|Total star systems||
120,000 light years
|Dwarf satellite galaxies|
|Major trade routes|
- "Galaxy upon galaxy. Vast, unexplored realms of space. It is a wild, untamed universe we live in. There is much danger here and therefore much need for armies, generals, and soldiers. But along with those who wage war there is also much need for those who explore new worlds and make possible the exchange of knowledge and goods…who bring civilization."
- ―Mungo Baobab
The galaxy was one of the billions of galaxies that existed in the universe, as well as one of six galaxies directly accessible by the time of the Galactic Empire. Composed of some four hundred billion stars in a disk 120,000 light-years in diameter, this galaxy was home to between five and twenty million sentient species. Nearly 100 quadrillion sentient beings lived in one billion star systems in this galaxy, and interacted with each other through travel, diplomacy, trade, politics, and war. In historical memory, this galaxy had been ruled by the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, the New Republic, and the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, and was home to the Force-using orders of the Jedi and the Sith.
The galaxy was between 100,000 and 120,000 light years across, or 37,000 parsecs (a parsec is 3.258 light years), and approximately 13 billion years old. The galaxy's luminous disk contained some four hundred billion stars, of which around a quarter had been properly surveyed by the galactic community by the time of the Galactic Empire. The luminous disk revolved around the Galactic Center, a supermassive black hole that massed as much as four million suns. As late as the Declaration of a New Order, only probe droids had ever visited the black hole at Galactic Center.
The galaxy bulged around Galactic Center to form a bright sphere known as the Deep Core. This region was around seven thousand light-years across and contained some thirty billion tightly-compacted stars. Towards the center the stars of the Deep Core were only around a hundredth of a light-year apart, and were known to collide and rip out each other's stellar cores. Most of the stars of the luminous galaxy were in a disk of spiral arms rotating around the Deep Core. Galactic civilization named four spiral arms: the Bakchou arm, the Ettarue arm, the South Arm, and the Tingel Arm. The brightest supergiant stars were concentrated in the spiral arms, as well as glowing clouds of gas and dust, which contributed to the apparent gaps between the arms even though those areas were full of stars.
Most stars were within a thousand light-years above or below the plane of the luminous disk, forming a two thousand-light-year region known as the "thin disk". For three thousand, five hundred light-years on either side was the "thick disk", which was poorer in stars than the thin disk and even fewer of these had a system of planets.
Beyond the thick disk was the stellar halo, a huge sphere surrounding the entire galaxy with a few billion stars in highly elliptical orbits. Nearly two hundred globular clusters orbited in this region. The globular clusters were typically lifeless, packing hundreds of thousands of extremely old, inhospitable stars into only a hundred light-years. Many of the globular clusters, however, were considered extremely beautiful sights, such as Cosm's Well.
The galaxy was orbited by seven dwarf satellite galaxies, some of which contained twenty billion stars. They were ranked in order of distance. The closest was Companion Aurek, also known as the Rishi Maze, a complex tangle of stars high above the galactic plane. Companion Besh, also known as Firefist, was some 150,000 light-years away from the galaxy and had only ever been surveyed by probots. The other satellite galaxies, Companions Cresh through Grek, were much further out. Most of the Companions were described as having ancient, metal-poor remnants of stars and not much life. A hyperspace disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy severely complicated hyperspace travel outside the disk and generally discouraged extra-galactic exploration. A band of whorls and eddies that spun around the galaxy too quickly to be traversed at faster-than-light speeds, a number of astrophysicists believed this to be a creation of a mysterious ancient race known as the Celestials.
While there was a hyperspace disturbance outside of the galaxy, hyperspace made it possible within the galaxy to have an enormous and diverse civilization. Of the galaxy's 400 billion stars, around 180 billion of them were orbited by a system of planets. 90% of the stars of the galaxy fell within the Main Sequence (the other 10% comprised protostars or stellar remnants like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes). The larger blue and white stars of the sequence - the O-, B-, and A-type stars - such as Garnib, Kessa and Colu, lived for a few million years and rarely possessed systems that had intelligent life since it had too little time to evolve. The most habitable stars were G- and K-type yellow and orange dwarfs such as Corell and Yavin, which had lifespans of tens of billions of years giving life plenty of time to evolve. G- and K-types between them made up 19% of the galaxy's stars, and 75% of them were habitable. The most common stars in the galaxy, however, were M-type red dwarfs, which comprised 70% of the galaxy's stars, but only 1% of them, such as Barab, were habitable. Very few red dwarfs were settled: most were surveyed by probe droids in the early years of the Galactic Republic and were typically left abandoned unless they possessed mineable resources.
Factoring in the output of heat and light needed for an advanced civilization to form, therefore, there were 7.1 billion truly habitable stars within the galaxy, and about 3.2 billion habitable star systems. It was estimated that about one billion of those systems were actually populated or had been settled by sentient beings.
Some thirteen billion years before the Battle of Yavin, an immense cloud of gas and dust collapsed under its own gravity and coalesced to form a revolving disk, creating the galaxy. Over many more billions of years, the stars and planets began to form. By 5,000,000,000 BBY, life had begun to evolve in the galaxy, with some of the earliest examples of non-sentient life developing on Goroth Prime.
