How Andor Opens Up The Culinary Possibilities Of The Star Wars Universe (And Disney's Merch)

In a franchise defined by its adventures in a galaxy far, far away, "Andor" deliberately slows down the pace to match its ambitious, espionage drama tone. Previously in "Star Wars," there hasn't been this much room to breathe and exist with these characters and their mundane, daily lives. One recurring element has been captivating us throughout this first season; elaborate feasts on banquet tables, an imperial officer slurping blue noodles through a takeout box, Syril pouring himself a bowl of blue cereal — why the specific focus on food?

The show clearly prides itself on its well-detailed production design and it shows in the little nuggets of worldbuilding the show proudly throws at us, and yes, these moments are certainly welcome in adding more depth to the universe. However, it just wouldn't be Star Wars without extreme merchandising. It's tradition! There's no room for cute creatures like porgs to accompany Cassian on his journey, and the red companion droid B2EMO was left behind on Ferrix in episode three.

But, the Disney era of Lucasfilm has introduced us to the Galaxy's Edge-themed areas in Disneyland and Disney World, the Hyperspace Lounge on Disney cruises, and the Galactic Starcruiser, a themed Star Wars hotel. While there are fewer toys to make out of "Andor," the focus on galactic eats is certainly no accident. The types of foods shown off in "Andor" is actually the culmination of one long road of attempts at synergy, so allow us to take you on a food tour of the Disney "Star Wars" galaxy!

The expansion of theme parks and resorts has informed the food in Disney Star Wars

Yes, there have been minor glimpses at the food in "Star Wars" in the past, but the Disney era of the franchise has made a large effort to make the cuisine in the universe also seem appetizing to the audience. Take the classic blue milk for example, at once a quirky detail in "A New Hope," and now a competitor to Universal Studios' Butterbeer — available to order on tap at the theme parks and resorts and now in the background shots of every other spin-off series.

With the official distribution of blue milk in the parks came the Galaxy's Edge food menu, pulling from expanded universe canon to name and credit planetary origins to all the specific foods on its menu. Once "Fried Endorian Tip-Yip" (a Star Wars take on fried chicken and mashed potatoes) made its debut in the parks, suddenly "Tip-Yip" was referenced everywhere in mixed Star Wars media, from the "LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special" to episodes of "The Mandalorian" and in expanded universe novels.

"Ronto Wraps" were invented to be one of the iconic foods in Batuu, Galaxy's Edge's original canon setting. In layman's terms, it's a hot dog wrapped in pita bread with pork and slaw, a portable and hearty treat for a stroll through the line for Rise of the Resistance. The fancy hot dog snack would eventually be shown onscreen in the "LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation" Disney+ special that came out this year, clearly testing the waters for more explicit references in canon.

Disney Star Wars live action projects have all had a subtle food moment

While the canonical foods from the theme parks slowly make their way into the larger canon, there have also been smaller attempts at creating in-universe food directly from the live-action projects themselves. When we're first introduced to Rey in "The Force Awakens," we get to see her eating "just add water" portion bread under her makeshift AT-AT home, a great practical effect and insight into Rey's poverty, now a recipe post on the Star Wars blog. "The Last Jedi" and its infamous green milk scene led to green milk being sold alongside blue milk in the parks.

"The Mandalorian" made precious meme material out of moments in which baby Grogu drinks bone broth from a tiny bowl, or munches on what looks to be blue macaron cookies while he sits in a classroom. A cute little display of grogu's innocence, once listed as a twelve-pack of cookies for 49.99 on Williams Sonoma. In the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series, Obi-Wan spends his lonely days on Tatooine as a butcher, precisely cutting cubes of sand whale meat — a resemblance to the "Outpost Poke" bowl served in Docking Bay 7 restaurant on Batuu.

Star Wars simply has never shown as much interest in what the characters of this world are eating before, and while this does feel like something very much motivated for merchandising purposes, it ironically is a choice that seems to benefit the franchise and its worldbuilding more than harm it. Food has an inherent connection to culture and storytelling, and if one thinks about how vast the galaxy of Star Wars is, it feels obvious to also explore the universe through a culinary lens.

Andor perfects the feel of Star Wars food

With all that said, the "theme" of what makes "Star Wars" food feel like it comes from "Star Wars" is ultimately something that Disney is still struggling with. If you zoom out, there does seem to be an Asian influence to a lot of the dishes found in the parks and resorts, like "blue shrimp," frames Asian flavors as "exotic" or "alien," but is also at odds with the more non-adventurous in-universe offerings of mac and cheese and "Tip-Yip" nuggets.

What the most successful foods from the Disney "Star Wars" era share with each other is a proper amount of whimsy and familiarity. Roasted Porgs from "The Last Jedi" might be a hard sell (especially because those cute critters make for better plushies than meals), but there's a curiosity to the self-rising, green portion bread. We can maybe glean what it tastes like, because we've had bread before, but it's in a unique and interesting form.

This is where "Andor" has thrived so far. One look at the blue noodles raises so much curiosity. Do they have takeout containers in "Star Wars"? There's blue cereal with blue milk too? Why is everything edible in this universe so blue? The "Star Wars" social media has already caught notice of the viewers' intrigue of Syril's breakfast, so clearly, something is working.

The general vibe of "Andor" is taking the "Star Wars" franchise back to basics. It seems that philosophy has been applied to its portrayal of food. The simplicity and mildly offbeat tone for food in Star Wars has returned. If you want to recapture the thrill of blue milk then keep it simple, Lucasfilm story group.