This Star Wars: Andor article contains spoilers.
A new chapter in Cassian’s journey to the Rebel Alliance begins in “Aldhani.” After escaping the Pre-Mor agents on Ferrix, Cassian agrees to join one of Luthen’s Rebel operations on the titular planet. The mission is simple: steal the payroll of an Imperial facility. But to do it, Cassian and his new associates will have to sneak past an entire garrison of Imperial soldiers. Unsurprisingly, Cassian doesn’t like those odds at all.
We also spend time on Coruscant, where we reunite with Chandrilan senator Mon Mothma, future leader of the Rebel Alliance. Andor shows us what her life was like in the early stages of forming the Rebellion. Along the way, we get all kinds of easter eggs and references that are sure to delight Star Wars fans!
Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma
– Mon Mothma was first introduced in 1983 in one of Return of the Jedi‘s most memorable scenes, delivering one of the film’s most oft-quoted lines, “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” In the the movie, she is the leader of the Rebel Alliance. She was first played by Caroline Blakiston.
– But it’s the wonderful Genevieve O’Reilly who reprises her role as Mon Mothma, who is still Senator of Chandrila at the time of Andor. O’Reilly was first cast in the role by George Lucas for scenes in Revenge of the Sith, but all her speaking parts were ultimately excised from the theatrical cut of the film. Fortunately, we have one of these deleted scene, where Mon Mothma agrees with Padme Amidala and Bail Organa that they need to form a “loyal opposition” to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s tightening grip on the Senate and the Republic as a whole.
You also saw O’Reilly as Mothma in Star Wars: Rogue One, which takes place five years after Andor. By then, she’s fully part of the Rebel leadership on Yavin IV, and on a mission to take down the Death Star before it can terrorize the galaxy.
– If you’re wondering what happened to Mon Mothma after the Rebellion defeated the Empire, there are plenty of books, comics, and video games that cover her life after Return of the Jedi. But what you really need to know is that in both Legends continuity and current Disney canon, Mothma went on to become the first head of state of the New Republic. She definitely earned it.
There’s not much to say about this massive city-planet that you don’t know already, but here are the basics: the capital of the Republic and Empire was first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s seminal 1991 Legends novel Heir to the Empire, the first part of the Thrawn Trilogy. Although it never appeared in the theatrical cuts of George Lucas’ Original Trilogy, Coruscant was later retconned into Return of the Jedi for the film’s Special Edition re-release. For a few brief seconds, you can watch people celebrating the Emperor’s defeat in the city streets. The planet featured much more prominently in the Prequel Trilogy, particularly in Revenge of the Sith.
Chandrila, Mon Mothma’s home planet, is another Core World like Coruscant, a center of power in both the Republic and Imperial eras. The planet made its first appearance in the 1998 video game Star Wars: Rebellion, but was actually first mentioned by name in West End Games’ Star Wars RPG sourcebook from 1987. In Disney canon, after Return of the Jedi, it became the first capital of the New Republic, and the birthplace of Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren.
Talk about foreshadowing. The Scarif nod in the episode is, of course, a reference to the planet where the third act of Rogue One takes place. It’s the location of an Imperial facility that holds the plans to the Death Star, and will be the place where Cassian dies with the rest of the Rebel team who sacrifice themselves to retrieve those plans for the Alliance.
Aldhani, the mountainous planet where much of this episode takes place, is a new creation for the show. Vel explains to Cassian that the planet used to be the home of the native Aldhani people until the Empire arrived and pushed them all out of their villages. We don’t know the exact location of this planet but Vel mentions it’s the perfect place to build an Imperial distribution hub, “not too far, but not too close to anything, either.”