Around 2,000,000 BBY, many of the galaxy's most well-known species were evolving: the Wookiees began on Kashyyyk as a species of tree-climbers. The Oracle of Pelgrin, quite possibly the oldest artifact in the galaxy, was believed to date from this period. By 200,000 BBY, the Zhell, ancestors to the Humans, had developed intelligence and were waging war against the Taungs for control of their mutual homeworld of Notron, later known as Coruscant.
The earliest civilizationsEdit
By 100,000 BBY, a mysterious race known as the Celestials dominated the galaxy. Also known as the Architects, this spectacularly powerful race was believed to have been capable of manipulating and moving the very stars: surviving Celestial machinery like Centerpoint Station and the Cosmic Turbine could manipulate gravity on a titanic scale with repulsor pulses, tractor beams, and hyperspace wormholes. With this technology, the Celestials were believed to have been responsible for building the Corellian system, the Vultar system, and 15 other star systems, as well as the Hapes Cluster, the Kathol Rift, and the Maw black hole cluster. Pre-Republic specialists believed the Celestials to also be responsible for the hyperspace disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy, possibly as a defense against outside interference. They were also believed to be responsible for the chain of hyperspace anomalies west of the Core that bisected the galaxy and prevented travel into the Unknown Regions. Speculation holds that the Celestials had crafted the hyperspace anomalies that bisected the galaxy in order to contain the Rakata.
A number of other spacefaring races around this time became clients of the Celestials. The insectile Killiks of Alderaan were exploited as laborers and were seeded across the galaxy, until around 30,000 BBY when they disappeared into the west of the galaxy and into the Unknown Regions, presumably relocated by the Celestials. The Kwa and the Gree made use of structures known as the Infinity Gates and hypergates, respectively, to travel between planets and came into territorial conflict with each other. Other species fled to escape the Celestials: the Sharu of the Rafa system far in the galactic east had a brief period of expansion, spreading their iconic plastic pyramid cities as far into the Core as Aargau, but this may have attracted the attention of the Celestials and the Sharu buried their cities and sought refuge in primitivism to escape them. Likewise, the Columi of Columus made surveys of both the Humans and the Duros in the Core and were unimpressed by what they found, but also fled back to their homeworld, perhaps to avoid retribution from the Celestials.
Around 35,000 BBY, the domain of the Celestials was usurped when the Rakata slave race revolted. Stealing technology from the Kwa, they waged war against the other servant races, and broke through the barrier surrounding the Unknown Regions into the galaxy proper and waged a war of extermination upon the Celestials. The eventual fate of the Celestials was unclear. They may have been trapped inside the galaxy by their barrier and destroyed by the Rakatan revolt, or they may have escaped through the barrier. By 30,000 BBY, the Celestials were nowhere to be found, and the Rakatan Infinite Empire had taken center stage.
The Rakata fanned out from their homeworld of Lehon in the Tempered Wastes of the Unknown Regions, using hyperdrives that channelled the power of the Force to guide them to worlds with strong Force signatures. The Infinite Empire occupied a scattering of systems across the galaxy, but vast tracts of territory between these holdings remained untouched, allowing smaller interstellar confederations to flourish. The Devaronians and the Gossam experimented with the tumble hyperdrive, and while worlds like Coruscant, Corellia and Duro were occupied by the Rakata, Humans, Duros, Selonians and Drall were able to study the principles of the Rakatan hyperdrive. The Rakata to be cruel masters, consigning entire subject populations to slavery. After nearly five thousand years of dominance, the Rakatan Empire collapsed after a devastating plague swept through the Empire that stripped the Rakata of their ability to use the Force. A colonial slave revolt finished off the empire by 25,200 BBY.
The decline of the Infinite Empire coincided with the reverse-engineering and perfection of Rakatan hyperdrive technology by the other species of the galaxy. Developing technological replacements to its Force-based components, various species struck out from their homeworlds, first with slower-than-light sleeper ship colonies, followed by the development of the hyperspace cannon. Through this re-use of Rakatan castoffs, a number of civilizations asserted themselves: the Humans and Duros dominated the Core, while the cetacean Herglics built up their own trade empire to the south. On the Rim, Human sleeper ship colonies formed the Tionese civilization, which came into conflict with the empire of the Hutts.
This period coincided with the beginning of the Jedi Order on Tython with its studies of the Force, as well as the religious rivalry between understandings of the light and dark sides of the Force. Conflict between the Jedi and the Dark Jedi would assert itself several times throughout galactic history, a cycle that continued beyond the Yuuzhan Vong War.
In 25,000 BBY, the various states of the Core assembled on Coruscant and signed the Galactic Constitution, establishing a civilization under a common law, language and currency, proclaiming the Galactic Republic. The Republic united the largely-Human Core Worlds, and the Core Founders uncluded political players like Coruscant, Alsakan, Corellia, Duro, Kuat and Alderaan, military strongholds like the Azure Imperium of Axum and Anaxes, as well as Esseles and Rendili, emerging commercial hubs like Tepasi, Brentaal IV and Humbarine, and worlds important to the medical, diplomatic and philosophical arts, like Chandrila, Caamas, Rhinnal and Shawken.
