Breaking Down What "BBY" Means in 'Andor' and the Larger 'Star Wars' Timeline

Katherine Stinson - Author

Sep. 22 2022, Published 12:35 p.m. ET

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna)
Source: Disney Plus

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...

(For the love of the galaxy, Star Wars, how much time exactly was a long time ago anyway?)

Thanks be to George Lucas — there actually is a way to clearly tell which year it is in the Star Wars timeline.

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If you watched the opening episode of Andor on Disney Plus and were too afraid to ask what "BBY 5" meant, we've got you covered. The BBY actually notates the time before or after a key moment in the fight against the evil Empire.

'Andor' was kind enough to give us a timeline clue
Source: Disney Plus

'Andor' was kind enough to give us a timeline clue

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OK – so what does "BBY" mean in 'Star Wars' then? Does it mean "Before Baby Yoda"?

We wouldn't blame any casual Star Wars fan for thinking "BBY" might've stood for "Before Baby Yoda" (no judgment here)! However, it actually stands for "Before Battle of Yavin."

Lest we forget, the Battle of Yavin was the epic battle at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope. You know, the fight where that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) guy blew up the Death Star (well, the first Death Star anyway.)

So if the opening episode of Andor is set in BBY 5, that means Andor Season 1 takes place five years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and the pivotal Battle of Yavin.

This stacks up with the events of Rogue One, where Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) perish on Scarif just as the Death Star plans are brought to Princess Leia Organa, triggering the start of A New Hope.

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Hold up, so what about years after the Battle of Yavin? How are those noted?

Thankfully for us, the Star Wars timeline keeps it simple in terms of how years are marked after Luke blew up his dad's prized possession (kids, right?). Any year after the Battle of Yavin is marked with ABY — or, "After Battle of Yavin."

So for example, take The Mandalorian. The first season takes place in 9 ABY. So yes, everyone's favorite series about a traveling space dad and his cute green son really doesn't happen long after the events of the original trilogy!

And we know for certain that Seasons 1–2 of Andor will span the five years leading up to the events of Rogue One, so we'll get to see Cassian in all his rebellious Empire-fighting glory for many episodes to come.

However, if we were him, we'd stay away from beaches or women named Jyn Erso. Just a hunch, really.

New episodes of Andor drop every Wednesday on Disney Plus.

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