A technology level (or technological development) was a classification used by Imperial bureaucrats to identify the level of technology on a planet. They were implimented in the buying and selling of goods and materials.
The six technology levels were:
- Stone—Such civilizations were distinguished by small social groups, primitive methods of cultivation and the use of simple tools. There was very little need for trade in stone-level cultures, as the tools could usually be made by anyone in the society. Food was provided through gathering wild plants (in case of herbivory), through fishing and hunting (if carnivore) or through early agriculture. Transportation was generally by foot, without any organized road network. Communication was essentially ensured by pictures and storytelling. (e.g. Endor, which the Ewoks and the Yuzzum called home)
- Feudal—Feudal-level civilizations were characterized by extensive social contact at a regional level and simple manufactured goods. The most advanced tools were made by specialized factories or workers. Agriculture, which consisted of herding bred animals or farming planted crops, occupied most of the community. Transportation was ensured by harnessing animal, water or wind power; road networks do exist. Communication included the use of a writing system. (e.g. Gamorr, the Gamorrean homeworld)
- Industrial—In industrial-level civilizations, the population was split between manufacturing and agriculture, as society interacted on a continental basis. The most advanced tools were created through mass production. Electricity was produced from burning fuels. Cultivation and transportation were motorized, and communication included the mass production of written text and simple electrical messages. (e.g. Ryloth, principal world of the Twi'lek)
- Atomic—Within atomic-level civilizations, more efficient mass production and manufactured goods were available on almost all societal levels. Advanced plastics and metallic alloys were created. Space travel was being invented while transportation, medicine, communication, and business were growing.
- Information—Sophisticated devices of communication and dataprocessing characterized civilizations of the information age. Such cultures had a global community, marked by quick dispersal of information to all inhabited planetary areas. Early droids and energy weapons often appeared, and repulsorlift was close to being discovered. Information-age worlds did not know the secrets of hyperspace, but in-system space travel was relatively common sight. (e.g. Kubindi, the Kubaz homeworld)
- Space—These civilizations were marked by hyperspace travel, extra-system colonization, droids, personal energy weapons such as blasters, and efficient industry. The space age was genereally considered to be the final stage of development of any civilization.(e.g. Dac, the Mon Calamari and Quarren home planet)
- "The Ewok civilization is extremely primitive and simple, with little of unique interest to warrant study by already overworked Imperial anthropologists."
- ―Pfilbee Jhorn
Societies that were thought to lack technological, economic or cultural development—like the furry Ewoks—were sometimes described as "primitive". The term, however, often had a speciesist and discriminatory connotation, and was considered to be offensive. Before the fateful events of the year 32 BBY, the Human inhabitants of the planet Naboo thought of the Gungans—a race of sentient amphibians with whom they shared their world—as barbarians. The role of Gungans in the galactic community was purposedly downplayed by the Naboo Senatorial Delegation, the members of which described those non-Humans as "simple-minded barbarians who have barely mastered the basic hallmarks of civilization."