The Expansionist Era coincided with the foundation of the Republic and saw the beginnings of the official charting and settlement of much of the galaxy's spiral. Scouts pushing east from Coruscant moved up two trade routes, the Perlemian Trade Route and the Corellian Run, which formed the boundaries of a vast wedge of space known as "the Slice". At the end of the Corellian Run lay Kalarba, a trade hub maintained by the merchants of Paqwepori, while the Perlemian led to the trade worlds of Tirahnn, Nouane, and Roche. No similar corridors were found to the galactic west, which resulted in much of that quadrant of the galaxy remaining unexplored and mysterious, becoming known as the Unknown Regions. This expansion saw the Republic come into conflict with the Human civilizations of the Tion Cluster. After its victory in 24,000 BBY, the Republic swelled with more territory than it could initially govern as many systems clamored for protection against the depredations of the Hutts.
The Great Manifest Period began in 20,000 BBY with the widespread settling of the Slice, with the dense web of systems at its tip becoming known as the Arrowhead. This region became heavily-dominated by Coruscant while Corellia dominated settlement around the Corellian Run. Rivalry between Coruscant and Alsakan over policy on the Perlemian sparked the First Alsakan Conflict in 17,000 BBY, the start of the Indecta Era, and though peace would be brokered between the two, the Alsakan Conflicts would continue in an abbreviated form for some 14,000 years. The first five Alsakan Conflicts also discouraged settlement along the Perlemian, pushing colonists to the Corellian Hegemony in the Trailing Sectors along the Corellian Run and the growing Corellian Trade Spine.
The Kymoodon Era, opening in 15,000 BBY, ushered another colonization boom on par with the Great Manifest Period. Improvements in the hyperdive allowed many odd pockets of colonization to spring up in the unexplored northern and southern quadrants, and the Herglics joined the Republic, beginning a surge in development around the Hidakai Pool, which would become the Rimma Trade Route. However, the era stored up the seeds for future conflict, as the Republic's borders increasingly abutted those of Hutt Space, leaving isolated colonies open to raids by Hutt slavers. Widespread resentment of the Hutts on the Rim was tapped by Contispex I and the Humanocentric Pius Dea religious sect to begin a series of crusades against the Hutts in 12,000 BBY. The millennia-long Pius Dea Era would see many non-Human species conquered, persecuted, or exterminated, and would foment extreme resentment among the species of the Rim. The subsequent Ductavis Era and Rianitus Period from 11,000-8000 BBY would be periods of retrenchment and rebuilding following the Crusades.
The Subterra Period of 8000-7000 BBY saw new mapping of the galactic southern quadrant, with colonies such as Malastare serving as anchors for the tangles of praediums that linked the region. Scouts also penetrated the Rishi Maze around this time. However, the lack of a super-hyperroute into the southern quadrant and the new colonies' general inaccessibility promoted lawlessness in the Rim and limited Coruscant's authority, which was believed to have contributed to the Second Great Schism of the Jedi Order in 7003 BBY, beginning a galaxy-wide uprising of Dark Jedi known as the Hundred-Year Darkness. In the war's aftermath, the defeated Dark Jedi were exiled beyond the Rim into the unexplored space north of the Perlemian. There, the Exiles settled the worlds of Korriban and Ziost within the Stygian Caldera, where they dominated the native Sith and established an empire.
During the Manderon Period, the Corellian Trade Spine and the Rimma Trade Route were established in 5500 BBY after the Herglics, Givin and Corellians linked together hundreds of pre-existing praediums, improving access to the southern quadrant. In 5000 BBY, the Sith Empire was rediscovered by the Republic, beginning the Great Hyperspace War when the Sith Lord Naga Sadow attempted to conquer the Republic. The Sith were defeated and once again driven into exile, but it was the beginning of a threat that would trouble the Republic for the remainder of its existence. A thousand years later in 4000 BBY, Sith teachings discovered on Korriban and Onderon enticed the Jedi Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma to the dark side, beginning the Great Sith War. The Sith's alliance with the Mandalorians, a group of warrior-nomads descended from the Taungs, in that war would prove to be the genesis of another threat to the Republic. The Republic endured nearly fifty years of almost continuous fighting known as the Old Sith Wars as a result of Exar Kun until the Sith Empire was destroyed in 3950 BBY by the redeemed Sith Lord Revan.
By 3700 BBY, the galaxy had been charted and settled as far as Farana in the north and Malastare in the south, but much of the northern and southern quadrants beyond the trade routes remained unsettled. At that time, however, the Brentaal-born explorer Freia Kallea extended the ancient Brentaal–Denon Route and linked several pre-exisiting praediums. By 3693 BBY, she had expanded the trade routes south of Denon as far as Imynusoph, mapping the full length of the Hydian Way, the only super-hyperroute to span the length of the galaxy. The ease with which vessels could now reach the northern and southern quadrants greatly expanded the Republic's footprint into the New Territories and the Western Reaches and opened up countless new sources of minerals, crystals and gases. From 3681-3642 BBY, however, the Republic endured decades of war and tension with a resurgent Sith Empire formed by exiles from the Great Hyperspace War. A second Galactic War broke out between the two in 3642 BBY, and the collapse of galaxy-wide authority led other powers like the Eternal Empire to fill the power vacuum.
