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Kenobi the mender

Obi-Wan Kenobi attempts to mend a T-14 hyperdrive generator

The hyperdrive was a propulsion system that allowed a starship to reach lightspeed and traverse the void between stars in the alternate dimension of hyperspace. As a 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 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—at its destination.

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.[2]

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

Large objects in normal space cast "mass shadows" in hyperspace, thus hyperspace jumps required accurate plotting to avoid collisions, which were often fatal.

Later technologies could pull vessels out of hyperspace: for instance, interdiction fields created gravitational shadows, simulating mass, in the path of an oncoming vessel, yanking the vessel out of hyperspace.[4] Imperial technologists developed the widely used Interdictor vessels and their various sub-models, one of the most effective interdiction technologies.[3]

HistoryEdit

Sightings of purrgil, a spacefaring species capable of traveling at lightspeed, were said to have inspired the early development of the hyperdrive.[5] Before its invention, the earliest spacers utilized sleeper ships, using cryogenic freezing processes to preserve their original hosts in carbonite.[6] Once hyperdrives made faster-than-light travel possible, galactic civilization flourished throughout ancient history. The Old Republic sent pioneering scout ships to explore the galaxy[7] as increasing numbers of civilians from the Core Worlds sought a better life.[8]

Later, more advanced hyperdrives allowed even faster travel across a galaxy over 100,000 light years across,[9] while major hyperlanes such as the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way further accelerated galactic expansion.[3]

Advanced operationEdit

During the Clone Wars, a high-risk tactic was used to rescue Jedi Master Eeth Koth from the forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems in orbit of Saleucami. Using the exact coordinates of General Grievous' command ship, Anakin Skywalker precisely jumped through hyperspace, arriving meters away from his target, undetected.[10]

The same precise jumping was used by Han Solo to infiltrate the First Order superweapon Starkiller Base, since the planet's shields were using a fractional refresh rate that would keep anything below light speed from passing through.[11]

Without careful planning, using hyperdrive in such manner could result in the loss of a ship due to the nature of mass shadows, but the most gifted pilots like Solo and Skywalker could use those characteristics of space to their advantage.[10][11]

ClassesEdit

Hyperdrives were rated by "class"; the lower the class, the faster the engine. With its Class One hyperdrive, the Carrion Spike was the fastest ship in the Imperial Navy,[3] 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.[12] Some exceptional ships, like Nakari Kelen's Desert Jewel or Han Solo's Millennium Falcon, had exceptionally fast hyperdrives—Class 0.8[13] and 0.5 respectively.[14]

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AppearancesEdit

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SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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