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Got A Bad feeling

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"I'm condemned to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them. I burn my decency for someone else's future. I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I'll never see. And the ego that started this fight will never have a mirror or an audience or the light of gratitude. So what do I sacrifice? Everything!"
―Luthen Rael[7]

Luthen Rael, code-named "Axis" by the ISB, was a human male antique dealer and revolutionary leader who led a rebel network and spy operation during the time of the Galactic Empire. Rael owned Galactic Antiquities and Objects of Interest on the galactic capital of Coruscant, though the gallery was little more than a front for his network. Alongside his assistant, Kleya Marki, Rael secretly collaborated with others, such as Senator Mon Mothma and militant Saw Gerrera to oppose the Empire.

Biography[]

Early life[]

"I wake up every day to an equation I wrote 15 years ago from which there's only one conclusion, I'm damned for what I do."
―Luthen Rael[7]

Luthen Rael was a human male[2] from Fondor.[1] By 5 BBY,[8] Luthen Rael ran a spy operation with Kleya Marki, a dedicated rebel who worked with him as an emissary, messenger, and enforcer for the cause.[5] Rael also owned the Galactic Antiquities and Objects of Interest gallery on the upper levels of the galactic capital of Coruscant,[6] of which Marki was the concierge.[5]

Meeting Andor[]

"These days will end, Cassian Andor. The way they laugh. The way they push through a crowd. The sound of that voice telling you to stop, to go, to move. Telling you to die. Rings in the ear, doesn't it? But they'll think about us soon enough. Soon enough, they'll have something else to listen to."
―Luthen Rael to Cassian Andor[9]
BixLuthen-Andor3

Rael speaks with Caleen on Ferrix

That year, upon being contacted by Bix Caleen of the planet Ferrix's Caleen Salyard about the sale of an Imperial N-S9 Starpath Unit under the possession of Cassian Andor, Rael traveled to the world[2] with his modified Fondor Haulcraft to meet with Andor. Andor claimed that he had stolen the Starpath unit from the Imperial Naval Base in Steergard, while Rael revealed that he had come to recruit the man, rather than to pursue the device. During their conversation, the two were ambushed by Preox-Morlana Corpos who were pursuing Andor as he had recently killed two of their number on the world Morlana One. With the help of an angered and close-knit Ferrix community, Rael and Andor worked together to defeat the Pre-Mor forces. Mounting a speeder bike, the two then covertly departed Ferrix aboard the former's ship.[9]

A fledgling rebellion[]

"Why don't you take this on loan?"
"May I?"
"If your husband doesn't love it, I'll be glad to take it back. It's a daring choice, but I trust you'll have the courage to turn back if it should be a bit much."
―Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma, in a coded discussion at his gallery[6]

The two traveled to Aldhani, where Rael offered Andor a job, upon the completion of which he would pay Andor 200,000 credits: Andor was to join a group of rebels on a mission to attack the Galactic Empire's Aldhani Garrison. Rael successfully persuaded Andor that this was a chance to truly hurt the Empire, with Andor taking on the alias "Clem" for the purposes of the mission. Rael then negotiated with the Aldhani rebel leader Vel Sartha, telling her that "Clem" was critical support for the vulnerable group and that she could use him as a replaceable member. Sartha eventually relented and allowed Clem to join.[6]

LuthenRaelAntiqueShop

Rael speaks with Mothma about her plans

Rael then departed for Coruscant, changing his attire and donning a wig. In his gallery, Rael met with Senator Mon Mothma, under the guise that she was buying a gift for her husband. In reality, Mothma was secretly leading anti-Imperial efforts alongside Rael, and was meeting with him to alert him that she was going to bring someone else into the rebels' inner circle. Rael advised against this, believing it would get them caught, but Mothma stood by it.[6]

Aldhani heist followup[]

"The Empire has been choking us so slowly, we're starting not to notice. The time has come to force their hand."
"People will suffer."
"That's the plan. You're not angry at me. I'm just saying out loud what you already know. There will be no rules going forward. If you're not willing to risk your conscience, then surrender and be done with it."
―Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma, after Aldhani[10]

Following the successful completion of the heist on Aldhani, which he learned from a client in his shop, Rael instructed Marki to arrange for Cassian Andor, the last remaining connection to him, to be eliminated.[10]

Some time later, Marki advised him to sever all remaining loose ends along with Andor, including the frequency connection with Caleen on Ferrix—now occupied by the Galactic Empire. Rael agreed and reluctantly shut down the connection.[11]