In the wars' aftermath, the galaxy enjoyed several centuries of relative prosperity, which ended in 2000 BBY with the dawn of the Draggulch Period and the start of the New Sith Wars when the Jedi Master Phanius proclaimed himself Darth Ruin. In the ensuing millennium of fighting between the Republic and the New Sith, the Republic solely collapsed, culminating in the Republic Dark Age in the final century, when the Republic's authority effectively ceased to exist beyond the major trade routes and the HoloNet communications network ceased to function. The New Sith Wars finally ended when the Army of Light led by the Jedi Lord Hoth defeated Skere Kaan's Brotherhood of Darkness at the Seventh Battle of Ruusan. A single Sith Lord, Darth Bane, escaped to establish a new Sith order, while Supreme Chancellor Tarsus Valorum proclaimed the Ruusan Reformations, which rebuilt the Republic from the ground up.
The Republic's final millennium was largely peaceful, but the provisions of the Ruusan Reformations led to an increase in lawlessness in the Outer Rim Territories, which eventually found itself largely controlled by megacorporations or criminal cartels. This dissatisfaction was stoked into a Separatist movement by the Sith, which had spent a millennium in hiding. Orchestrating the Clone Wars, the Sith managed to destroy the Jedi Order and restore their Empire under Darth Sidious. Sidious dissolved the Republic and replaced it with the short-lived Galactic Empire, and eventually dissolved the Republic's trappings completely. A legacy of Imperial rule was the opening and widespread settlement of the Deep Core, as well as the charting and exploration of much of the Unknown Regions. The Empire lasted for two decades of tyranny, but after the Galactic Civil War, a New Republic was established from an alliance of free worlds. Despite this, the remnants of the Empire would continue to resist the new government for over a decade before finally signing a peace treaty.
The Yuuzhan Vong War was a watershed moment in galactic history, marking the first time that the galaxy had been invaded by an extra-galactic power, and the savagery of the war would influence galactic politics for over a century afterwards. Not long after the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War, an extra-galactic species known as the Yuuzhan Vong launched an invasion of the galaxy. The Yuuzhan Vong War devastated much of the galaxy, including Coruscant, and cost the lives of some 365 trillion beings, though they were eventually defeated by a new Galactic Alliance of the Imperial Remnant, the remnants of the New Republic, and a host of the galaxy's lesser powers. Another outcome of the war was a normalisation of relations between the galaxy proper and the Chiss Ascendancy, the dominant power of the Unknown Regions. Within a few decades, stable hyperroutes and colonies had been established into the region and had removed much of its mystery.
Some of the Yuuzhan Vong were incorporated in the galactic community, but the post-Yuuzhan Vong War galaxy proved incredibly difficult to govern, resulting in a Second Galactic Civil War between the Galactic Alliance and a Confederation led by Corellia. Within a century, the Galactic Empire had been restored of the Empire, although this time without Sith backing. Ultimately, however, the Fel Empire was manipulated by the One Sith, led by Darth Krayt, to declare war upon the Galactic Alliance after the Sith exploited lingering hatred of the Yuuzhan Vong to to make it appear that they were planning to re-conquer the galaxy. The One Sith usurped the Imperial throne shortly afterwards, forming a new Sith empire, but the resulting war between the Sith and the Galactic Alliance Remnant and the Fel-loyalist Empire-in-exile resulted in the Sith's defeat. Thereafter, the Galactic Alliance became the dominant government in the galaxy once again.
The known galaxy included nearly a billion inhabited star systems, from uncharted smugglers' settlements to planet-spanning ecumenopoleis where scarcely a meter of ground remained untouched. Under the Galactic Empire, nearly seventy million of those system were sufficiently populated to merit some form of representation.
In the first years of the Galactic Republic, any planet with a large enough population was granted a seat in the Galactic Senate. However, even before the Galactic Republic had expanded beyond the Core Worlds, this system of government was unworkable: the Senate's sheer size made debate interminable and consensus almost impossible to arrive to. The Planetary Senate was thus reorganized, with sectors being formed of groups of up to fifty star systems to act as the new constituencies, while recognised representatives of a single planet or species still had the right to petition the full Senate. A prominent example of this towards the end of the Republic was Jar Jar Binks. representing the Gungan people of Naboo.
Planetary Governors represented the central government on a single planet. Their writ typically included the entire star system, though there were exceptions for systems that included multiple planets with huge populations or very different cultures, such as the Corellian system. In the eldest parts of the Core Worlds, systems and even individual planets are centers of political power, a relic of the Galactic Republic's origins. Elsewhere, systems were subservient in representation to subsectors, sectors and regions.
The basic political unit for much of galactic history was the sector, largely artificial divisions of space organized for political, military and economic reasons. After the first years of the Galactic Republic, the star systems of the Republic were organized into sectors limited to fifty systems with substantial populations. As the Republic expanded, the huge number of sectors led to gridlock within the Galactic Senate, and some sectors swelled to include thousands of inhabited worlds, even as galactic civilization continued to expand wildly, until there were millions of sectors.
