Andor’s Director Tells Us The Princess Leia Easter Egg He Doesn’t Think Anyone Has Spotted Yet

Adria Arjona on Andor
(Image credit: Disney / Lucasfilm)

There are going to be spoiler warnings for the current episodes of Andor in this story, so if you haven’t yet watched through episodes nine, you might want to back out now.

Andor has been a remarkable addition to the Star Wars canon on Disney+, filling in the larger story of Rebel fighter Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) while also painting broader strokes regarding to corruption of the Empire and the rise of the Resistance in various corners of the Star Wars universe. It’s still very much a prequel, for those who are keen on watching the Star Wars stories in order. But that doesn’t mean that Andor can’t make references to things that are going to happen in future stories (and past movies). Such as the visual cue that Andor director Toby Haynes, a favorite of the cast, slipped into episode nine of the first season. 

Episode nine, titled “Nobody’s Listening!,” makes up the middle chapter of the engrossing prison detour story, which finds Cassian falling in line with other prisoners but slowly chipping away at the resolve of their captor, the brilliant Andy Serkis playing Kino Loy. During this subplot, The Empire’s Imperial Security Bureau is doing what they can to unearth Cassian – not realizing that they have him imprisoned – and so they detain his close friend Bix (Adria Arjona) and begin to interrogate her. It looks painful.

During that scene, though, Andor director Toby Haynes reveals that he saw a way to parallel Bix’s uncomfortable situation to a moment in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, where Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia (an unofficial Disney Princess) also is about to be tortured for information. And even though Haynes admits that Andor writer Tony Gilroy isn’t a big Easter egg guy, the director couldn’t help but include a nod to the movie that started it all. As he told CinemaBlend:

There was an Easter egg – I don’t know if you spotted the Easter egg in episode nine, that was just a shot opportunity that I saw when we were filming the torture scene. It reminded me very much of when Princess Leia is about to get tortured in the original Star Wars. And so, there's a door that slides across, and somebody walks past the door on the Death Star. And I just wanted to sort of match that moment. I would do those kinds of things really without necessarily talking to Tony about it, because I think that that would make him nervous. That if we were doing too many quotes, they would take you out of the drama. His drive is, ‘Is it believable? Are you in the drama?’ That's paramount to him. Anything that's distracting from that, it would be dangerous to him.

The best thing about Andor, so far, is that similar to its predecessor, the beloved Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it is succeeding by telling stories interlocked with the Star Wars mythology yet not trapped by the pull of legacy characters and the Skywalker saga. Tony Gilroy knew that Cassian Andor had enough of a backstory to sustain a spinoff series. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess. But you can keep tracking the series so long as your Disney+ subscription is up to date.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.