What is Cassian's Prison?

Image from IMDb

     If you haven't seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet, don't worry. No spoilers here! (But it might be hard for you to track this post since it is a character study.)

     This prequel story of how the Rebels stole the Death Star plans is my favorite Star Wars movie ever! Cassian is easily my favorite character, and a certain line in the film got me thinking. The line is said when several characters including Cassian are in a prison cell. Chirrut Îmwe says,

"I sense that you carry your prison with you wherever you go."

     It wasn't until the second time I saw this film that I thought to myself, "What is Cassian's prison? What is he trapped in? What does his past say about his current state?"

     (And naturally, this led to the little voice in the back of my head: "Blog post idea!")

     So what is Cassian's prison?

     At one point, Cassian says something like, “You aren’t the only one who has lost everything. I have been fighting in the Rebellion since I was six. It has been going on for a long time. There are some of us who decided to do something about it for a change.” (quote) He is talking to Jyn, and the fact that he mentions his own loss is key to his prison.

     He lost everything. Because he is comparing himself to Jyn, "everything" probably means he lost his family, home, childhood, etc., just like Jyn. But now he is taking action, doing something to fight back against, presumably, the Empire that took everything from him.

     Another conversation that points to Cassian's past shows how the Rebellion is his new home.

Jyn Erso: "I'm not used to people sticking around when things go bad."
Cassian: "Welcome home."

     Be still, my heart.

     What I said about Cassian seeing himself in Jyn? It's not unfounded. In an interview, Diego Luna (who plays Cassian) said, "It's interesting because…Cassian sees a lot of himself in Jyn. That hurts - the mirror hurts. When you get used to that, it's the opposite, I guess. The connections can be very strong."

     They both find their new home and new family in the Rebellion. They will stick together even when things go bad.

     Cassian: "Your father would be proud of you, Jyn."

     So maybe his prison was fear, a sense of not belonging, that he would disappoint his new family, or that he would become mired in inaction.

     Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.


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