What does BBY mean in Star Wars?

Last Modified Apr 17, 2023 07:29 GMT
What does BBY mean in Star Wars?
Source: Official Facebook Page of Star Wars

BBY in the Star Wars universe stands for Before the Battle of Yavin. BBY is a method of keeping track of time in the far-off galaxy that alludes to a crucial period in Star Wars history.

“Before the Battle of Yavin” is abbreviated as “BBY.” The final battle in “Star Wars: A New Hope” takes place on the planet Yavin, where Luke Skywalker destroys the first Death Star and prevents the Rebel Alliance from being completely destroyed.

“After the Battle of Yavin” is referred to as “ABY.” BBY is a countdown, with 0 BBY standing for the year of the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin was fought in ABY 1, which begins counting up from that same year.

In the real world, eras of time are denoted by the nomenclature CE (the "Common Era") and BCE (the "Before the Common Era"). However, there is no year 0 in the calendar of the real world. Instead, Year 1 in BCE and CE corresponds to the Christian belief in the birth of Jesus Christ. Before BCE and CE, historians referred to the periods as BC and AD, which stood for Before Christ and Anno Domini, respectively.

The following are some notable dates from the "Star Wars" timeline:

  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: BBY 32

  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: BBY 22

  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: BBY 19

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi: BBY 9

  • Star Wars: A New Hope: BBY 0

  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: ABY 3

  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: ABY 4

  • The Mandalorian: ABY 9

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens: ABY 34

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi: ABY 34

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: ABY 35

What is Yavin?

Yavin is a fictional planet in the “Star Wars” galaxy that is also referred to as "Yavin Prime" to distinguish it from its moons. It was first depicted as a sizable red gas giant with a vast satellite system of moons in the 1977 film “Star Wars.” On its fourth moon, Yavin 4, the Rebel Alliance's covert military outpost is situated.

The Rebel Alliance destroys the Death Star in the film's climactic space battle, which takes place in orbit around the planet Yavin. This event is particularly important to the “Star Wars” fandom and the “Star Wars” expanded universe because it is one way to designate a historical era in the fictional Star Wars universe.

Source: Official Facebook Page of Star Wars

The Massassi ruins are a collection of ancient temple ruins where the Rebel Alliance has built a covert base. To keep an eye on entrances and exits from the base, tall observation towers rise above the treetops. The Death Star, the Empire's enormous space station with the power to obliterate entire planets, is a threat to the Yavin Base once it has been discovered by the Galactic Empire.

With only seconds left before the Yavin moon is destroyed, the Rebellion attacks the Death Star with X-wing and Y-wing starfighters. Luke Skywalker then uses proton torpedoes to destroy the Death Star. The heroes receive decorations for their bravery during a triumphant award ceremony on Yavin, which brings the movie to a close. Its date serves as a reference point for events in the expanded Star Wars universe. This conflict is now known as the “Battle of Yavin.”

Is Andor’s timeline important?

The first scene of Andor episode 1 states that it takes place in the year BBY 5, which is significant for both the plot of the show and the larger “Star Wars” universe. Andor stays fairly close to the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which took place in the year 0 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), because they directly preceded those of “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

Then, Andor reverses time by just five years, allowing it to develop Cassian Andor's (Diego Luna) character from his early days in the still-emerging Rebel Alliance to the one we see in “Rogue One.”

Andor’s timeline
Source: Official Facebook Page of Star Wars

Both of those are expertly captured by Andor, who examines the empire's middle management at a rarely seen level while also gradually demonstrating the convergence of the various rebellious factions.

For this reason alone, Andor's timeline of BBY 5 is essential because it marks both a crucial turning point when the disparate rebel cells start to unite and a period when Imperial ranks are so bloated and overconfident that it explains how they could be defeated by smaller forces.


Q. What does BBY stand for in Star Wars?

A. BBY stands for “Before the Battle of Yavin” in the Star Wars Universe.

Q. What does ABY stand for in Star Wars?

A. ABY stands for “After the Battle of Yavin” in the Star Wars Universe.

Q. What is Yavin?

A. Yavin is a red giant planet, with numerous moons.
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