This was not resolved until the Ruusan Reformations of 1000 BBY, which reorganized the galaxy into 1,024 regional sectors divided into constituent subsectors. The Chommell sector of the Mid Rim, for example, though fairly sparsely settled, contained some forty thousand inhabited worlds. Sectors by 0 BBY included cultural groupings like the Tapani sector and the Senex-Juvex, and business-controlled economic areas like the Corporate Sector, but generally they were fairly arbitrary groupings of planets and colonies of very differing fates and cultures, such as the Gordian Reach, the Arkanis sector, and the Anoat sector.
The Ruusan Reformations created a number of problems with sectorial representation that would not be resolved until the Republic's end. A moratorium was included on the creation of new sectors, but settlers kept pushing beyond the Republic's frontier, reclaiming systems lost during the New Sith Wars and settling new worlds. Some of these systems were annexed by existing sectors, which caused some outlying sectors to swell to gargantuan proportions. Others became de facto corporate possessions, or were directly administered by the Republic bureaucracy and denied Senate representation. The old Core sectors saw the rimward megasectors as a threat to their ancient power and prestige, while the directly-administered systems complained that their "virtual representation" was a farce. The reforms of 124 BBY sought to address these issues, with many settled areas outside the Republic's borders becoming incorporated as freestanding subsectorss, with their representatives reporting to the senator of an associated sector.
Until the final years of the Galactic Republic, sectors were governed by their senators, while the Supreme Chancellor had the right to appoint a Governor-General to coordinate military action within the sector during a state of emergency. Palpatine exploited this law frequently during the Clone Wars, culminating in the Sector Governance Decree, that appointed a permanent new class of military governors to the regional sectors - the Galactic Empire's Moffs. The Galactic Empire also created or carved out a number of new sectors, overturning the Ruusan Reformations' moratorium, including the Indrexu sector in the Greater Tion, and combined several freestanding subsectors to create the Baxel and the Zuma sectors.
- "I've flown from one end of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff."
- ―Han Solo
The galaxy's largest territorial entities were the regions. These were largely cultural entities as opposed to political ones, and generally corresponded to stages of galactic exploration and settlement. The ten most famous regions were the Deep Core, the Core Worlds, the Colonies, the Inner Rim, the Expansion Region, the Mid Rim, the Outer Rim Territories, and beyond the galactic frontier, Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. Casual phraseology usually split the galaxy into "the Core" and "the Rim", with the latter consisting of the Expansion Region and parts beyond.
At the very heart of the galaxy, the Deep Core (also known as the Core Systems) was a region that spanned seven thousand light years, and contained roughly 30 billion stars. Due to the gravitational pull of the vast number of stars, as well as a massive black hole at the center, local space-time was severely warped, making hyperspace travel difficult at best. For millennia, only the fringes of the Deep Core closest to the Core Worlds, within a mathematically defined boundary known as the Horizon, had been settled. These worlds included Khomm, Thoadeye, Vulpter, and the dominant planet of the Deep Core, Empress Teta. The heart of the region was thought to be almost inaccessible until Emperor Palpatine found several safe hyperlanes into the region. The area remained fiercely loyal to the New Order, and was an Imperial stronghold until almost twenty years after the Battle of Endor.
The Core Worlds was an ancient region bordering the outlying areas of the Deep Core, and included some of the most prestigious, well-developed, well-known, and heavily populated planets in the galaxy. The Galactic Republic and subsequently all galaxywide governments were born in the Core Worlds and spread out over the galaxy. During both the time of the Republic and Empire, Coruscant, a major core world, was the Galactic Capital. The region of the Core Worlds known as the Tetrahedron became the cradle of the early Republic, and simultaneously scouts discovered the Perlemian Trade Route and the Corellian Run emanating from Coruscant, creating a region known as the Arrowhead containing the ancient worlds of Alsakan, Anaxes, Basilisk and Ixtlar. Colonization created a semi-circular ring extending south as far as Abregado-rae, often considered the cream of the Core Worlds, while subsequent centuries create a second ring to the galactic west, though these worlds, disparaged as "the Negs" for their negative-digit galactic coordinates, were looked down upon by the rest of the Core. The Core's natural wealth was buoyed by the farming worlds of the Agricultural Circuit, the semi-independent colonies of the Illodia sector, the Bormea/Darpa Corridor, the manufacturing planets of the Humbarine sector, and the military shipyards of the Kuat sector.
The Colonies, so named because it was among the first areas outside the Core to be colonized, contained many of the galaxy's wealthiest worlds and prided itself on being the galaxy's economic engine. Worlds here were typically heavily populated, industrialized, and cultured, and the region was considered the meeting point of Core wealth and Rim raw materials. The Colonies, forming the tip of the Slice, came to include many of the galaxy's oldest manufacturing worlds, including Balmorra, Commenor and Neimoidia. Subsequent colonization produced the shipyards of Loronar, the urbanized worlds of the Pencael system, and the young worlds of Yabol Opa with its great university, the fortress world of Raithal, and the farm worlds of the Delle system.
