Obi-Wan and Anakin look out over the city in Star Wars

Rebel With a Cause

17 years later, Star Wars finally returns to its most important planet

For the first time, Andor shows us the metropolis in the Empire era.

LucasFilm

When you think of Star Wars, you probably picture Tatooine. The small dusty town where the entire franchise began still looms large — and figures significantly in several recent Star Wars stories. But Tatooine is not the most important planet in this galaxy far away.

The most important planet in Star Wars is, of course, Coruscant, the seat of power throughout much of the franchise. Located at the center of the galaxy, Coruscant played a major role in the prequels (and almost showed up in Episode IX), but we haven’t seen it in live-action since

Thankfully, Andor is here to correct that. Here’s why this familiar planet is still groundbreaking.

Andor and Coruscant

The vibrant skyline of Coruscant at night.Lucasfilm

As the home of the Galactic Senate, Coruscant was the best place to show the slow-burn crumble of the Republic. The Senate is where we saw liberty extinguished with thunderous applause. It’s where we saw Palpatine tell Anakin about the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise. But we still have no idea what the planet looked like after Imperial rule became the established law of the land.

Andor is finally solving that mystery. In Episode 4, we see two different women on Coruscant: Mon Mothma, who is secretly trying to organize the Rebellion while keeping the public image of a politician; and Dedra Meero, who works at the Imperial Security Bureau.

Coruscant’s appearance in Andor is the first time we’ve seen it in live-action since the prequel trilogy (aside from a brief flashback in Rogue One, but the film barely acknowledges the setting). From what we can see in Andor so far, it doesn’t look like the city planet has changed that much. The trailer for the series even included a shot of the Senate gallery we got to know so well in the prequels.

Mon Mothma speaks to the Imperial Senate in Andor.Lucasfilm

Coruscant’s inclusion in Andor means that, for once, we get to see how day-to-day life in the capital was changed by the rise of the Empire. We’ve seen how it affected the Empire’s leaders and military, but not how it impacted the smaller facets of life, like the bureaucrats just trying to make their way through the day or the merchants who drive the planet’s economy. Andor is poised to give that to us.

For Star Wars fans who grew up with the prequels, Coruscant may seem like it’s always been a part of the franchise. But in reality, Coruscant’s story is only half told. What happened to the planet as power kept changing hands? Andor finally has the ability to explain another chapter of its long history.

Andor Episode 4 is now streaming on Disney+.