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Andor Proves Star Wars Was Definitely A Long Time Ago With This Antiquated Tech

Contains spoilers for "Andor" Episode 2

With its ambitious scale and time frame, the latest Disney+ "Star Wars" show, "Andor," spans the five tumultuous years leading up to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Fans get to follow the rise of major "Rogue One" character Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who at the early stages of the show is a far cry from the Rebel Alliance super-agent he is in the movie. 

The "Star Wars" franchise famously takes place in the distant past of a faraway corner of the universe, and even the movies make it clear that much of the tech in the Galaxy Far, Far Away consists of barely functional husks held together with tape and random spare parts. Nevertheless, the advanced droids, weaponry, and transportation make it clear that at least some technological fields are well ahead of modern-day Earth. 

Other technological advancements, however, appear to be ... well, significantly less advanced. Because "Andor" largely focuses on the seedy underbelly of the "Star Wars" universe, much of the tech we see is of the "heap of rust" variety — and in "Andor" Episode 2, it turns out that some "Star Wars" planets are using technology that real-life Earth tends to consider altogether obsolete. 

Timm Karlo uses the Star Wars version of a payphone

One aspect of "Star Wars" technology that seems to be lagging a century or so behind the cool robotics and spaceships is communication tech interface. Sure, the distances "Star Wars" comms have to cover are pretty impressive, but from a user standpoint, any decent Earth smartphone or video conference app mops the floor with the wobbly, discolored holograms the characters routinely use for long distance calls. 

However, even those holograms are things of beauty and grace when you compare them to the thing the jealous Timm Karlo (James McArdle) uses in "Andor" Episode 2. As Timm sets out to reveal Andor as the person the authorities on Ferrix are interested in, he calls in the tip with what looks an awful lot like the "Star Wars" equivalent of an old school payphone. 

On Earth, the humble payphone has been going the way of the dodo for quite a while, to the point that even notorious public payphone hub New York City removed its last working unit in 2022 (via CNBC). At least fans of this antiquated piece of technology can take solace in the fact that payphones are still kicking in the "Star Wars" universe.