The Inner Rim was a region of the galaxy between the Colonies and the Expansion Region. It was originally just called "The Rim", as it was expected to be the farthest extent of the known galaxy for centuries, but the Expanded Rim (later renamed the Expansion Region) was opened within a hundred years of the Inner Rim being settled during the Great Manifest Period. Inner Rimmers tended to see themselves as being part of the Core and looked disdainfully upon the "outer galaxy", but were known to resent and envy the greater wealth and history of the Core Worlds. The region had minimal cultural influence and had few truly notable planets beyond the ecumenopolis of Denon and the medical worlds of Manaan and Thyferra. As the bridge between the Core and the Rim, the Inner Rim held great strategic value, and during both the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, brutal battles were fought over the region.
The Expansion Region began as an experiment in corporate-controlled worlds, known as the Exploitation Region, with powerful corporations exploiting and profiting heavily from the planets for their raw materials, metals and ores. Inhabitants were oppressed while the corporations stripped entire stellar systems along the Corellian Run of all their resources. The damage was so catastrophic that colonization shifted spinward to the Perlemian Trade Route, which was responsible for the conspicuous northern "bulge" of the modern Inner Rim's border. Colonization resumed during the Great Manifest Period, but the Alsakan Conflicts destroyed many of the Expansion Region's worlds in the Slice, shifting colonization west of the Corellian Run, creating a stretch of space known as the 77 sectors that was dominated by Corellians for millennia. This part of the Expansion Region thrived, with the Rimma, Hydia, and Corellian Trade Spine Routes opening up the region and linking worlds like Tynna, the Gran homeworld of Kinyen, and trading planets of the Harrin Trade Corridor. This region's citizens often preferred to think of themselves as being apart from the rest of the luckless Expansion Region, which continued to suffer during the Republic's final millennium. A second, disastrous experiment in corporate control known as the Outer Expansion Zone ravaged the region and the resulting scandal forced the Senate to disband the Expansionist Oligarchy, but the final centuries of the Republic saw the Slice sectors of the Region fall into economic ruin. The story was told by the region's trade routes: while the Core, Colonies and Inner Rim were dense webs of tangled hyperlanes, the Expansion Region was ill-served by routes and the casual observer might think that it had never been settled. Expansion Region worlds continued to be producers of raw materials and ores. However, most natural resources were exhausted by the Imperial Period, with Gyndine, Bacrana and Cyrillia being among the few remaining viable ports.
With fewer natural resources (and therefore a smaller population) than many neighboring regions, the Mid Rim was a territory where residents worked hard for everything they had. Colonization began as the Expansion Region was settled, and while corporations continued to prefer to exploit that region, homesteading incentives and development grants from Coruscant were instead picked up by religious communes or local political confederations. The Slice in the Mid Rim was colonized slowly over several millennia, following a crosshatching pattern determined by Coruscant, giving rise to an orderly region whose residents had plenty of room to spread out. Corporate exploitation remained in the Expansion Region while lawlessness gravitated to the less-governed Outer Rim Territories, which were opened for colonization at the same time. Consequently, the Mid Rim built up a successful economy based on low-cost manufacturing and agriculture, and following the blazing of the Hydian War in 3693 BBY, the northern and southern arcs of the Mid Rim came into shape. Historic Republic outposts like Malastare or lost colonies like Naboo found themselves at the heart of new, orderly, government zoned settlement districts, some of which retained their alphanumeric identifications for centuries. Few of the Mid Rim's worlds became famous, but among those that did were the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk and the Zabrak homeworld of Iridonia, the ocean planet of Glee Anselm, the Order of the Sacred Circle's retreat of Monastery, and Ansion, the nexus of several hyperlanes linked by the Keitumite Mutual Military Treaty.
The Outer Rim Territories was the largest region of the galaxy, and the last widely settled expanse before Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. It was strewn with obscure worlds, and rugged, primitive frontier planets. Due to its distance from the Core, government control was historically the weakest in the Outer Rim Territories, and it was the traditional refuge for dissidents, pilgrims and freedom-seekers, but it was also beset by lawlessness, oppression and violence. The worlds of the Outer Rim were immensely varied as a consequence: Eriadu was a prosperous, industrialised megalopolis, and Entralla was a vibrant, Human-dominated spaceport world, but Terminus and Aduba-3 were criminal-run shadowports, and Tatooine was a Hutt-controlled trade depot. The Outer Rim was also dotted with barely-habited worlds like Dagobah, Hoth, Tund and Muskree. Worlds closest to the major super-hyperroutes tended to be the most civilized, but far from these trade links, they tended to be dominated by the Hutts. Mass settlement of large portions of the Outer Rim did not begin until after 5500 BBY, when colonists took advantage of the new trade routes of the Hydian, the Rimma, and the Corellian Trade Spine. Settlement in the southern quadrant was rapid, but expansion in the northern quadrant was hampered by the Great Galactic War and the horrors of the Kanz Disorders. In a reversal of the galaxy's usual pattern, colonization was slowest in the Slice, dominated as it was Hutt Space. Republic authority in the region all-but collapsed during the New Sith Wars, and arguably never returned, with the Hutts filling the power vacuum and piracy, slavery and anarchy dominating. In 124 BBY, the Senate declared the whole region a Free Trade Zone in an effort to jump-start economic development, but this was exploited by the Trade Federation, and the Senate re-imposing taxation in 33 BBY was the trigger for the Invasion of Naboo and the Separatist Crisis. The Galactic Empire oppressed much of the Outer Rim, leading to greater sympathy for the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the region, but the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance both failed to imposed central control in the area, leaving the Outer Rim much as it had been for centuries.
