The Unknown Regions, also referred to as Unknown Space and the Unknown Territories, was a region of the galaxy located in the galactic west beyond the Outer Rim. Largely unexplored throughout galactic history, it remained a mystery to space travelers and served as a source of tales and wonders.
At the time of the Galactic Civil War, the Unknown Regions was regarded as an unexplored region that was separated from the galaxy by a labyrinth of solar storms, rogue magnetospheres, black holes, gravity wells, and things far stranger. Strange creatures were known to inhabit the void. This maze was considered impassable and many exploration ships and probe droids were lost trying to breach it. By the time of the Battle of Jakku, Imperial computers at the Jakku Observatory had found a safe route through this maze which involved taking multiple short hyperspace jumps through the maze. This journey took several months.
Dating as far back as the Old Republic, the Jedi Order was known to utilize the planet Ilum as a source of kyber crystals, which were important in the construction of a Jedi's lightsaber. At a young age, Jedi younglings were sent to Ilum to retrieve these crystals, traveling into the Unknown Regions aboard a ship known as the Crucible.
- "These aren't civilian targets. They're Imperial installations staffed by people who have bought into the Emperor's sick vision of the future—for you, your queen, me, and everyone between here and the Unknown Regions."
- ―Berch Teller
During the early years of the Galactic Empire, some dissidents, such as Berch Teller, believed that the Empire would extend all the way to the Unknown Regions. During the Age of the Empire, Emperor Palpatine sent several explorers to explore the Unknown Regions. He believed that some dark presence in the Force awaited him out there. Many of these explorers were killed while trying to breach the maze that lay to the west of Jakku. Others went mad from isolation. Palpatine's efforts to map the Unknown Regions were aided by the Chiss Admiral Thrawn, a native of the Unknown Regions. Following the Battle of Endor, Palpatine's former adviser Yupe Tashu advocated that the Empire venture into the Unknown Regions to seek out the source of the dark side of the Force.
Palpatine also operated a secret observatory on the planet Jakku which contained powerful ancient computers that generated a computerized three-dimensional map of the Unknown Regions. The Observatory's computers dispatched numerous probe droids to test the routes that the computers had generated. Shortly before the Emperor's death at the Battle of Endor, the computers finished their calculations and found a safe path into the Unknown Regions. As a result, the Emperor's flagship Eclipse was dispatched into the new frontier. Emperor Palptine dispatch his most trusted Imperials to the Unknown Regions. Following the Battle of Jakku, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, Brendol Hux, and other Imperials used these coordinates to travel through the Unknown Regions and rendezvous with the Eclipse.
Following the signing of the Galactic Concordance which ended the Galactic Civil War and dissolved the Old Empire, the Imperial remnants retreated from the known galaxy and relocated to the Unknown Regions. There, they established a militaristic remnant faction that became known as the First Order.
In 34 ABY, Starkiller Base served as a major base for the First Order. The First Order later used its phantom energy to destroy the Hosnian system, which hosted Hosnian Prime, the capital of the New Republic. The First Order then attempted to use Starkiller Base to destroy the Resistance base on D'Qar in the Ileenium system in the Outer Rim Territories. However, the Resistance destroyed Starkiller Base, dealing a serious blow to the First Order.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Unknown Regions were originally introduced in the Heir to the Empire Sourcebook, which was an accompaniment to the Legends novel Heir to the Empire. It was brought into canon when the planet Ilum was introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Gathering".
Pablo Hidalgo explained in Rebels Recon that the borders of the Unknown Regions were known (and therefore should be visible on the map of the Galaxy) but what were within the regions were unknown. This would be in contrast with Wild Space, which was outside the known map of the Galaxy (in other words, 'off the edge of the map').
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- Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Rogue One
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- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded