Spoilers for “Andor” Season 1 ahead.
In the broad landscape of Disney’s “Star Wars” streaming shows, “Andor” is something of an anomaly. It’s part of the growing “Mandalorian” franchise, which includes spinoffs like “The Book of Boba Fett,” but it also isn’t terribly connected to the original films in the way that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is. The only major returning character is the titular hero himself — Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna. As such, the series has a unique opportunity to add to franchise lore, and it does just that by introducing new aspects of the Empire, new planets and systems, and a whole host of brand new characters.
Of course, this is still “Star Wars,” so it’s impossible to fully avoid referencing the past. While the series isn’t nearly as loaded with references and Easter eggs as some of its recent sister shows, “Andor” Season 1 still has plenty of fun hidden details for eagle-eyed viewers to watch out for. With scenes set during the Clone Wars and the Imperial era, the series covers a large period of history in the “Star Wars” universe. And, as you might expect, that leads to a number of wink-and-nod moments. Here are some Easter eggs and small details that you may have missed in “Andor” Season 1.
Since I was six years old
In the very first episode of “Andor,” viewers start seeing flashbacks to Cassian’s childhood on Kenari, his home planet. The clips show him donning combat gear and weapons to investigate a crashed ship with the other inhabitants of his village, a mission that ultimately proves life-changing — and not necessarily in the best way. It’s interesting to see such a young version of Cassian running around with a spear in hand, but if you’ve seen “Rogue One,” you may have been expecting it.
In the movie, Cassian tells Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) about his long history as a freedom fighter. “I’ve been in this fight since I was six years old,” he says, emphasizing just how much of his life has been spent either on the run or in direct conflict with the establishment. While the ship he’s shown investigating isn’t Imperial (the Empire didn’t exist at the time), “Andor” does make good on Cassian’s claim of being a part of the good fight from a very young age.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment/Lucasfilm
Though the “Star Wars” franchise has featured a ton of different starships over the decades, some have been iconic enough to stand out anywhere — even in a random shipyard on, say, Ferrix. Near the end of “Andor” Season 1’s opening episode, Cassian is shown rummaging around in an old junker that he borrowed from one of the yard’s employees. He plays it cool, but he’s really scrubbing incriminating info from the ship’s records.
During a couple of pulled-out shots, viewers may recognize a few of the other ships occupying the yard. One is unmistakably a Y-Wing starfighter, a bomber variant commonly used by the Rebel Alliance and first seen on film during the run on the original Death Star. The faded yellow cockpit of the ship can be seen clearly, complete with the iconic rotating turret. Y-Wings were first used by the Republic during the Clone Wars, so it makes sense to see a stray one junking it up on a planet like Ferrix.
The scene also shows what looks like a variant of the T-47 airspeeder from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Originally manufactured as stunt fighters, T-47s were modified for various purposes by rebels throughout the Galactic Civil War. They became known as snowspeeders among the rebels. The ship seen opposite the Y-Wing in the “Andor” shipyard definitely isn’t a snowspeeder (it’s much longer in the back than a normal T-47), but the cockpit and wing design are quite evocative.
Classic Star Wars tech
One of the most distinct aspects of the “Star Wars” universe is its retro sci-fi tech aesthetic. When the first film was released in 1977, it made sense for the computer screens to use vector graphics and the binoculars to be full of static. As the franchise has continued and real-world technology has evolved, “Star Wars” has played with different variants on its original in-universe technology, like how the prequels employed more holographic screens instead of vectors.
“Andor” makes it clear from the get-go that its inspiration comes fully from the original, old-school tech of the first “Star Wars” films. From the numerous computer screens filled with hard lines to the digital readouts on Luthen Rael’s (Stellan Skarsgård) binoculars, the show fully embraces the retro-futuristic look and feel of Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art. It’s similar in many ways to the aesthetic of “The Mandalorian,” but with an early Imperial era twist. If you keep your eyes peeled throughout “Andor” Season 1, you’ll catch a lot of little gadgets and gizmos that have appeared in previous “Star Wars” stories.