Wild Space and the Unknown RegionsEdit
Wild Space was the frontier of galactic society, separating the known parts of the galaxy from the Unknown Regions. One of Palpatine's last acts was to open up much of the region to more extensive exploration. Wild Space differed from the Unknown Regions in that some of Wild Space has been explored, though not extensively; the Unknown Regions remained mysterious.
The term "Unknown Regions" most commonly referred to the large, unexplored region—which some interpreted to have been outside the plane of the galactic disk—between Bakura and the Imperial Remnant, which was largely dominated by the Chiss Ascendancy. The Unknown Regions comprised only a few billion stars, out of a galactic total of 400 billion. There was a lack of reliable hyperspace routes through the region. The "Unknown Regions" designation included uncharted areas in dense nebulae, globular clusters, and the galactic halo. The Galactic Empire launched many expeditions to discover and conquer Unknown Region sectors. Past the region's outer edge, including the seven dwarf satellite galaxies, was the hyperspace disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy.
Various established "ways" like hyperlanes passed through the sectors. These routes were explored and established by spacers known as hyperspace explorers such as like Aitro Koornacht and Jori and Gav Daragon. Astromech droids had the responsibility of guiding spaceships through these routes.
These routes were the largest and were capable of allowing spacers to traverse the galaxy in much shorter times.
Additional routes of interestEdit
Government and politicsEdit
Various governments ruled within the galaxy over the millennia, the earliest known galaxy-spanning government being the Infinite Empire. Other significant political powers within the galaxy included:
- Bothan Space
- The Centrality
- Chiss Ascendancy
- Confederacy of Independent Systems
- Corporate Sector Authority
- Cronese Mandate
- Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire
- Empire of the Hand
- Expansion Region
- Fel Empire
- Galactic Empire
- Galactic Federation of Free Alliances
- Galactic Republic
- Hapes Cluster
- Hutt Space
- Imperial Remnant
- Juvex sector
- Mandalorian Space
- Rakatan Empire
- Senex sector
- Sith Empire
- Sith Empire (Jedi Civil War)
- Sith Empire (Post–Great Hyperspace War)
- Ssi-ruuvi Imperium
- Tion Cluster
- Tion Hegemony
- Vagaari Empire
- Yuuzhan Vong empire
Races and populationEdit
Because only around a quarter of the galaxy's four hundred billion stars had been thoroughly surveyed, scientists were uncertain as to the true number of intelligent species. The Galactic Empire recognised five million intelligent species, though it was mathematically accepted that galactic civilization had yet to discover a large number of species and the total could be as high as twenty million.
Of the galaxy's one billion settled systems, the majority of these were lightly-settled colonies of little note that were often not even marked on sector maps. During the days of the Galactic Empire more than 69 million systems met the requirements for Imperial representation, and 1.75 million planets were considered full member worlds. The population of the nearly 70 million systems that the Empire was responsible for amounted to more than 100 quadrillion beings.
In classical history, the dominant species were Humans. Originating from the Core Worlds, Humans were the basis of the major governments. Sentients other than Humans such as Twi'leks, Hutts and Mon Calamari were simply known as "aliens". Aliens were also distinguished as humanoid or not.
Although not considered a race for obvious reasons, droids formed a significant part, helping and coexisting with the population. On Naboo, higher level droids were considered equal as fellow sentients.
Extra-galactic aliens, or species coming from another galaxy, were believed to have visited, by unknown means, the galaxy in an unknown point in the past for unknown reasons, and made contact with the galactic species.[source?]
Extra-galactic travel was difficult due to a hyperspace disturbance beyond the edge of the galaxy that prevented hyperspace routes very far outside the disk. However, by the time of the Clone Wars, contact had been established with the two small galaxies orbiting the galaxy: the Rishi Maze, also known as Companion Aurek, and Firefist, also known as Companion Besh. The InterGalactic Banking Clan had influence as far as these locations.
The Extragalactic Society was an organization devoted to the search for life outside the galaxy. According to Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24, during the last days of the Republic the Brodo Asogi leader Senator Grebleips sent an expedition to another galaxy, but all information about the outcome of this endeavor remained unknown.
The best known extra-galactic aliens were the Abominor, Silentium, Chazrach, and the Yuuzhan Vong, who almost managed to destroy the galactic civilization while it was just recovering from the Galactic Civil War.
The lingua franca of the galaxy was the Human language that eventually evolved into the Galactic Basic Standard. Its origins must have been the vernacular speech of Humans and was partially derived from several ancient Human languages, like Olys Corellisi. Humans being the dominant species of the galaxy, Basic was adopted by many non-human species as well.
