teachings and can only be accessed with the Force. Luthen uses his cover as an antiquity dealer to travel around the galaxy, so collecting rare objects is expected. But the amount of Jedi things banded by the Empire is interesting. He seems bent on saving these things, and this theory would explain it as they would have sentimental value.

Luthen Fought the Empire from the Beginning

In episode 10, “One Way Out,” Luthen rants about what he’s given up for the rebellion. In this speech, he calls his war against the Empire an “equation [he] wrote fifteen years ago.” The implication is that he has been fighting for fifteen years. As Andor is set in 5BBY, he had to start fighting as soon as the Empire rose to power. This would fit well with Luthen being a Jedi. A Jedi, who the Empire wanted dead, would have had to start fighting back immediately. The systematic destruction of Jedi, and more than likely the bounty on survivors, would give him no choice.

In the same speech, Luthen talks about things he’s done in the name of the rebellion, admitting, “I’m damned for what I do.” He knows he crosses lines with his decisions. This points to Luthen once having upstanding and strict morals that he abandoned in his desperation to take down the Empire. Luthen’s methods don’t fit with Jedi ideals, but what if they once did? Maybe the war has corrupted him, so he no longer believes himself worthy of the Jedi legacy. It would be an interesting angle to see a Jedi turn dark in defiance of Palpatine rather than to the side of the sith. This could lead to a Jedi who fits Andor’s darker tone perfectly.

Is Rael Averross?

Andor Episode 12-Stellan Skarsgård
Image via Disney+

Some fans have made a connection between Luthen Rael and the Jedi Rael Averross. This has a lot to do with the name, a bit of an obvious link, but it could easily be overlooked as long as Luthen keeps a low profile. Rael Averross appears in the canon novels Master & Apprentice and Dooku: Jedi Lost. Averross is a human Jedi and Dooku’s padawan before Qui-Gon Jinn. At five, he was the oldest youngling to be brought to the Jedi (that is, until Anakin Skywalker). Averross was untraditional and loose with the Jedi codes. This is often attributed to his memories of life before becoming a Jedi. He believes that Jedi can have sex as long as they don’t make attachments. Due to his reckless ways, the Jedi council sent him on missions that often kept him far away from Coruscant, so it would make sense for him to have survived in Order 66.

Averross’ age isn’t confirmed, though he is older than Qui-Gon. He’s also short compared to Qui-Gon. Basically, nothing about Averross precludes him from being Luthen. In fact, it more or less lines up. Averross has a blue lightsaber, which matches Luthen’s Kyber Crystal. He’s said to be prideful like Luthen admits he has an ego. Averross isn’t as strict about the Jedi code as most, but he does remain on the light side of the Force. Luthen doesn’t follow the Jedi code but isn’t trying to join Palpatine. All in all, it would not be surprising if Luthen was eventually revealed to be Averross.

But Should Luthen Be a Jedi in Andor?

Stellan Skarsgard as Luthen aka Axis in Andor

The theory of Luthen being a Jedi has little hard evidence but isn’t the most outlandish of fan theories. Still, he could be a collector who is fascinated with the Jedi rather than a Jedi himself. Another explanation ties Luthen to the cannon short story The End of History, in which a Jedi master named Uvell attempts to smuggle Jedi artifacts before the Empire destroys them. In his efforts to preserve Jedi teachings, Uvell worked with antiquities dealer Antron Bach. Luthen could be either character under a different name. The Jedi would have to decide to let go of some things he collected in order to help the rebellion.

As for a case for Bach, he has access to Jedi relics and is an antiquities’ dealer, though not a Jedi. While Luthen’s backstory should be important to the story, he doesn’t need to be a Jedi. In fact, it might be better if he isn’t. Andor isn’t a story about Jedi. It’s about the actions of desperate and oppressed people. It’s about the rebellion. Andor has a deeper sense of reality than other Star Wars content, and it doesn’t need to be disturbed by a Jedi who would pull focus from the story’s hero. The Jedi are a small portion of the Star Wars universe, and stories that center on non-Jedi characters reinforce that. Season 1 excelled even without the presence of the Force. Andor simply doesn’t need a Jedi.


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