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Andor's Lonni Storyline Has Parallels To Real Life

"Andor" has proven itself to be one of the most fascinating "Star Wars" projects in recent memory. Critics have raved about its willingness to break from the traditional tropes of the 45-year-old franchise while still feeling like classic "Star Wars." It's a darker, more oppressive look at the bleakest years of the "Star Wars" timeline during the Empire's reign, with almost no hope in sight.

The series' focus is split between multiple storylines which take place across many different corners of the galaxy far, far away. There is, of course, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) himself, an everyman forged into a reluctant Rebel leader, but we also get a glimpse at the Imperial side of things via the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB), a secret police force with the power to command and detain perceived threats to the Empire, as emblemized by ISB Officer Dedra Meero (Denise Gough).

For most of "Andor" Season 1, the connection between these two groups feels like predator and prey, but a major reveal in Episode 10 showed that one ISB officer, Lonni Jung (Robert Emms) is secretly a mole for the Rebel leader Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard). When Lonni attempts to cut ties with the Rebels to avoid risking his newborn daughter, Luthen gives a rousing monologue about what it means to sacrifice yourself for a cause.

But as it turns out, Lonni's storyline bears some striking resemblances to the story of a real-life spy who worked undercover for years to infiltrate a foreign government.

Lonni's story mimics the real life of Israeli spy Eli Cohen

Lonni Jung, the Rebel mole inside the ISB on "Andor," bears some striking similarities to real-life Israeli spy Eli Cohen. Born in Egypt as Eliahu ben Shaoul Cohen, he moved to Israel in 1957 after Egypt expelled its remaining Jews the year prior. Because of his polyglottal abilities — Cohen spoke fluent Arabic, English, French, and Hebrew — he was quickly spotted by Israeli intelligence and was recruited in 1960.

In 1961, Cohen was sent undercover to Buenos Aires, posing as a Syrian businessman, where he curried favor with the expatriated Syrian community. Having gained the trust of top Syrian officials, he laid the groundwork for later operations, telling them he was eager to return to Syria. In 1962, he moved to Damascus and began to transmit Syrian military plans back to Israel. Like Lonni on "Andor," he lived a double life. However, unlike in "Star Wars," the morality was not as clear cut. Israel, even at the time, was far from the scrappy Rebel Alliance depicted in "Star Wars," being the winner of multiple wars and equipped with its own deeply secretive intelligence agencies. But much like Lonni, Cohen's handlers thought he was too valuable an asset to let him walk away (via The Jewish Chronicle). Eventually, perhaps inevitably, it was his downfall.

Another similarity between Eli Cohen and Lonnie Jung is their family life. Jung is portrayed as having a daughter, and Cohen is survived by his own. Cohen was eventually caught when he ignored his handler's warnings not to transmit radio signals. The Syrian government hung him and left his body suspended in a public square.

Will Lonni be luckier than Cohen? It seems unlikely. When we see him in Episode 10, the man is a nervous wreck. In the end, he may be another necessary casualty of the Rebellion.