You Probably Aren’t Catching Andor’s Awesome Nods To Deep Star Wars Lore (And That’s A Good Thing)

Disney / Lucasfilm

Folks throughout my timeline have been loving Andor. Even individuals who’d beforehand sworn off Star Wars solely are again and having fun with each minute of the collection. A lot of them fortunately level out how the present isn’t a large excuse to do fan service each week. However funnily sufficient, Andor has a number of the coolest and most attention-grabbing bits of deep-cut Star Wars lore out of something Star Wars-related in years; it’s simply dealt with so nicely that almost all people miss all of it.

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An excellent instance is available in how the present handles Cassian’s dwelling planet. Within the first episode of the present, we be taught that Cassian was born and raised on the planet Kenari. It’s newly created for Andor, which allowed showrunner Tony Gilroy extra freedom to do no matter he wanted with it and its folks. However, technically, we already knew of Cassian’s dwelling planet, and it wasn’t Kenari. Again when Rogue One got here out, Lucasfilm launched varied guide tie-ins. One reference tome listed Andor’s dwelling world as Fest, an outdated Star Wars planet that first appeared within the sport Darkish Forces. So, at first, I believed the present had merely retconned that origin away. I wasn’t too aggravated by this, as I all the time choose when Star Wars media give attention to story over lore.

However then, in Andor episode two, we be taught that Fest was a lie that Cassian and his adoptive mom informed everybody to cover the reality of the place he was actually from, Kenari. For many viewers, that scene wasn’t that large of a deal: Cassian lied as a result of he was making an attempt to cover the place he got here from, acquired it. However for Star Wars nerds like me, it was a improbable technique to retcon one thing utilizing Star Wars lore whereas nonetheless honoring a reference guide from years in the past. And it didn’t intervene with the present in any respect, permitting regular, non-Star Wars sickos to benefit from the present with out rolling their eyes at some compelled little bit of fan service.

Lucasfilm / Star Wars Defined

Andor is stuffed with Star Wars lore and connections like this that it sneakily deploys in ways in which make sense for normal audiences, however which have deeper, attention-grabbing connections to the franchise’s a long time of prior materials. And in contrast to the final Star Wars present, the enjoyable (however not practically nearly as good) Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor doesn’t get twisted up in fan service that distracts from the precise story and characters. The refs are there to seek out in Andor, if you happen to care, but it surely’s completely fantastic if you happen to simply wish to benefit from the thrilling experience as an alternative.

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For example, Mon Mothma’s daughter, Lieda, isn’t a brand-new character, however as an alternative a really deep-cut one who barely existed within the outdated Star Wars Prolonged Universe. So her popping up within the present not solely introduced her into canon, however was a really enjoyable little bit of fan service that didn’t stick out to most viewers.

Equally, the kyber crystal Luthen Rael provides Cassian as fee for serving to with a heist has its personal delicate connection to outdated Star Wars lore. Certain, many viewers most likely know vaguely {that a} kyber crystal powers lightsabers. And plenty of additionally most likely recalled that we beforehand noticed Rogue One heroine Jyn Erso carrying an identical necklace. However whereas people had been trying on the crystal and going, “Oh that’s a factor I form of learn about…” Luthen drops one of many coolest bits of lore within the present, explaining that the crystal “celebrates the rebellion towards the Rakatan invaders.” That may have set off alarm bells within the heads of any followers who performed Knights of the Old Republic.

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A screenshot of a comic book showing a Rakatan alien warrior screaming in space.

That’s as a result of the Rakatans were created for that game. They had been an historical race of super-powerful aliens who presumably invented hyperdrive and at one level managed the galaxy as a part of their Infinite Empire. Technically, they’ve been talked about in canon earlier than, however that is actually the primary large re-introduction of the species. Pondering how they may work into future Star Wars tales set far prior to now has me very excited.

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Talking of online game references, in Luthen’s store—which is chockablock with enjoyable Easter eggs that would fill a complete separate weblog—we see what seems to be a go well with of Sith Stalker armor as first seen in Star Wars: The Drive Unleashed. That sport and its foremost character, Starkiller, are now not canon, and this armor popping up in Andor doesn’t change that. Nevertheless it might trace that maybe sooner or later components of Drive Unleashed will likely be reintroduced into the fashionable Star Wars universe. I imply, if Jaxxon is canon these days, something can occur.

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However all of those deep-cut references and bits of fan service had been probably by no means noticed by 90% of individuals watching Andor, regardless that a few of them straight connect with the plot or the present’s characters. That’s a powerful feat to drag off, and based on interviews with the show’s creator, Tony Gilroy, lots of this was included by Lucasfilm nerds and never himself. He recently told Variety that he works carefully with lore specialists like Pablo Hidalgo to ensure he’s not doing something that breaks the Star Wars universe. However for him, his actual focus is on Andor’s story and its characters, not references to manuals or outdated video video games.

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“The artwork division will sneak in all that crap into Luthen’s gallery,” Gilroy informed Selection. “I had no thought. Like, ‘Oh my God, the factor within the background!’ and individuals are blowing it up. That’s the artwork division. So many cool folks work on the present. There’s a deep geekdom in Pinewood, consider me.”

That’s the way it ought to be. If Disney desires to proceed to create superb Star Wars productions like Andor, it ought to carry in additional creators and administrators like Gilroy. Individuals who, positive, may not be the most important Star Wars followers on this planet, however who’ve attention-grabbing tales to inform. Let these folks create cool stuff whereas the nerds at Lucasfilm fill within the gaps with fan service that weirdos like me can get enthusiastic about, whereas by no means ruining the present for everybody else.

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I admit, this can be a arduous steadiness to strike, and I don’t anticipate all future Star Wars tasks to be like Andor. The truth is, I would like a world the place we get each reveals like Andor, that are for everybody, and reveals like Tales of the Jedi, that are good however clearly goal Star Wars nerds like me. Star Wars can’t develop if it solely focuses on its large followers, and Andor reveals that whenever you develop the franchise and do one thing totally different, you not solely find yourself pleasing longtime Star Wars nerds like me, but in addition attain a complete new viewers that may by no means have cared about Star Wars within the first place. Plus, Andor is simply actually entertaining, so extra reveals like this appears like an excellent factor to me.

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