After so few references or touchstones to the broader “Star Wars” universe in the first arc, there are enough for those three episodes packed into this one.
First, you’ll notice Cassian talking about serving two years in the mud on Mimban. That could very well place him on the muddy planet of Mimban at the same as Han Solo and Chewbacca during the events of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
We also learn in that same scene that Luthen Rael drives a Fondor Haulcraft, which is important because of where it came. Fondor is an important shipyard in the “Star Wars” canon and a major battle was fought there in the recent “Battlefront II” video game. Fondor was where Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor was built, at least in the Legends canon. In the current canon, it was first mentioned in James Luceno’s novel “Tarkin.” Fondor is also deeply connected to Palpatine’s Nero Decree, Operation: Cinder.
When Luthen Rael offers Cassian some collateral for taking this job, he offers him his Kuati Signet, tied to the Rakatan Invaders. In the Legends canon, the Rakatan were the first beings to develop hyperspace travel and cruised the galaxy, invading planets and conquering them in their name, much like the British Empire.
As the scene shifts to the Imperial Security Bureau, there are many stories and planets that are hinted at. Ryloth is mentioned, and this is a planet that has always bucked the authority and fascism of their oppressors. During the Clone Wars, the Free Ryloth movement worked against the Separatists occupying their planet and were loathe to accept the Republic, but when the Republic transformed into the Empire, they led a freedom movement then, too. Led largely by Cham Syndulla, among others, this movement seems to be under intense scrutiny from the ISB. For more about that story, read Paul S. Kemp’s thrilling novel “Lords of the Sith,” where those very same freedom fighters attempt to assassinate Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine at the same time (and nearly succeed.) They also mention Arvala-6, which seems logical to be in the same system as Arvala-7, where the Mandalorian first met Grogu.
Another interesting thing spoken of during the briefing was the tracking of construction material heading to Scarif. Scarif, as we all know, is the site of the first decisive battle won by the Rebels as dramatized in “Rogue One”, but what goes unsaid here in this scene is that those construction materials are heading toward Scarif to complete construction of the Death Star, which had moved from Geonosis to Scarif in its final years. To read more about the story going on in the background that the ISB has no complete picture of, read James Luceno’s “Tarkin” and “Catalyst”, as both help paint that picture in the best ways.
It seems as though James Luceno’s novels were all well read in preparation for “Andor,” as another planet he mentioned in his Legends book “Darth Plaugeis” was name-dropped as well. Sev Tok first appeared in the old West End Games supplement “Star Wars Adventure Journal” in a story about sentient droids taking over a ship and only came up again with Luceno’s work in passing.
Perhaps the most interesting and jaw-dropping name drops happen in that scene between Mon Mothma and her husband when they discuss their dinner guests. Ars Dangor is one of them, and is one of Palpatine’s chief advisors. There is a long history of the character, but he first appeared in the canon in a confirmed way in James Luceno’s “Tarkin. He may or may not have been one of Palpatine’s advisors seen in “Return of the Jedi.” The other is Sly Moore, Palpatine’s chief of staff, scene first in “Revenge of the Sith.” It is she who vacates her seat to allow Anakin to sit down to let Palpatine spin his tales of Darth Plagueis to Anakin. She also appears at his side when he declares himself Emperor. Ordinarily, these name-drops would feel like Easter Eggs, but the menacing nature of Palpatine’s inner circle infiltrating Mon Mothma’s own home adds to the feeling of claustrophobia she must feel trying to fight for what is good and right in the galaxy.