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Hyperdrive

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Kenobi the mender

Obi-Wan Kenobi mending a T-14 hyperdrive generator

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.[1]

The hyperdrive functioned by sending hypermatter particles to hurl a ship into hyperspace while preserving the vessels 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.[2] 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.[3]

Hyperdrives were graded on a decreasing number scale, with the lower the number the faster the ship. Referred to as 'Classes,' specially modified ships such as the Millennium Falcon possessed a Class 0.5 hyperdrive,[4] while top-of-the-line battlecruisers such as the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer contained Class 2 hyperdrives.[5]

Being short-range craft, most starfighters lacked a hyperdrive. This was notably the case with the Galactic Empire's TIE/LN starfighters, which had to be ferried to combat zones aboard larger ships. However, the X-wing starfighters used by the Rebel Alliance were fitted with a hyperdrive that allowed them to make long-range jumps.[6]

Upon entering hyperspace, a ship emitted cronau radiation, which was possible to detect with specialized sensor suites.[3]

HistoryEdit

Sightings of purrgil, a spacefaring species capable of traveling at lightspeed, inspired the early development of the hyperdrive.[7] 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.[8] 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[9] as increasing numbers of civilians from the Core Worlds sought to find a better life.[10]

Later, more advanced hyperdrives allowed even faster travel across a galaxy over 100,000 light years across,[11] while major hyperlanes such as the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way further accelerated galactic expansion.[3]

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