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What does BBY mean in the opening scene of Star Wars’ Andor?

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Even diehard Star Wars fans were tripped up by an opening scene in Andor, the new Star Wars show on Disney Plus, that displayed the cryptic characters “BBY 5.” Turns out it’s a way of marking time in the galaxy far, far away — one that references a pivotal moment in Star Wars history.

BBY stands for “Before the Battle of Yavin.” Yavin is the planet around which the climactic battle in Star Wars: A New Hope occurs, with Luke Skywalker destroying the first Death Star and saving the Rebel Alliance from total annihilation. “ABY” stands for “After the Battle of Yavin.” BBY counts down, with 0 BBY representing the year in which the Battle of Yavin occurred.

ABY counts up from that same year, with ABY 1 being the year following the Battle of Yavin. It’s analogous to our real world nomenclature, which uses CE (the “Common Era”) and BCE (“Before the Common Era”) to mark epochs of time.

There’s no year zero in the real-world calendar, however. BCE and CE instead share year 1, which coincides with the Christian belief in the birth of Jesus Christ.

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