This Star Wars: Andor contains spoilers.
Andor is racing toward its big season one finale. With only three episodes to go, Star Wars fans have been hard at work speculating how Cassian will finally escape the labor camp on Narkina 5, and how this experience will lead him to Mon Mothma and the Rebellion. These are questions that still need answering, but we already know a few things about Andor season 2 that points to Cassian joining the Rebellion sooner rather than later.
When we meet Cassian in Rogue One, he’s already a die-hard believer in the Rebel Alliance, willing to do what’s necessary to defeat the Empire, even if it means killing informants to preserve his cover or sacrifice his own life to steal the Death Star plans. But Andor establishes that Cassian wasn’t always Mon Mothma’s number one secret agent. He started out in a very different place. That’s why Tony Gilroy’s prequel series takes place five years before the events of Rogue One and chronicles Cassian’s evolution from black market thief to key player in the Rebellion.
While the first season of Andor takes place over a single year of Cassian’s life, season 2 will cover the remaining four years leading into Rogue One. It’s only natural, then, that we’re going to begin to see more elements from the Original Trilogy, and specifically A New Hope, on the show. In fact, Gilroy has already confirmed that one of the things we’ll see next season is the return of Yavin IV.
The showrunner revealed the news to Collider while discussing the arrival of Tom Bissell (The Mosquito Coast) to the Andor writers room for season 2: “Tom Bissell is really cool and really, really interesting, versatile, really good writer. But also a very, very, very big Star Wars fan, which we really wanted to make sure we had another pro because we’re going into Rogue [One], and we’re going to Yavin, and then we’re going into places where we eventually need to really weave our way back to the source. So Tom came in, and he’s been great. So he’s got some episodes too.”
Longtime fans will immediately recognize Yavin IV as one of the most famous locales in all of Star Wars, the home of the secret Rebel base in A New Hope. It’s from this base that the Rebellion launches its daring, last-ditch attack on the Death Star in the third act of the movie, not only solidifying Luke Skywalker‘s place as one of the greatest heroes in the galaxy but also the film’s legacy in cinema history. To this day, the Battle of Yavin sequence remains an absolute marvel of visual effects work, the pièce de résistance that turned George Lucas‘ fledgling Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) into an SFX powerhouse overnight.
Star Wars has returned to this location only once before on the big screen. Since Rogue One takes place only days before A New Hope, the Rebels are already operating out of Yavin IV when Jyn Erso reluctantly joins their ranks. It’s there that we get to see Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and other early leaders of the Rebel Alliance deciding their next moves against the Empire after learning of the Emperor’s new planet-destroying superweapon.
While Andor season 1 has been surprisingly light on Original Trilogy easter eggs thus far — Colonel Wullf Yularen does pop up — it has featured many references to the Prequels, including mentions of the Clone Wars, the Republic, and the Separatists. There are even a few clone troopers in a flashback sequence. But expect the balance to shift to Original Trilogy references when the show heads into its second season.
While the first season is currently streaming on Disney+, Star Wars: Andor season 2 begins filming on Nov. 21.