Planning new missions[]

"The man's an ox! Slow! And stupid!"
"And strong."
―Saw Gerrera and Luthen Rael talking about Anto Kreegyr[11]

Rael departed Coruscant the same day and traveled to Segra Milo where he met with Saw Gerrera to discuss a new mission. He asked Gerrera to meet with a connection of his, Anto Kreegyr, who had been probing the Imperial power station in Spellhaus and had found some weak spots which Gerrera's rebels could exploit to destroy it. Gerrera refused to risk the safety of his men for someone he did not know, to which Rael protested that he was trying to make Gerrera join the greater rebel movement and finally start working with others. Gerrera ultimately rejected the offer and Rael left empty handed.[11]

Imperial Security Bureau mole[]

"I can't do this anymore. I'm a father now. I had no idea how it would feel."
―Jung to Luthen[7]

Luthen Rael met with Imperial Security Bureau Supervisor Lonni Jung, secretly a spy for the rebellion, in the lower levels of Coruscant after Jung had requested a meeting using various methods of subtly communicating with Rael. At the meeting Jung told Rael that a new ISB supervisor Dedra Meero was rapidly climbing the ranks in the ISB and that she was slowly connecting various attacks against the Empire as part of a galaxy-wide rebellion. He also informed Rael that the ISB had uncovered a planned attack by Kreegyr against Spellhaus. Rael thanked Jung for the information but asked why Jung had requested a meeting. Jung confessed he was planning to leave the ISB and the rebellion, as his newborn daughter had made him reconsider his dangerous high-risk life as a double agent. Rael informed Jung that leaving was impossible, and that Jung's position within the ISB was too valuable to allow him to leave.[7]

Jung tearfully confronted Rael, stating that Rael did not actually appreciate Jung's sacrifice for the rebellion and asked Rael what he was sacrificing for the rebellion. After pausing, Rael launched into a monologue about how he had sacrificed everything in his life for the rebellion, shocking Jung into silence. Rael finished by insisting that Jung stay within the ISB as his mole, saying "I need all the heroes I can get."[7]

Return to Segra Milo[]

Meeting with Gerrera[]

"It's your decision, Saw. It's your decision. But know the choice. Do we let Kreegyr go down and play the long game, or do we warn him and throw away a source that's taken years to cultivate?"
―Luthen Rael, to Saw Gerrera[12]

After declining Jung's resignation, Rael headed to Segra Milo again to warn and inform Saw Gerrera and his Partisans of the trap laid on Spellhaus. By the time, Gerrera had changed his mind and agreed to join Kreegyr in the Spellhaus power station raid, saying that he would bring air support to the raid, only to be met with resistance from Rael. Rael went on to warn Gerrera off, even though he admitted that he did not know what Gerrera would do with the information and that the situation was not ideal for the two. Gerrera went on to challenge Rael on his choice, asking Rael what he would do if he himself took Kreegyr's place. Rael then played on a panicked Gerrera, saying that Benthic was his informant within the Partisans. Amongst the confusion caused, Rael then pulled out his pistol to make Gerrera pause and listen to him. Rael then explained that if Kreegyr would be sacrificed, the Empire would become ignorant and boastful, whilst if Rael and Gerrera warned Kreegyr, the Empire would begin to become more alert. Gerrera was successfully persuaded by Rael, making a difficult choice.[12]

Encounter with the Empire[]

"This is Segra-Milo Imperial patrol. Please identify yourself, Haulcraft."
"Sorry, can you repeat back please?"
"This is an Imperial patrol. Standby for transponder scan."
―Elk and Luthen Rael[12]
Andor-Arrestor

An Arrestor cruiser targeted Rael in his Fondor Haulcraft.

