Who Is Fiona Shaw Playing in Andor? Meet Maarva, Cassian’s Adoptive Mother

The newest Star Wars show to hit Disney+ is Andor, which tells the life story of the Rogue One rebel named Cassian Andor, who was one of the people responsible for obtaining the Death Star plans before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Of course, the series was able to introduce new characters into the mix while telling Cassian’s life story. One such character is Maarva, who is played by Fiona Shaw. So, who is Maarva in Andor?

Maarva Andor is the adoptive mother of Cassian Andor. While we don’t really know where she came from, she always tells people that she comes from a planet called Fest. She was the one responsible for rescuing Cassian (named Kassa) from a mining facility on the primitive planet of Kenari.

In a way, Maarva played a huge role in Cassian’s life because she was able to expose her to something that he never ever realized existed, as the young Andor was able to experience a life far away from his primitive planet and way of life. Maarva also allowed Cassian to have a life he wouldn’t have been able to live. So, with that said, let’s get to know more about Maarva.

Who Is Maarva In Andor?

We all know that Cassian Andor was one of the heroes of the hit movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This movie focused on the story behind the crew of the Rogue One, which was responsible for obtaining the plans for the Death Star. That means that, without Cassian and the other Rogue One crew members, the Battle of Yavin would have resulted in the annihilation of the Rebel Alliance, and that’s why he and his crewmates are regarded as heroes in one of the seminal moments in Star Wars history.

While we did see Cassian dying when the Death Star obliterated the planet he was on, the Andor storyline tells the story behind the character before he became a Rebel and before he was able to become an indispensable part of the eventual victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Empire. Set in 5 BBY, which is five years before the events of Rogue One, Andor tells Cassian’s beginnings as it switches between two different timelines.

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The first timeline, of course, is the one set in 5 BBY when he was living in Ferrix, where he got into trouble with the authorities on the planet. Meanwhile, the second timeline shows his early beginnings on a planet called Kenari, which is a primitive settlement where the people speak a different language and aren’t knowledgeable about technology and what is happening in the galaxy. Both timelines connect to one person—Maarva. So, who is Maarva in Andor?

Maarva Andor, as the name suggests, is the mother of Cassian Andor. But she is merely his mother in an adoptive capacity as she was the one who took him in when he and his people got into trouble with some of the forces that were mining on their home planet of Kenari.

In the present timeline, Maarva lives at home together with a scavenger droid called B2EMO, which is capable of speech and is the one assisting Maarva in her home. But in the past timeline, she was the one who found Cassian on Kenari when she was scavenging the mining facility for parts. 

Maarva found the primitive boy destroying the different components in the facility because he didn’t know what they were for. Thinking that Cassian, who was born with the name Kassa, was going to get killed or apprehended for the things that happened to Kenari, she took him in by sedating him and taking him off Kenari.

It was revealed during the series that both Maarva and Cassian were secretive about where they actually came from. Only a few people know that Cassian came from Kenari, as Maarva always told him to say that he came from a planet called Fest. Maarva also made us understand that she and Cassian often moved from one planet to another to make sure that they kept their tracks hidden, as there might be something about the event in Kenari that they wanted to keep a secret.

Nevertheless, it does seem like Maarva and Cassian had settled down on Ferrix, as it was clear that they already knew a lot of people there and had become quite familiar with the locals of their own settlement.

“She’s very much a daughter of Ferrix,” Fiona Shaw, the actress that plays Maarva, said. “She is actually a member of a thing called the Daughters of Ferrix, who are like a community group of women who keep the moral standing of the planet very well. So, she’s a very revered person, and she also is a very old person, and she’s not so well by the time we meet her in this series.”

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It was clear that Maarva was a revered person within the community as the different people of their town made noises to alert them that the authorities were there to apprehend Cassian. As such, the people respect her just as much as they try to respect Cassian, who wasn’t someone who had the best reputation but was still very much a big part of their community.

But as Shaw herself mentioned, the present-timeline version of Maarva isn’t in the best physical shape because of her age and probably due to an illness that was making her weaker. As such, she never left her home during the events of the first three episodes of Andor but was often assisted by the droid nicknamed Bee.

How Did Maarva Adopt Cassian?

During the time when Cassian was still Kassa and was living on the primitive planet of Kenari, he spent his life living in peace with his family there. However, they realized that their planet had become the site of a mining facility that they knew nothing about. And that was the reason why they decided to look into things, as they came under attack by the more technologically advanced invaders.

Kassa lost most of his friends and family after that incident, as he ended up in the mining facility, where he unleashed his rage. Maarva and her husband, working as scavengers, found their way to the facility and ended up finding Kassa there. Realizing that the boy had nowhere else to go and that the authorities were going to arrive soon, Maarva decided to adopt the boy by sedating him and carrying him into their ship so that they could leave the planet.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.