The second most common language was Huttese, expanded through the criminal and financial activity of the Hutts, and it as well was adopted by other species that were in close cooperation with them through the ages, like the Rodians.
It was possible for droids to have fluency in millions of forms of communication, and based on them, could also understand and improvise in even more. Protocol droids were essential in interspecies relations as translators and interpreters.
Behind the scenesEdit
No serious attempt has been made to give the galaxy an official astronomical name. It is generally referred to by the out-of-universe descriptive phrase "the Star Wars galaxy". According to The Essential Atlas, the Nagai of Firefist refer to the main galaxy as Skyriver, which it is the closest any official material has come to giving the galaxy an in-universe name. We don't know, however, whether or how members of the galactic community refer to their own home galaxy (the way we call ours the "Milky Way").
Galaxy Far, Far AwayEdit
The Galaxy Far, Far Away, often abbreviated GFFA is the unofficial name given by many fans to the galaxy that is the setting for the Star Wars films and their spin-offs. This galaxy in the films is referred to simply as "the galaxy." It springs from the introduction present at the beginning of each of the films, many of the video games, and even some fan films and novels:
- A long time ago in a galaxy far,
- far away....
Relation to EarthEdit
The opening words of each Star Wars film place that galaxy in the same plane of existence as ours, as they declare it to be a finite distance—"far, far away"—from us, but nothing more of its location has been revealed. Humans exist in both galaxies, and Galactic Basic is essentially the same as modern-day English, including (but not limited to) its British, American, New Zealander, Caribbean, and Indian variants. Additionally, many cultural traditions (from the handshake to marriage) are similar or identical in both galaxies, but these similarities remain unexplained.
The Empire Strikes Back debateEdit
At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, characters aboard the Rebel fleet see a celestial object from some distance away. Some fans have said that it rotates too fast to be a galaxy and at that distance a galaxy would not emit as much light as is portrayed in the film.
Some sources[source?] have said that the fleet spent some time hiding outside the galactic disk, probably intending to refer to this scene. According to the 1996 Tales of the Bounty Hunters story Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM, the object in the film is the galaxy, and the Rebel fleet had journeyed to a point in space far removed from the galactic plane. This point was not outside of the galactic plane, per se, but rather above the galactic plane.
Since the release of Tales of the Bounty Hunters, the object has been inconsistently identified. The Complete Star Wars Trilogy Scrapbook, first released in 1997, identifies the object as a spinning star formation. In 2002, the Episode II DVD-ROM Exclusive Content stated that the bright object may be the cluster known as the Rishi Maze. In 2003, Leland Chee confirmed on the StarWars.com Message Boards that the object was indeed the Star Wars galaxy. The film's director, Irvin Kershner, refers to the object as simply "a galaxy" on the Audio Commentary of the 2004 DVD release.
History of published mapsEdit
Several publications have contained "maps" of the galaxy, although they are at best two-dimensional projections of a three-dimensional galaxy. Some roleplaying game sourcebooks contain detail maps of regions and sectors.
The chapter selection of Star Wars: TIE Fighter (1995) was the first appearance of what can be considered a galaxy map, consisting of a generic galactic shape on which the supposed location of the current mission is highlighted; the highlights, however, don't correspond to canonical coordinates of said locations (e.g. selecting the Greater Javin campaign wrongly highlights the Galactic Core). The 1998 video game Star Wars: Rebellion would provide an interface of a galaxy map divided up into 20 sectors and 200 systems; however, these positions are provided only as a game mechanic and have been contradicted by later official sources.
The earliest galaxy-wide maps would accompany the novels in the New Jedi Order series, where the location of some systems was indicated. Notable color maps have been published in some issues of The Official Star Wars Fact File (1, 56, 139); a poster was provided in Star Wars Insider 65 (2003) and The New Essential Chronology (2005) also had a spread with a galaxy map and its most notable systems.
The recently released The Essential Atlas contains numerous maps of different sections of the galaxy as well as a complete galactic map.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 The Essential Atlas, pp. ix-x.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 The Essential Atlas, p. 34
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.50 3.51 3.52 3.53 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Star Wars Atlas Endnotes
- ↑ Tales of the Bounty Hunters, 301.
- ↑ The Last One Standing
- ↑ Intergalactic Passport
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Essential Guide to Alien Species, p. x.
- ↑ Goroth: Slave of the Empire
- ↑ Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ The Unknown Regions
- ↑ 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: Legacy
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition
- ↑ Sue Rostoni (Nov 18, 2002 1:32 PM). Welcome some BCaT VIPs. StarWars.com forums. Retrieved on July 6, 2010.
- ↑ Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM
- ↑ Leland Chee on the Star Wars.com Message Boards
- ↑ List of Rebellion sectors and planets and their correctness by Modi
- Star Wars Atlas
- Galaxy navigator and maps—Currently non-working, points to a domain parking page
- Main galaxy map from above site—As above, see Eric Przybylski entry on Wookieepedia
- Dark Horse Star Wars Galaxy Map
- Galaxy Map Discussion—Official thread at StarWars.com
- Map of the galaxy far, far away....—Downloadable, text searchable pdf file based on Modi's work and nav-computer.com
- The galaxy on CWA Wiki