While leaving the planet on his Fondor Haulcraft, Rael had a conversation with Kleya Marki on the current situation regarding the Rebel Alliance via transmission, where the 2 disguised the true meaning of their conversation by making it sound like they were discussing about their own antique shop if their transmissions were intercepted. After Rael implied that Andor could not fall into the wrong hands, the transmission between the 2 was abruptly cut off by an incoming Cantwell-class Arrestor Cruiser.[12]

The bridge of the Arrestor Cruiser made contact with Rael's Haulcraft, identifying the cruiser as a Segra Milo Imperial patrol. After identification was requested by the cruiser, Rael immediately told his droid to retrieve an active transponder identification, his preference being Alderaan. Without waiting for the Haulcraft's identification to be scanned, commander Elk of the cruiser ordered the crew of the ship to activate the tractor beam. Reacting quickly, Rael ordered his ship's onboard Droid Mod to rev the Haulcraft's portside thruster as a decoy burn, buying time for himself to begin activating countermeasures pre-placed on his own ship to fight back against the increasing tractor force emitted from the cruiser. Rael's decoy burn successfully fooled the cruiser into thinking that his engine was overheating, to which the commander of the cruiser ordered the cruiser to prepare a boarding team to board the Haulcraft. The Commander Elk then demanded for Rael to power down his stabilizers, to which Rael responded by saying that he had to manually deactivate his stabilizers, buying yet some more time for the Haulcraft's countermeasures to fully charge.[12]

By the time, the fake transponder signal had successfully fooled the crew of the cruiser into thinking that his Haulcraft was indeed from the Alderaan trade alliance, and a crew member asked if the planned boarding was to be cancelled after identification. The commander decided to go on with the plan, stating that it would be good practice for his crew. Rael then suddenly engaged reverse stabilizers, momentarily shocking the crew of the Imperial cruiser. Commander Elk then immediately demanded for the tractor force to increase to Level 5, raising his voice in frustration. Elk then proceeded to give a final warning to Rael to power down or to risk full consequences.[12]

Seconds later, the Haulcraft's countermeasures had finished charging. With a flick of a switch, Rael's Haulcraft dispensed bursts of shrapnel from the stern of his ship, taking advantage of the increased tractor force emitted by the cruiser to suck the shrapnel right into the tractor beam generator. The frontal tractor beacon disintegrated and set the Haulcraft free, to commander Elk's frustration. Elk immediately demanded the cruiser's air wing to be deployed, raising his voice even more.[12]

LuthenRaelsFondorHaulcraftLaserBeams-DaughterOfFerrix

Laser beams used by Rael during battle.

Three TIE fighters and one TIE boarding craft were deployed into battle, lasers firing. Expertly piloting his Haulcraft, Rael quickly turned his ship, and with an automated targeting system, a retractable laser turret fired two shots, destroying the TIE boarding craft. The laser turret immediately destroyed another TIE fighter. For the remaining two TIE fighters, Rael spun his ship in arcs, activating twin laser beams on the port and starboard side of his Haulcraft, each destroying a remaining TIE fighter. Rael then quickly jumped into hyperspace, leaving the crew of the Imperial cruiser in shock.[12]

Return to Ferrix[]

"You came here to kill me, didn't you?"
"You don't make it easy."
"I will now."
"What game is this?"
"No game. Kill me. Or take me in.
"
―Cassian Andor and Luthen Rael[13]
LuthenRael-Andor112

Luthen Rael returned to Ferrix

Rael later traveled to Ferrix once more after hearing that the funeral of Cassian Andor's mother Maarva Carassi Andor would be held. He hoped that Cassian Andor would attend the funeral, so that he could find him, kill him, and prevent him from spilling his secrets to the ISB. He met up with Sartha there, who informed him that there had been no sign of Andor, but that the ISB were looking for him. Rael expressed his hope that the ISB would locate Andor, allowing them to kill him when they had the chance.[13]

Rael hid amongst the crowds of Ferrix on Rix Road while Maarva Andor's funeral began, still hoping to spot Andor. Unbeknownst to him, Andor had spotted him in the crowd first. Rael then bore witness as the funeral procession ended with the droid B2EMO presenting a hologram recording of Maarva that she had made before her death, in which she urged the people of Ferrix to not ignore the evil around them any longer and to rise up and fight the Empire. Rael then watched as the message inspired the people of Ferrix start an all out riot against the Imperial forces on the road and on the planet.[13]

Rael left after the riot began and returned to his ship, slightly rattled. He then discovered Cassian Andor waiting for him in the ship. Andor accused Rael of coming to Ferrix to kill him, which Rael admitted. Andor gave Rael his MW-20 Bryar pistol and told him to either shoot and kill him or allow him to join his efforts. After picking up the blaster and thinking, Rael discarded the blaster and chuckled.[13] Rael succeeded in recruiting Andor for the Rebel Alliance.[4]

Legacy[]

