The hyperdrive was a type of propulsion system that allowed a starship to enter light-speed and traverse the void between stars in the alternate dimension of hyperspace. As consequence, the hyperdrive was a key instrument in shaping galactic society, trade, politics and war.
The hyperdrive functioned by sending hypermatter particles to hurl a ship into hyperspace while preserving the vessel's mass/energy profile, and required a functional hyperdrive motivator to do so. The vessel then traveled along a programmed course until it dropped back into normal space—realspace—and arrived at its destination. Large objects in normal space cast "mass shadows" in hyperspace, thus hyperspace jumps required accurate plotting to avoid collisions, which were often fatal. Later galactic technologies attempted to pull vessels out of hyperspace, with interdiction fields creating gravitational shadows, thus simulating mass in the direction of an oncoming vessel and subsequently yanking them out of hyperspace. Galactic Empire technologists managed to develop the widely used Interdictor cruisers and their various sub-models, being one of the most effective examples of interdiction technologies.
Being short-range craft, most starfighters lacked a hyperdrive. This was notably the case with the Galactic Empire's TIE fighters, which had to be ferried to combat zones aboard larger ships. However, the X-wing and A-Wing starfighters used by the Rebel Alliance were fitted with hyperdrives, allowing them to make long-range jumps.
Sightings of purrgil, a spacefaring species capable of traveling at lightspeed, were said to have inspired the early development of the hyperdrive. Beforehand, the earliest spacers were known to utilize sleeper ships before the invention of the hyperdrive, using cryogenic freezing processes to preserve their original hosts in carbonite. Nonetheless, with faster-than-light-travel possible with the invention of the hyperdrive, galactic civilization flourished throughout the galaxy's ancient history. Pioneering scout ships were sent by the Old Republic to explore the galaxy as increasing numbers of civilians from the Core Worlds sought to find a better life.
Later, more advanced hyperdrives allowed even faster travel across a galaxy over 100,000 light years across, while major hyperlanes such as the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way further accelerated galactic expansion.
Hyperdrives were rated by "classes"; the lower the class, the faster the engine. With its Class One hyperdrive, the Carrion Spike was the fastest ship in the Imperial Navy, while top-of-the-line battlecruisers such as the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer featured Class 2 hyperdrives. The T-14 hyperdrive generator equipped on J-type 327 Nubian starships was rated Class 1.8. Some exceptional ships, like Nakari Kelen's Desert Jewel or Han Solo's Millennium Falcon, had exceptionally fast hyperdrives—Class 0.8 and 0.5 respectively.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tarkin
- ↑ Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "The Call"
- ↑ Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- ↑ The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure
- ↑ Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
- ↑ Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
- ↑ Ultimate Star Wars
- ↑ Heir to the Jedi
- ↑ Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Hyperdrive on Wikipedia