Warning: Spoilers for Andor episode 11
A scene in Andor episode 11 makes Alderaan’s fate an even sadder moment for the franchise. Alderaan, the planet where Princess Leia grew up, was infamously destroyed by the Death Star’s laser in A New Hope. It was the destruction of Alderaan that demonstrated the full potential of the Death Star and just how evil the Galactic Empire really is in Star Wars.
Alderaan, which has had a presence in various Star Wars projects set before the movie, was directly referenced in Andor episode 11. After getting caught in a tractor beam controlled by an Empire vessel, Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen Rael tried to talk his way out of the situation by using Alderaan for his transponder I.D. and pretending to be a member of the planet’s trade alliance. Clearly, his goal was to show the Empire that he was harmless, and the fact that he used Alderaan to make this point highlights the peaceful nature of the Alderaanian civilization. In his mind, there was no reason for Imperial officers to have an issue with someone from Alderaan. Yet, in the end, the Empire still destroyed it.
What We Know About Alderaan During Andor’s Timeline & Before It Was Destroyed
Due to the widespread activities of the Rebel faction in the Star Wars timeline, there were multiple planets in the galaxy that the Empire had to be concerned about – Alderaan included. For centuries, it had a reputation for staying out of intergalactic conflicts and maintaining the role of a pacifist. Things took a turn during the time of the Clone Wars when under the leadership of Senator Organa, the planet became a safe haven for refugees who had lost their homes to the Separatists.
Once the Republic fell and the Empire officially took over, Organa emerged as a key player in the Rebels’ efforts to oppose them and helped make Alderaan a valuable asset of the Rebellion. While direct involvement in the fighting was avoided on Alderaan’s part, their government still contributed a great deal in terms of resources and weapons. Ultimately, this was enough for Organa and Alderaan to earn the ire of the Empire prior to its destruction in A New Hope.
Disney Star Wars Keeps Making Alderaan’s Destruction More Devastating
Andor isn’t the first instance of the franchise making Alderaan’s destruction more tragic than it already was in the original Star Wars trilogy. In A New Hope, Alderaan was just a planet seen from afar, whereas additional installments like the Leia, Princess of Organa book have actually taken steps to explore the scenery and the people who live there. Seeing its peaceful society and beautiful landscape in Obi-Wan Kenobi and other projects (while knowing the fate that awaits it) has added to the emotional impact that goes along with this landmark moment in the Star Wars timeline.
Andor releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+.