Rael's influence on Mothma may have left[14] a lasting[15] impression on the senator. While Mothma had previously been hesitant to engage in a violent rebellion, she eventually came to the decision that active combat was necessary to overthrow the Empire.[14] After the Ghorman Massacre, Mothma left the Imperial Senate and formed the Alliance to Restore the Republic[16] in 2 BBY.[17] Mothma became its Commander-in-Chief and chancellor.[18] Through it all, however, Mothma never lost her compassion and mourned the rebels who died under her command.[14]

Personality and traits[]

"Calm. Kindness. Kinship. Love. I've given up all chance at inner peace. I've made my mind a sunless space. I share my dreams with ghosts. I wake up every day to an equation I wrote 15 years ago from which there's only one conclusion, I'm damned for what I do. My anger, my ego, my unwillingness to yield, my eagerness to fight, they've set me on a path from which there is no escape. I yearned to be a savior against injustice without contemplating the cost and by the time I looked down there was no longer any ground beneath my feet."
―Luthen Rael[7]
LuthenRael-faceinshadow

Luthen Rael lived in the shadows of rebellion, adopting the tactics of his enemies in the name of destroying them.

Luthen Rael was a human male with gray hair and light skin.[6] The man was skilled at discerning valuable finds and labored to personally traverse the galaxy for pieces necessary to achieve his goals. He was capable of adopting numerous guises and collected a wide range of exotic tools.[3]

Always enigmatic,[19] Rael was very cunning and perceptive as he was able to run the spy network and recruit everyone of any use. He was devoted to the cause of fight against the Empire, though he was aware that he would not see the end of the regime. He was ready to sacrifice and kill allies in order to keep his network intact.[7]

Equipment[]

"Rule number one, never carry anything you don't control."
―Rael to Andor, after destroying his comlink[9]

As a curator of all manner of exotic tools, Rael flew a cleverly modified Fondor Haulcraft outfitted with an onboard droid Mod, and armed with tractor beam countermeasures, a dorsal gun turret, and beam weapons that projected from port and starboard, allowing it to sever through enemy craft on either side. He also kept a collection of various items in his gallery on Coruscant. He wore a Kuati Signet that had a personal significance as a necklace, and additionally kept a vast array of clothing aboard his ship to allow for a quick change of attire.[6] He also carried a rapidly collapsible titanium walking stick[20] and a blaster pistol which he used to engage Pre-Mor corpos on Ferrix.[9]

Behind the scenes[]

"[Luthen Rael] is really tricky. In the beginning, you're like, 'Oh God, secret identity. How are we going to do it? It's going to be cheesy. What do they do?' Stellan's character has two personas. He owns a gallery in Coruscant, and he's an aesthete. He's a courtier in a way, and then he's natural Luthen out in the world."
―Tony Gilroy[21]

Luthen Rael is portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård. His first name was revealed in the subtitles for the first Andor trailer,[22] and his last name was first shown in a LEGO set reveal during Celebration Anaheim.[23]

LuthenRaelConceptArt

Andrei Riabovitchev created concept art of Luthen Rael based on a design by Michael Wilkinson.

In the beginning,[21] executive producer and writer[8] Tony Gilroy found Rael's secret identity to be tricky and worried that it would be too tacky.[21] He viewed Rael as a talent scout and one of the "original gangsters" in the Rebellion.[24] Costume designer Michael Wilkinson's team developed two vastly dissimilar looks for Rael's work as Axis and persona as an antiquities dealer.[25] Artist Andrei Riabovitchev created concept art based on Wilkinson's design for Rael.[26] Artist Chester Carr[27] and production designer Luke Hull created concept art of Rael and Cassian Andor escaping Ferrix on a speeder bike. Hull also made concept art of Rael looking at his Fondor Haulcraft and art of him and Vel Sartha watching Andor exiting his ship on Aldhani.[28]

There was a very short list of potential actors for the role. From the beginning, writer Beau Willimon was insistent on having Skarsgård play Rael. Gilroy called the actor to tell him he had a role for him.[29] Gilroy showed what he had written about Rael to Skarsgård, but he did not reveal everything about him. Skarsgård was attracted to Rael's complexity and ambiguity, and he found his inner conflict interesting. When Skarsgård first put his costume on, he immediately inhabited the role.[30] When Rael's dual identities were being developed, Skarsgård explained that natural Rael and Coruscant Rael have different hand mannerisms.[21]

