This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 5.Star Wars seems increasingly interested in the history of the galaxy, with notable Easter eggs in Andor and Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Viewers have always been fascinated by the history of the Star Wars galaxy. The first film dropped so many hints – references to the Clone Wars, an order of Jedi Knights who had protected the Old Republic for a thousand generations. It’s no coincidence George Lucas told the prequel trilogy rather than the sequels; he had the past planned out to a greater degree, although naturally some of his plans changed during production.
The Andor Disney+ TV series offered viewers an unusually deep glimpse into galactic history. It did so through the character of Luthen Rael, a leading figure in the Rebel Alliance who ran an antiques shop. First seen in Andor episode 4, Luthen’s shop was full of Easter eggs – references to the ancient history of the Sith, the Mandalorians, and different cultures and societies from across the galaxy. But Luthen’s most interesting Easter egg came when he presented a kyber crystal to Cassian Andor as something of a downpayment; Luthen revealled it had ties to the Rakatan invasion, an event from the old Expanded Universe that had taken place during the dawning days of the Jedi Order. Now, that surprising Knights of the Old Republic Easter egg seems to be becoming even more important.
Star Wars seems to be becoming increasingly interested in the ancient history of the galaxy. The pattern seems to have been set by Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which introduced an ancient Jedi Temple on the remote planet Ahch-To – apparently the first Jedi Temple. It contained a mural dedicated to the Prime Jedi, the one who founded the order, and it hinted the first Jedi did not serve the light side. The Prime Jedi was depicted as a being of balance first and foremost; the light in the darkness, and the darkness in the light. Since then, this impression of the early Jedi has been reinforced in other media through nods to ancient Jedi mantras and prophecies, all of which shared a very different Force philosophy to the Jedi.
Star Wars comics have continued to explore the galaxy’s history, notably through ongoing series starring a corrupt archeologist named Doctor Aphra. Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 5 follows in Doctor Aphra’s footsteps; the entire episode is devoted to a quest to recover a lost treasure that apparently predates even the Jedi Order. The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett both introduced Force vergences associated with the earliest Jedi in the old Expanded Universe, with Luke Skywalker building his own Jedi Temple on Ossus. The delightful Rakata Easter egg in Andor has to be placed in this specific context.
The ancient history of the galaxy remains something of a mystery, even now. According to the Star Wars: Force & Destiny sourcebook Nexus of Power, many of the old Expanded Universe tales – including the Dawn of the Jedi comics and the Jedi Vs. Sith series – are actually in-universe legends. There is a grain of truth in every legend, explaining why so many Easter eggs and references are making their way into the current lore. But the imprecise nature of these references makes it very difficult to say for sure what the galaxy was like before the Jedi.
Oddly enough, the Ancients mentioned in Star Wars: The Bad Batch may be linked to the Galaxy’s Edge planet of Batuu. The theme park is based on a planet situated in the Outer Rim, and contains mysterious structures linked to a civilization called the Ancients. It’s difficult to say whether these Ancients are the same beings, of course; the term is quite a basic one, and it’s easy to imagine there being various parts of the galaxy where different races are referred to as “Ancients.” Still, if they are, then this is a hint the Ancients knew how to travel through hyperspace – because their influence extended from the Kaldar trinary system to Batuu.
It’s possible these “Ancients” are in fact the Rakata, the invaders mentioned in Andor, who swept across the galaxy and enslaved countless worlds. A Rakatan superweapon, the Star Forge, was subtly referenced in Star Wars Rebels season 2, episode 21. Their homeworld, Byss – a planet in the Deep Core – has been mentioned in a couple of tie-ins, and apparently became of particular interest to Emperor Palpatine during the time of the Empire. But canon has established nothing else about the Rakata, or their defeat.
This raises the interesting question of whether Star Wars will ever explore the galaxy’s ancient history in depth. Sadly, it’s likely that will never happen; Lucasfilm seem content with delighting fans with Easter eggs and references to the EU. By keeping things vague, they allow fans of the old Expanded Universe to cling to the possibility the stories they loved still matter to the galaxy. A Knights of the Old Republic remake is in the works, too, and that is expected to carry on the story from the first popular games – making it very unlikely Lucasfilm will choose to confuse audiences with different accounts of the galaxy’s history.
Still, one thing’s for sure; Lucasfilm has rightly realized there is intense interest in the galaxy’s history. Their films and TV shows are increasingly referencing events from the different past, and Easter eggs get the Internet buzzing excitedly. Given that’s the case, the Andor Easter egg and Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 5 strongly suggest Lucasfilm will continue dropping hints of what has come, trusting viewers to either figure things out or stumble into the Expanded Universe. It will be exciting to see what comes next in Star Wars.
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