5 things about Andor you need to know before you watch the Star Wars show

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in the poster for Andor
(Image credit: Lucasfilm via Disney Plus)

You can take your Obi-Wans and Books of Boba Fett. Andor is the Star Wars show of the year that I'm the most excited about. Why? Because this Star Wars series actually focuses on the regular people of the galaxy far, far away. Also, check out our spoiler-free Andor review, which covers the first four episodes.

Sure, you've got a soon-to-be-rebel pilot in Cassian Andor, a politician in Mon Mothma and an extremist in Saw Gerrera. But in the grand scheme of things, this kind of show is still rare for Star Wars. No bounty hunters and no Jedi? Something's gotta be up.

But that seemingly is the whole point of Tony Gilroy's Andor. To show that a rebellion doesn't always begin with the flashiest of people. But instead the people pushed to change their own lives, and their adorable droids, such as Andor's B2EMO.

All that said, Andor doesn't exist in a self-contained vacuum. Instead, it will take place during a pivotal moment in Star Wars history. So, let's break down the five things you need to know about Andor, from its characters to its place in time and more.

When does Andor take place in the Star Wars timeline?

While Andor is mostly seen as a prequel, giving us a view at Cassian Andor and other rebels before the Rebel Alliance was formalized, it's smack-dab in the middle of the Star Wars timeline.

Star Wars: Andor is a two-season show that will chronicle the five years that take place before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which came right before Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. Those years are 5 to 0 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin)

This means that Andor takes place 4 years after the events of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, the previous Disney Plus Star Wars series. I point this out because the story of a growing rebellion is also the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which introduced us to The Path, a group of people helping Jedi and Force-sensitive individuals flee the attacks of Order 66.

Who are Andor's main characters?

Of course, the Andor cast list begins with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who we met in Rogue One, where he was a captain for Alliance Intelligence.

Next on the list is Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), a politician in the Galactic Senate. During the Clone Wars, she worked with Bail Organa and Padmé Amidala, and tried to broker a peace between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. 

Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma in Andor

(Image credit: Lucasfilm via Disney Plus)

Then, we have Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whitaker), who has appeared in both Rogue One and many of the animated Star Wars shows. Seen as an extremist by some, Saw is a Onderonian resistance fighter who was forever changed by his sister Steela's death.

Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgaard) is a new character and part of the growing rebellion, if not a full blown Rebel leader. He's been seen in the new trailers and clips as someone pushing Andor to enlist against the Empire.

Other character details have emerged from a leaked production brief. Maarva (Fiona Shaw) is Cassian Andor's adopted mother. Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) is a hard-working mechanic who has been in a situation we'd file as "it's complicated" with Cassian for years. Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) is a villain whom the actor said at D23 is the latest in "a history of villains you love to hate."

And, as seen in an Andor trailer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays an unknown character. 

Do I have to have seen the Star Wars movies?

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

You can watch all of the Star Wars movies in order with Disney Plus and you might want to go stream some of them before you watch. The obvious films to watch are the bookending films: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One and Episode IV: A New Hope.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith shows you how things got bad with the Rise of the Galactic Empire.

Rogue One gives you Cassian Andor's final mission.

Episode IV: A New Hope shows you how the Rebel forces used Andor's hard work to fight the Empire.

Of course, you can also track down some of Saw Gerrera's early appearances in The Clone Wars: A War on Two Fronts (S05E02), Front Runners (S05E03), The Soft War (S05E04) and Tipping Points (S05E05). He also appears in The Bad Batch's first episode.

Other characters from animated Star Wars shows may emerge, but there are too many episodes to narrow down.

How many Andor seasons and episodes will there be?

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in the Star Wars: Andor series

(Image credit: Lucasfilm via Disney Plus)

Andor will be comprised of at least two seasons, of 12 episodes a piece.

At one point, Andor was supposed to be a five-season show, but cinematographer Adriano Goldman says it will now likely end after three. Tony Gilroy said the original plans were not "physically impossible" due to the scale of the series.

When is Andor's finale?

Say you don't need to follow the water-cooler chatter. You don't want to pay for three months of Disney Plus?

For folks who just want to binge all of Andor at once, you'll be waiting until right before (American) Thanksgiving. After the first three episodes drop on the Andor release date, the next nine episodes arrive one at a time on the following Wednesdays. It concludes on November 23.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.