Scenes on Ferrix were filmed in an intricate set in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire.[30] According to Gilroy, everything on Ferrix was filmed first.[31] Scenes on Aldhani were filmed at the mountains in the Scottish Highlands.[30] According to Faye Marsay, Vel Sartha's actress, the scenes were filmed during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.[32] Scenes in Rael's gallery were filmed in a set designed by[33] production designer[8] Luke Hull.[33] In preparation for the scene of Rael and Saw Gerrera's argument in the episode "Narkina 5," Skarsgård and Gerrera's actor, Forest Whitaker, did a rehearsal in which they read the scene for the first time and went at each other. According to director Toby Haynes, when that scene was filmed for real, Skarsgård and Whitaker almost deconstructed what they did in a natural and spontaneous way. They then rebuilt the scene from the beginning, though it was difficult to get to the pitch from before.[34]

Appearances[]

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Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Topps logo 2023 Topps Star Wars (Card: Luthen Rael) (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Andor logo new Andor — "That Would Be Me"
  3. 3.0 3.1 StarWars-DatabankII Luthen Rael in the Databank (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Topps logo 2023 Star Wars Galaxy Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 (Card: Cassian Andor) (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 StarWars-DatabankII Kleya Marki in the Databank (backup link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Andor logo new Andor — "Aldhani"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Andor logo new Andor — "One Way Out"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Andor logo new Andor — "Kassa"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Andor logo new Andor — "Reckoning"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Andor logo new Andor — "Announcement"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Andor logo new Andor — "Narkina 5"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Andor logo new Andor — "Daughter of Ferrix"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Andor logo new Andor — "Rix Road"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 SWInsider "Return of the Jedi: The End of the Beginning" — Star Wars Insider 217
  15. Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  16. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Secret Cargo"
  17. Star Wars: Timelines
  18. Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
  19. SWInsider "A Certain Point of View" — Star Wars Insider 222
  20. Star Wars: Dawn of Rebellion: The Visual Guide
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 ‘Andor' Creator Tony Gilroy Urged His Team to Put Aside Their ‘Star Wars' Reverence by Davids, Brian on The Hollywood Reporter (September 23, 2022) (archived from the original on September 23, 2022)
  22. SWYTlogo Andor | Teaser Trailer on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)  (Posted on StarWars.com)
  23. SWYTlogo Star Wars Celebration LIVE! – DAY 2 on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (content now obsolete; backup link)
  24. ‘Andor' Creator Tony Gilroy On Building “Complex” ‘Star Wars' Series With Budget Bigger Than ‘Michael Clayton' – Crew Call Podcast by D'Alessandro, Anthony on Deadline Hollywood (September 26, 2022) (archived from the original on September 26, 2022)
  25. StarWars Dressing the Galaxy: Designer Michael Wilkinson Defines the Looks of Andor's Costumes on StarWars.com (backup link)
  26. Instagram-Logo Andrei Riabovitchev (@riabovitchev) on Instagram: Andor concept art (December 13, 2022): "Some of my costume illustrations done for Star Wars TV series Andor, costume designer Michael Wilkinson." (backup link)
  27. Andor's designers approached it like a Star Wars period drama by Webster, Andrew on The Verge (archived from the original on November 9, 2022)
  28. YouTube "Star Wars means so much!" Diego Luna and the Andor cast on auditions, tricky lines and falling over on the BBC Radio 1 YouTube channel (backup link)
  29. 30.0 30.1 30.2 ANDOR Production Brief V3 FINAL 8-04-22 by McIntyre, Gina on Getty Images (August 4, 2022) (archived from the original)
  30. ‘Andor' Creator Tony Gilroy Talks Luthen's Good Day, That Post-Credit Scene and Season Two by Davids, Brian on The Hollywood Reporter (November 23, 2022) (archived from the original on November 23, 2022)
  31. Andor's Faye Marsay Talks Preparing To Play Vel Sartha, The Real Rebellions That Inspired Her & More [Exclusive Interview] by Anderton, Ethan on /Film (November 2, 2022) (archived from the original on November 2, 2022)
  32. 33.0 33.1 ‘Andor' Star Genevieve O'Reilly Never Thought She'd Get the Chance to Flesh Out Mon Mothma by Davids, Brian on The Hollywood Reporter (September 15, 2022) (archived from the original on September 15, 2022)
  33. ‘Andor' Director Toby Haynes Talks That Forest Whitaker-Stellan Skarsgard Scene: “It Was a Career Highlight” by Davids, Brian on The Hollywood Reporter (October 28, 2022) (archived from the original on October 29, 2022)
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