This article contains major spoilers for the first four episodes of Andor.
In reflecting on the series premiere, releasing the first three episodes of "Andor" all at once was a brilliant strategy on Lucasfilm's part. The first two establish a new kind of slow burn to the "Star Wars" universe, before kicking things up a notch with the third. We're privy to more of Andor's background, seeing glimpses of his home world of Kenari from when he was just a child. The series has also been incredibly patient at showing how the Empire's stranglehold on the galaxy feels as tight as ever, even without a recognizable figure such as Darth Vader present to drive the point home.
While episode 4 doesn't exactly kick things into high gear, it's a great continuation from where we last left off, now that the melancholic tone of "Andor" has been established. We know where Diego Luna's rebel spy is ultimately going to end up, but in the journey to the Battle of Scarif, we get to see the building blocks of how he plays into the formation of the rebellion that would ultimately take down the Death Star.
The flashbacks from the "Andor" premiere show there's a larger history to this character beyond his connection to the rebellion. In episode 4, a conversation between Andor and Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) shines a light on an even more tumultuous period in the titular character's life. Given the new set of details, it appears that Andor could be familiar with the cockiest smuggler in the galaxy.
The Mimban Connection
It would appear that Cassian Andor and Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) are connected through the muddy, swamp planet Mimban. In "Solo: A Star Wars Story," we see the titular character fighting in the trenches as a Mudtrooper Corporal, having been expelled from the Cardia Flight Academy after the Empire deemed him an insubordinate. This is where Solo meets Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), which sets him on the path to becoming the smuggler we all know and love.
In episode 4 of "Andor," the titular character attempts to surprise Luthen by recounting his days as an unwilling teenage soldier who fought on Mimban for over two years. Luthen surprises Andor by not only acknowledging this period in his life, but expanding upon it. We now know that Andor was only doing groundwork for six months, having initially been brought in as a cook.
After doing some "Star Wars" math, the moment we pick up with Solo in the mud is about 10 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). Considering Andor was only 16 when he was sent to the mud planet after his prison time, it's all but confirmed that the pair were both present at the same time. Only 1 of 50 survived the ordeal, which means that it's possible that the two bumped into one another at some point.
Let's Not Do This, Please
Some may see this as the series' way of leaving room for a Solo appearance down the road, and I sincerely hope this isn't the case.
Every time "Star Wars" connects a new character with someone we're already familiar with, it leads to talks about spin-offs rather than focusing on the characters at hand. "The Mandalorian," for example, is a great show, but even I couldn't help but feel exhausted by the weekly introduction of bringing in fan favorites week after week, most of whom have their own Disney+ shows in the works.
Up until this point, "Andor" has been doing a splendid job of deviating from the Easter egg mania that drives "Star Wars" fans rabid. Beyond the connection, the scene works because it shows Andor further trying to distance himself from the blossoming Rebel Alliance, only for Luthen to show that his story is one of many. His gifts for infiltrating the Empire could prove to be useful, and by digging in his heels, Andor is inadvertently giving them more leeway to continue their destructive reign across the galaxy. It's a great thematic tie that illustrates the unspoken responsibility he has to the galaxy's oppressed, in addition to his fallen friends from Kenari.
The first four episodes of "Andor" are currently streaming on Disney+.
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