Star Wars: Andor has premiered on Disney+ and is quickly proving to truly be a Star Wars series unlike any other. Showrunner Tony Gilroy is certainly using a whole different set of production values than the other Star Wars TV series have – and the show has quickly crossed some significant milestones for the larger Star Wars franchise, as well.
One of those milestones that Andor achieves is giving viewers a firm date of where this story takes place in the Star Wars Timeline: 5 BBY. That date will easily be discernable to Star Wars diehards who have spent time reading the novels, comics, and guidebooks that often use that terminology. However, for those who just watch the mainstream Star Wars movies or TV shows, you may need a bit more explanation.
What Does "BBY" Mean At the Start of Star Wars: Andor?
The term "BBY" is the official measurement of time in the Star Wars Franchise, and like all such denotations of time, it is connected to one significant event: The Battle of Yavin (or the "Battle of the Death Star").
In the case of Andor, the date of the series' first episodes ("5 BBY") means that it takes place five years before The Battle of Yavin happens.
What Is The Battle of Yavin In Star Wars?
The Battle of Yavin is the official historical name given to the Rebellion's fight to defend their base on Yavin 4 against The Empire's Death Star weapon, in the final battle of the original Star Wars movie, Star Wars: A New Hope. Because Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star was the big moment that cemented Star Wars as an iconic film, the rest of the events in the franchise that came after are set in time accordingly.
Therefore there are two main reference points of time for events in the Star Wars franchise: "BBY" (Before the Battle of Yavin) and "ABY" (After the Battle of Yavin).
Why Is Andor Using Star Wars' ABY-BBY Dating System?
As stated, the ABY-BBY dating system is familiar to fans who have explored the deeper lore of Star Wars in books, comics, or the many guidebooks or expanded lore that have been spawned from George Lucas' original film. Andor is bringing it to a mainstream TV platform with very good, pointed, reasons.
As Star Wars: Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy made clear early on, this Rogue One prequel series is going to play out over two seasons (12 episodes each), which will cover the 5-year span from when Cassian Andor was just a blue-collar operator on a scrappy planet, to when he became an elite spy in the Rebellion and helped uncover (and ultimately thwart) the Empire's darkest secret: The Death Star.
Star Wars: Andor is streaming new Season 1 episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.