A dialogue from Andor has been able to advance the return of two great Star Wars villains

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Andor.


We’re halfway through the first season of Tony Gilroy’s Andor, and while most of the action has focused on an Imperial cargo heist in Aldahni, it’s important to pay attention to what’s been happening in other corners of the Galaxy. The final broadcast episode kicks off with the news that 80 million credits have been stolen from under the Empire’s nose. As word spreads through the Galactic Senate, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) speaks of the planet Ghorman and how the Empire is taking away the rights of its people by cutting off trade. Although we don’t get to know if Mothma’s bill to protect this “peaceful and faithful ally” passes, the mere mention of Ghorman sets up the return of two former Star Wars villains.

This “boot to the throat of all Ghormans” is apparently a nod to both Sly Moore and Grand Moff Tarkin. For those who need a refresher, Sly Moore is the Force adept Umbaran who sits next to Emperor Palpatine as his chief of staff. You might remember her from the scary look of her in the prequels, where she was played by Sandi Finlay. Moore has already been mentioned as a dinner guest for Mon Mothma’s husband, Perrin (Alastair Mackenzie). Mothma showed her distaste for the guest list because Moore and the rest of the guests cut off the shipping lanes to Ghorman.

It is clear that the Senate is quite empty these days, but there’s a good chance moore will be there. Assuming the shrinking Senate turns its attention to what’s going on with the rebel insurgency, things in Ghorman are only going to get worse, leading to a major event known as the Ghorman Massacre.

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The Ghorman Massacre is mentioned in an episode of Star Wars Rebels, in which Mothma denounces Palpatine as a “lying executioner”, flees with the Phantom’s crew, and later broadcasts a message that she will fight for the Rebellion in The front.

As to how Grand Moff Tarkin fits into all of this, the first mention of the Ghorman Massacre dates back much further in the Legends canon. The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook explains how the people of Ghorman rebelled against the tyrannical dictatorship of the Empire and held a peaceful protest in front of Tarkin’s warship. With the implied permission of Emperor Palpatine, Tarkin lands his ship on the protesters, killing hundreds of them. Tarkin is an important character in the world of Star Wars, and was played by Peter Cushing in A New Hope. The character had a backstory in animated series such as The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Shipment, while he also appears in Rogue One with the digital likeness of Cushing and Guy Henry for physical and vocal performance.

Trade routes are serious business.

One of the survivors of the Ghorman Massacre in the Legends stories is the character Magva Yarro, who joins Saw Gerrera’s partisans and appears in live action during Rogue One (played by Sabine Crossen). Regarding Andor, it has been confirmed that Forest Whitaker will reprise his role as Saw. There are multiple sources to pull from for the live-action Ghorman Massacre storyline, but it’s the take on Legands that might work best here, as it triggers the formation of the Rebellion. There’s a problem with this, since Legends places the Ghorman massacre around 18 BBY and the first season of Andor takes place in 5 BBY, but the fact that Mothma doesn’t mention it in Andor suggests that it hasn’t happened yet.

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The line at Andor, apparently disposable, also has the opportunity to restore a deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith, in which Mothma met with Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) to form the Loyalty Committee against Palpatine. The scene mentions the Delegation of 2000, who were part of the Ghorman Massacre in Legends and went on to form the Rebellion, much like Mothma and Organa in the TV shows and movies. Adapting expanded canon and taking into account the events of Rebels, things line up with Mothma fleeing the Empire towards the end of Andor’s second season. This would lead to her role in Rogue One and Return of the Jedi (where she was played by Caroline Blakiston) without destroying established canon. More importantly, these Ghorman issues are an opportunity for Sly Moore and Admiral Tarkin to show up in Andor without looking like they’ve been shoehorned in for a big-name cameo.