Where Does ‘Star Wars: Andor’ Fit in the ‘Star Wars’ Timeline?

An illustration of Diego Luna in character in ‘Andor’
via Lucasfilm

The Star Wars Universe became much more straightforward when Disney streamlined the timeline in 2014, or that was the idea. Sweeping away the extended stories that had grown around Lucasfilm space opera over the past 30 years freed up the franchise for new stories.

Nature doesn’t like a vacuum, the Force even less so. A new narrow canon of movies and series was a starting point for countless official spin-offs.

With those new stories piling up, we live in an age of more live-action Star Wars than ever. While canon stories have been able to draw on or reject the wealth of ideas collected in the non-canonical refrigerator of the Star Wars Legends, they’ve also jumped around the timeline. Star Wars: Andor takes us into a period of the Star Wars chronology we know well — but when is that?

Where Does ‘Star Wars: Andor’ Fit in the Timeline?

Diego Luna as Andor
Image via Lucasfilm

The clue is in the characters, particularly the one who lends his name to the series. Cassian Andor has a finite story in Star Wars, so we know it’s set in the final years of the Galactic Republic, before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars chronology pivots around one event, the Battle of Yavin, that led to the destruction of the first Death Star. The Periods on either side are denoted ‘ABY’ — After the Battle of Yavin — or ‘BBY’ — Before the Battle of Yavin. 

The Rebel Alliance developed this dating system in the Star Wars universe to mark their first major victory against the Empire. ABY-BBY is a helpful dating system outside the universe, too. It keeps the original trilogy at the center of the expanding story. 

It’s a structure that helps navigate the mine-field of new canon content as they dart around the timeline. The prequel trilogy is entirely BBY, and the sequel trilogy is entirely ABY. Still, it can be challenging working out where one of Disney Plus’ limited series sits and how it relates to another — is it the age of the Empire or First Order? The Galactic Republic or the New Galactic Republic? 

Andor and its lead character’s life are entirely set BBY before the events of Rogue One —a concept film based on a particular line from the first Star Wars movies’ opening scrawl:

“During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.” 

Rogue One officially rewrote various Star Wars Legends versions of how those plans came into the Alliance’s hands. It set up the first movie: Star Wars — Episode I: A New Hope, and Andor does the same for Rogue One

This prequel to a prequel starts five years before the Rebels obtained the Death Star plans. While Rogue One neatly focussed on the Rebel Alliance’s daring attempt to steal the plans for the greatest weapon the Galaxy has ever seen. Andor takes in the broader story of the birth of the Rebel Alliance.

Catching up with some familiar faces

saw gerrera
Image via Lucasfilm

Disney and Lucasfilm aim for Andor to be a gritty but accessible story that builds on the popularity of Rogue One. It follows Cassian Andor as he journeys from thief to revolutionary to a vital figure of the Rebellion. We’ll also catch up with two other familiar faces on the way. Genevieve O’Reilly plays Mon Mothma, the figurehead of the Rebellion who is at the time a senator working against the Empire from the inside. Forest Whitaker will return as Saw Gerrera, the Clone Wars veteran and Empire insurgent whose views don’t always align with the Rebels. Gerrera has appeared in the movie Rogue One, the series The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, and the videogame Star Wars: Fallen Order

It’s no surprise that the wealth of stories planned for the universe led the franchise to confirm the official timeline of canon live-action stories for Star Wars Day 2022

In that chronology, Andor sits between the events of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rogue One, running concurrently with the Star Wars: Rebels series. 

Rogue One took place in 0 BBY, just before the Battle of Yavin. Andor begins in 5 BBY, and Lucasfilm has confirmed just how limited its story is. Andor has been commissioned for just two series of 12 episodes each.

Star Wars: Andor streams exclusively on Disney Plus from September 21, 2022.