Mimban is one of the oldest planets in Star Wars. In fact, it was the very first Expanded Universe planet introduced after the release of A New Hope. This “bog planet,” which was created by Lucas in one of the earliest drafts of the original 1977 Star Wars movie, later became the setting of Alan Dean Foster’s 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, itself originally conceived as a low-budget sequel to A New Hope if the first film hadn’t made any money. We all finally got to see the very muddy Mimban on the big screen in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Ryloth is mentioned briefly during the Imperial security briefing. It’s the home planet of the Twi’leks and is located in the Outer Rim of the galaxy. While the planet was first introduced back in Legends continuity, you probably remember it best from The Clone Wars animated series.
This one’s a fun nod to The Mandalorian! Arvala-6 is one of the other planets located in the same star system as Arvala-7, the desert planet where Din Djarin first met Grogu.
The planet Ghorman goes all the way back to Legends continuity, featured in ’90s video games Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Rebellion. In Disney canon, Ghorman will unfortunately be the site of one of the biggest massacres of the Imperial era when stormtroopers open fire on peaceful protestors on the planet. Mon Mothma actually alludes to how the Empire is cutting off Ghorman’s shipping routes, which will cause people to starve on the planet, likely setting up the aforementioned protests.
Imperial Security Bureau
While these white-coated Imperials were featured in Rogue One, Andor takes a much deeper dive into the ISB, the Empire’s foremost intelligence agency. Their job is to root out enemies of the Empire, including the many Rebel cells operating in other parts of the galaxy. Although not identified as an ISB officer when he first appeared on screen in A New Hope, Colonel Wullf Yularen was the first member of the agency to appear in Star Wars.
Cassian mentions the Partisans as one of the many Rebel cells he’s heard of and has no interesting in joining. This terrorist group is, of course, the one led by Saw Gerrera in Rogue One. We will see them in Andor later this season, according to the trailers.
Luthen mentions Rakatan invaders early in the episode. This is a Star Wars deep cut I never thought I’d hear in live action. The Rakata were an ancient warrior race that conquered much of the galaxy many millennia before the events of the Skywalker Saga. Their interstellar dominion was suitably called the Infinite Empire. All this lore was first introduced in the beloved video game Knights of the Old Republic, arguably the best Star Wars game ever made, and easily one of the best stories set in the galaxy far, far away.
Luthen mentions Utapau in the episode. This planet appeared onscreen in Revenge of the Sith, and is where Obi-Wan defeated General Grievous. Lucas first came up with the name “Utapau” in one of the early drafts of A New Hope for the desert planet that would eventually become Tatooine. It was also Lucas’ original name for Naboo before he changed his mind later in The Phantom Menace writing process.
Dark Lord Starkiller
If you look closely in Luthen’s artifact shop, you’ll spot a set of armor that looks a lot like the Dark Lord Starkiller armor worn by Galen Marek in the alternate dark side ending of the video game The Force Unleashed. It’s a nice little homage for a fan-favorite Legends character who has yet to make the jump to Disney canon. But perhaps that’s coming?
You will also spot in Luthen’s shop what looks like Mandalorian armor. You already know what that’s all about. Moving on…
Sith and Jedi Holocrons
One of the shelves in Luthen’s shop, you can spot two artifacts — one looks like a pyramid and the other is a cube. These could be Sith and Jedi holocrons, storage devices that hold ancient knowledge about the light and dark sides of the Force. They play a particularly big part in the Rebels animated series.
A Twi’lek kalikori adorns another shelf in Luthen’s shop. This is traditionally a generational heirloom passed down from parent to child in Twi’lek families.
World Between Worlds
You can also spot what looks like hand tablets associated with the World Between Worlds, a mystical plane of reality one can use to travel through time and space in the Star Wars galaxy. Yeah, Rebels season 4 introduced time travel to this universe, and it’s actually pretty cool!
Luthen is wearing a kyber crystal around his neck. This is the crystal that powers and gives a lightsaber its color. It also powers the Death Star’s superlaser.
Indiana Jones References
You have to squint but it looks like Luthen’s shop has an item that looks a lot like Indy’s whip frozen in carbonite as well as two artifacts that look a lot like the Shankara stones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.