Andor Episode 8 Star Wars Easter Eggs Explained

This article contains spoilers for Andor episode 8.Andor episode 8 reveals the brutality of a human Imperial labor camp, in an episode that’s surprisingly short on Star Wars Easter eggs and references. Andor has kept Easter eggs and fan-service to a minimum, an approach unlike any other Star Wars Disney+ TV show. This is frankly rather ironic, given the entire TV series is essentially an extended prologue to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (itself a prequel to the first Star Wars film).

Andor episode 8 sees Cassian Andor sent to an Imperial prison facility on the planet Narkina 5, having been unfortunate enough to walk down the wrong street at the wrong time. He has no idea he’s gradually becoming one of the most wanted men in the galaxy, with the ISB convinced he could lead them to Stellen Skargard’s rebel leader Luthen. Luthen, too, senses Andor is something of a loose thread, and has his own agents hunting for him. He has other priorities, though, as he attempts to keep the wheels of rebellion turning against all the odds – leading to the delightful return of some major characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Here are all the Star Wars Easter eggs and references in this slow-burn episode.

Andor episode 8 opens with prisoners being sent to different internment camps. It’s interesting to note that prisoners are divided according to homeworld, with specific camps serving different sectors; this means even the labor camps are segregated. The basic Star Wars galaxy map hasn’t changed much over the decades, with sectors remaining the same, so it’s no surprise to spot a familiar name at this point. One prisoner is sent to Belsavis, a planet with a rich history in the old Star Wars Expanded Universe. There, the barren ice world was a prison planet of the Rakatan Infinite Empire millennia ago. Belsavis has already been name-dropped a few times in the Disney era.

Cassian Andor, however, is taken to an Imperial labor camp on Narkina 5. The design of the camp feels like a homage to George Lucas’ THX-1138, but the most striking detail is the fact the floors are made of the ultra-conductive Tunqstoid steel. This is a deep-cut Star Wars Easter egg from the old Star Wars Expanded Universe; Tunqstoid steel notably appeared in Troy Denning’s novel Fate of the Jedi: Abyss, which revealed it was so tough that blast doors made of Tunqstoid steel could deter a Jedi.

Cassian Andor’s work gang is led by another familiar face, with Andy Serkis making his return to Star Wars. Serkis is most famous for his work as a CGI body double, playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. There had long been rumors of Serkis’ return in Andor, leading to some unlikely fan-theories Snoke himself would make an appearance. The truth is rather more prosaic; he’s playing a completely different character.

Andor is fleshing out the character of Rebel leader Mon Mothma, and episode 8 reveals she became a senator at the age of just 16. This parallels other major Star Wars politicians such as Padmé Amidala (elected Queen of Naboo at just 14) and Leia Organa. In Star Wars, the young appear to be encouraged to get involved in politics at the highest level – although younger senators seem to be rarer during the Imperial era, given Leia was the youngest Imperial Senator ever elected at age 18.

Mon Mothma has previously been confirmed as leader of the Separatist Coalition within the Senate, meaning she aligns with former Separatist worlds from the Mid and Outer Rim. It is unsurprising, then, to see a number of aliens as guests at her party. Attentive viewers will recognize an Abednedo, a native of a Colonies world that would become a supporter of the Rebel Alliance.

Forest Whitaker reprises the role of Saw Gerrera in Andor episode 8, one of the most brutal and destructive Rebel leaders. Already a maverick, Saw scorns the idea of working with other Rebel cells – a trait that can still be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when the Rebel Alliance need to use his past connection with Jyn Erso just to get him to listen to them. Saw references a number of other Rebel groups; he’s clearly unable to forget his experiences during the Clone Wars, speaking with particular venom when he name-drops groups who call themselves Separatists.

Saw’s most interesting reference, though, is to a group called the « human cultists. » Saw Gerrera and his Partisans welcome members from every race in the galaxy, but this particular name hints that other rebel groups organized themselves according to race. This does make sense, given initial cells were planet- or sector-specific, and the Empire discouraged members of different races from mixing; local cells probably wouldn’t know who they could trust when they looked beyond their own system. The Rebel Alliance was an attempt to change this by bringing together local cells from across the galaxy into a unified group (hence the name « Rebel Alliance » – literally an alliance of disparate rebel groups).

Most viewers will recognize Saw Gerrera from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but Saw is increasingly important to Star Wars. The character has appeared in a wide range of mediums, from live-action to animation, and in several tie-in novels as well. He’s not the only recognizable Partisan on Segra Milo when Luthen visits the planet either; two of his key agents, Melshi and Two-Tubes, can be seen as well. Clearly, the Partisans will become an important part in Andor’s ongoing Star Wars story, perhaps with Cassian Andor himself working with them for a time.

New episodes of Andor release on Wednesdays on Disney+.