Andor Episode 4 Nods To A Deep Cut In Star Wars Lore

"Andor" has established itself as a series that offers a fresh perspective on the "Star Wars" galaxy. On one hand, it's adamant about changing the way fans look at the decades-spanning franchise — but on the other, it's refreshingly light on Easter eggs, references or cameos from other "Star Wars" projects. Compared to earlier series like "The Mandalorian" or "The Book of Boba Fett" most recently, "Andor" is a completely different beast, but that doesn't mean it's completely detached from the galaxy at large.

The fourth episode of "Andor" expands the scope of the show in a major way, taking us back to the planet Coruscant and bringing some familiar faces into the fold. It's the first we've seen of Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) since "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" in 2016, and the "Rogue One" parallels don't end there, nor do the references to other "Star Wars" films and shows. One sequence in particular, which takes place in Luthen Rael's (Stellan Skarsgård) shop, is packed with memorabilia from all over the galaxy. Most of them make reference to the underrated characters and planets from every corner of the "Star Wars" galaxy, but one artifact in particular serves as a subtle nod to one of the deeper aspects of "Star Wars" lore — and one of the most underrated shows in the franchise.

The key to the future

Luthen has a number of treasures in his shop on Coruscant, most of which would be considered priceless depending on who you ask. One such treasure, a Jedi temple key stone, has strong ties to the Jedi mythos. As its name suggests, key stones are usually plucked from a Jedi temple (many planets have one) and are said to unlock whatever "secrets" the temple has to offer.

In the animated series "Star Wars: Rebels," aspiring Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger is given a key stone of his own. His homeworld Lothal has been under Imperial occupation since he was a child, but as the Empire grows stronger, so does its hold on the planet. When the Jedi temple on Lothal eventually falls under Imperial control, Ezra and his own rebel cell are tasked with protecting the secrets within. He uses the key stone to access the World Between Worlds, which is basically a realm that offers paths to different moments in time and space. Whoever can access the realm has the power to change the past and even the future, which naturally makes Lothal a target for Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious).

A world between worlds

The "World Between Worlds" arc is memorable for a number of reasons. It breathed new life into the "Star Wars" mythos, and took a major risk to expand the cryptic ways of the Force. It also resolved the fate of a fan favorite, Ahsoka Tano, who was noticeably absent from "Rebels" after a show-stopping duel with Darth Vader in the season 2 finale. With the help of a little time travel, Ezra is able to save Ahsoka from what would have been certain death. It's a moment that inadvertently gave these characters a future in live-action shows like "The Mandalorian" and soon, "Ahsoka." While it may not seem like it has much of a bearing on the events of "Andor," it's all connected — just like the past, present and future in the World Between Worlds.

While "Andor" depicts the birth of the Rebellion from a grounded, street-level approach, "Rebels" uses same struggle to explore the mysticism behind the Jedi and Sith. The shows examine the conflict very differently — though both take place in exactly the same time period — but one wouldn't exist without the other. Force-wielders like Ezra and Ahsoka wouldn't be able to do what they do without the efforts of rebels like Cassian and Saw Guerrera and Luthen, or even organizers like Mon Mothma. They may not all have the same methods; they may not even know that the other exists. But they don't all have to work together to make their mark on the Rebellion.

Obviously, this isn't exactly the central focus of "Andor." But it's nice that such an insular series has found such clever ways to reference even the more out-there aspects of the "Star Wars" galaxy, and their respective efforts to restore balance to it.

"Andor" streams every Wednesday on Disney+.