Star Wars Andor Episode 4: Who are the Rakata and what is their history?

Star Wars series Andor not only the seemingly canonized video game character Starkiller in Episode 4, but also saw Luthen mentioning Rael “the rebellion against the Rakatan invaders”, thereby officially bringing a different species into the sci-fi world. This led to some viewers rushing to social media to praise the showrunners, but who exactly are the Rakata and what is their history in the galaxy? Here’s what we know.

Who are the Rakata mentioned in Andor?

Star Wars and/or Episode 4 Rakata Rakatan

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd./Disney Plus

Native to the planet Lehon, these amphibious humanoid creatures are believed to have been the first species to develop hyperspace travel. Though now extinct after being corrupted by the dark side of the Force, their shame lives on thanks to their cruel and unrelenting domination over other species.

In their day, the Rakata formed the Infinite Empire and were known for robbing entire planets of resources and sending slaves to do their bidding. They were arrogant and sought out those sensitive to the Force so they could train them to become slave warriors known as power dogs. They would arm their fighters with lightsabers, teach them to use the dark side of the Force, and send them on planetary missions.

Eventually, civil war broke out within the Infinite Empire, with death and disease bringing the Rakata to their knees. Their connection to the Force began to wane due to a mutation in the plague that threatened to wipe out the species, and over time they became unable to manipulate their own Force-created technology. This meant the use of inferior devices, and when the species they enslaved realized they had an opportunity to rebel, many uprisings took place, causing the collapse of the Infinite Empire.

Rakata reappeared some 20,000 years after the fall of the Infinite Empire, and although they were eventually welcomed into the Republic, the species failed to establish itself, eventually leading to the Rakata’s extinction. Though no longer in physical form, the Rakata live on through the Rakatan Ghost Boxes, discovered in the 2018 anthology film Solo: A Star Wars Story. This came after their first inclusion in the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Where have we seen the Rakata in Star Wars before?

The Rakata were first introduced to Star Wars fans as part of the 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. They were then brought into the new Star Wars canon in an issue of Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon magazine and referenced in the 2015 Star Wars comic book, written by Kieron Gillen and published by Marvel Comics. Her most recent recognition prior to Andor Episode 4 was in the seventh issue of the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic book series, which was released in 2016. Star Wars Andor Episode 4: Who are the Rakata and what is their history?

Emma Bowman

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