Star Wars fans have the words “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” burnt into their brain, but just how much do we know about that faraway galaxy? The recent revelation that Ahsoka‘s Grand Admiral Thrawn has been hiding out in a galaxy other than the one Star Wars fans know and love has generated renewed interest in what might be lurking out there beyond the boundaries of the known Star Wars universe and, more importantly, just where those boundaries fall.
The Star Wars galaxy contains over 400 billion stars and at least 3.2 billion habitable solar systems.
The Star Wars galaxy can seem a bit claustrophobic due to many of the shows and games returning to the same planets and settings over and over again. Some settings like Coruscant, usually the capital of whatever regime is currently in charge of the galaxy, make sense to revisit. Others like Tatooine, a planet supposedly boring and in the middle of nowhere, keep getting reused solely as a form of cheap fanservice.
In reality, the Star Wars galaxy contains over 400 billion stars and at least 3.2 billion habitable solar systems. The galaxy is estimated to be around 120,000 light-years around and home to countless sentient species, of which we’ve only ever really seen a handful. In other words, the Star Wars galaxy is massive, and as fans, we’ve been exposed to less than a fraction of the worlds that make up the entire thing.
As expected, the Star Wars galaxy is broken down into more manageable chunks known as regions, which are further divided into sectors followed by star systems and, finally, planets.
The Deep Core
The innermost region is the Deep Core, an area crowded with stars, nebulae, and other anomalies that make the region difficult to navigate. The Deep core is also home to a supermassive black hole known as the Galactic Centre that keeps the galaxy bound together.
Surrounding the Deep Core are the Core Worlds. The Core Worlds are known as the richest and most important worlds in the Star Wars galaxy. Core planets such as Coruscant, Corellia, Kuat, and Hosnian Prime are often the ones that set fashion trends and dictate how the rest of the galaxy operates.
Located on the strategic ends of several major trade routes, the Core Worlds are like the New Yorks and Londons of the Star Wars universe.
The galaxy is estimated to be around 120,000 light-years around and home to countless sentient species, of which we’ve only ever really seen a handful.
Farther out from the Core Worlds sits the Colonies, worlds colonized by those in the Core. These worlds also sit along major trade routes, making them extremely wealthy, though not quite on the level of the Core Worlds.
The Inner And Mid Rim Territories
Next is the Inner Rim Territories, followed by the Expansion Region and the Mid Rim Territories. Though it’s not an exact 1:1 comparison, these regions are very much like the suburbs of the Star Wars galaxy.
The Outer Rim
Past that lies the lawless frontier of the Outer Rim Territories. The Outer Rim is usually considered a savage region of the galaxy where criminal organizations such as the Hutts, Black Sun, the Pyke Syndicate, and the Zygerrian slavers choose to operate.
The Outer Rim is home to such wretched hives of scum and villainy as Tatooine, Dathomir, and Nar Shadaa. This area is like the Wild West of the Star Wars galaxy full of outlaws, both lovable like Han Solo and Lando Calrissian and horrifying like Jabba The Hutt. The Outer Rim Territories is where many of the adventures we’ve come to love in the Star Wars galaxy take place.
The last two regions, the Unknown Regions and Wild Space, make up the mostly uncharted, unexplored areas encompassing the furthest borders of the galaxy.
Despite the practically limitless resources and species contained within the borders of the Star Wars galaxy, certain parties like the Galactic Empire sought to find what lay beyond the reaches of known space. Some dwarf galaxies like the Rishi Maze and Firefist were close enough that the Galactic Republic considered them part of the Unknown Regions.
The Star Wars galaxy is massive, and as fans, we’ve been exposed to less than a fraction of the worlds that make up the entire thing.
The InterGalactic Banking Clan, first introduced in Attack of the Clones, did business outside the galaxy proper. Meanwhile, some famous planets in the franchise, like Kimino, where the Republic’s clone troopers were created, even reside outside galactic limits.
So far in the post-Disney canon, threats from these uncharted regions outside the known Star Wars galaxy have been all but non-existent, but that could be about to change thanks to Ahsoka. The biggest extra-galactic danger facing the Star Wars galaxy in Legends continuity was the Yuuzhan Vong, a race of war-like aliens with organic technology and no connection to the Force.
Whether or not the ancient alien race from outside the galaxy mentioned in Ahsoka will end up being the Vong or some other unknown threat remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the Star Wars galaxy we do know is enormous and teeming with new worlds and species just waiting to be discovered. We’re begging you, Lucasfilm, give Tatooine a rest for a while, huh?