The Separatist sigil
In Cassian’s flashbacks to the ship crash on his home world of Kenari, we see how he came to be raised by Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw) and taken far away into the galaxy. It all centers around the shipwreck itself, which Cassian investigates with a crew from his village. Things go sour when some of the passengers turn out to be both alive and hostile, leading to a violent confrontation. Who are these interlopers, and where were they headed? It’s not entirely clear, but the familiar logo on their uniforms gives some indication.
On the sleeves of their spacesuits, you can clearly make out the segmented blue and white hexagon that was the symbol of the Separatist Alliance during the Clone Wars. There are no battle droids to be seen aboard the ship — the signature soldier of the Confederacy — but diehard fans will know that plenty of non-robotic beings gave their lives to the Separatist cause as well. This also might explain why the wounded crewman immediately gets violent after waking up. The ship may have been coming directly from a warzone, though of course, that’s no justification for his actions.
The Separatist sigil isn’t the only familiar “Star Wars” logo to make a sneaky appearance in the early episodes of “Andor” Season 1. Early on in Episode 2, a shopkeeper makes a bold (and ultimately fatal) choice — calling the cops on Cassian because he’s jealous of his relationship with his partner, the mechanic Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona). To keep things anonymous, he goes to what appears to be a public transmission station of some kind. The marquee over the establishment has a red crescent logo that looks strikingly like the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.
There’s almost certainly no actual connection, but the sign could be meant as a subtle allusion to the fate that soon comes for Cassian Andor. The call placed from the transmission center is the indirect cause of him following Luthen into the rebel cause, and the similarities between the two logos seem too obvious for this to be a pure coincidence.
Clone Wars surplus
When the corporate security agents come to Ferrix to hunt Cassian in “Andor” Episode 2, they come prepared. Not only do they gear up with some major firepower, but they drop down to the planet’s surface in ships that are strikingly reminiscent of the Republic gunships used in the Clone Wars. The iconic design was first seen in “Attack of the Clones,” and it has remained a staple of “Star Wars” ever since. While there are certainly differences between the old gunships and the landing craft seen in “Andor,” their striking similarities are interesting to say the least.
In the wake of the Clone Wars, the Empire phases out a lot of the gear used by the clone army. Old starfighters become TIE Fighters, AT-TEs become AT-ATs, and the old clone gunships are nowhere to be found. It would make sense for a private military company like the one seen in “Andor” to purchase some of this surplus tech for its own purposes, perhaps even making some modifications along the way. That could explain the ship design in Episode 2 — or maybe the same manufacturer simply built some new models after the war.
The Empire’s terrible security
During their first meeting in “Andor” Episode 3, Luthen Rael asks how Cassian managed to steal the “untraceable” Imperial tech he’s bartering off. “You just walk in like you belong,” he says. “To steal from the Empire, what do you need? A uniform, some dirty hands, and an Imperial toolkit.” This line could be taken as a nod to the many, many times rebels have successfully infiltrated Imperial strongholds using basic disguises throughout the franchise — a long and storied trope worthy of the reference.
Whether it’s Han and Luke disguising themselves as Stormtroopers on the Death Star or Obi-Wan Kenobi being snuck into the Imperial Inquisitor’s citadel by a double-agent, many characters have walked right past the Empire’s defenses with little more than courage and a cool hat. Cassian himself uses this exact tactic at the end of “Rogue One,” when he and Jyn Erso break into the Imperial base on Scarif to steal the Death Star plans. As such, his line about “borrowing” uniforms can also be taken as a grim foreshadowing of his own eventual demise.
Cassian Andor’s narrow escapes
At the end of “Andor” Episode 3, we’re treated to a beautifully shot sequence that parallels Cassian’s departure from Kenari as a young boy with his escape from Ferrix with Luthen Rael. It’s a powerful and haunting moment, showing the character’s talent for making it out by the skin of his teeth. The scene is tragic — not only because it emphasizes how Cassian must repeatedly leave things behind, but because it foreshadows the one time he finally doesn’t make it out.
Most people who watch “Andor” will already know Cassian’s ultimate fate — that he dies at the end of “Rogue One” after giving the Rebellion the tools it needs to defeat the Empire. It’s particularly affecting, then, to see that earlier in his life, Cassian was known for narrow getaways. So many different times in his life, he almost dies — or almost gets caught — only to narrowly escape. Clearly, his wits take him quite far in his struggle against totalitarianism, but even Cassian Andor’s luck must eventually run out.