The Galaxy is a collection of stars that a subdivided into various astrographic regions, hundreds of sectors, and countless inhabited and uninhabited star systems. It is centered around a massive black hole called Galactic Center that generates the gravitational force that draws the stars together. The galaxy is circa 120,000 light years across, or 37,000 parsecs (a parsec is 3.258 light years), and approximately 13 billion years old.
The galaxy is a spiral galaxy with five, prominent arms at its exterior fringes, of which the Tingel Arm near the Corporate Sector has seen the most documented settlement and exploration. The main galactic disk is orbited by seven distinct dwarf galaxies - numerically designated Aurek through Grek - which are inaccessible by current, known navigational means, although exploration of some of these has been conducted in the past.
Due to countless hyperspace anomalies known as "the tangle," stretching across the galaxy west of Galactic Center and the fringes of the defined astrographic regions, a vast portion of space known as the Unknown Regions is thus far largely unexplored. With this virtual border stretching almost perfectly just west of the galaxy's prime meridian, it has been speculated that the hyperspace disturbance is a deliberate construct by ancient galactic powers, rather than a natural phenomenon.
- 1 History
- 2 Astrographic Regions
- 3 Miscellaneous Regions
- 4 Sectors
- 5 Astronomical Objects
- 6 Traffic Routes
Very little confirmed knowledge remains regarding the history of the galaxy prior to the formation of the Galactic Republic over 25,000 years ago. Almost all information on the galaxy and its history stems from knowledge obtained and gathered since sentient species in explored space, such as Duros, Humans and Anzati achieved interstellar travel, and initiated contact with one another.
The Celestials (also known as the Architects) was one of the earliest civilizations known to have existed in the Pre-Republic era, although information on the extent of their territory, government, and species remains shrouded in mystery. Even so, it is theorized that the power wielded by the Celestials greatly exceeded current technological achievements, and that they dominated vast regions of the galaxy and countless species. Among the remaining artifacts credited to the Celestials, Centerpoint Station is undoubtedly the one universally accepted as being of their creation. It has also been speculated that they were responsible for the creation of several unique locations in the galaxy, such as the Maw, the Corellia system, the Hapes Cluster, the Cron Cluster and the Kathol Rift.
The Rakata and their Infinite Empire was likely the first power that could technically be defined as a galactic government. While it existed alongside mighty interstellar powers such as the Gree Empire and Kwa Holdings, the Infinite Empire was vast with colony worlds across much of known space, despite their limited hyperspace capabilities. Many sentient species still in existence today, such as Humans and Selkath, were enslaved by the Rakata. The civilization's industrial machinations left a profound impact on numerous worlds, particularly Tatooine which went from being a lush, temperate world to becoming a desert wasteland.
The collapse of the Infinite Empire saw the rise of a loosely governed human-dominated Core, while Hutts were a rising power in the eastern Outer Rim region. Human sleeper colony vessels had also reached as far as the region now known as the Tion Cluster, establishing the Tionese Kingdoms, which would eventually transform in to an expansionist empire. Later, the Tion ruler Xim the Despot began a war of aggression against the neighboring Hutt Empire. The conflict saw numerous species such as Weequay and Nikto becoming bound in servitude, essentially fighting the war against Xim for the Hutt rulers. The Hutts' victory in the conflict saw their empire firmly embedded as the dominant power of the Outer Rim, while the Tionese holdings fragmented in to numerous smaller powers that managed to hold their own for the next thousand years. These minor states and petty kingdoms eventually united in a new series of conflict with the Hutts and the Galactic Republic, which was still in its infancy. After a century of warfare, the governments of the Tion Cluster joined the Galactic Republic approximately 23,900 years ago.
The Deep Core is the center of the galaxy and where the black hole is located. Also known as the Deep Galactic Core, it is full of unusual worlds, antimatter and some of the galaxy's oldest stars. Some stars are actually very close, some being near a half of a light year away from another which causes collisions and strange orbits. Due to these strange orbits and pulls, hyperspace travel is difficult at best.
The Core region comes nearly full circle around the Deep Core and is divided in to three traditional regional territories known as the Negs, the Southern Core, and the Arrowhead (traditionally being considered an extention of the Slice in to the Core.) It was gradually settled south and westwards over a period of 25,000 years, with a handful of sectors still remaining partially unexplored.
The region houses some of some of the most prestigious, well-developed, well-known, and heavily populated planets in the galaxy. The Galactic Republic and subsequently all galaxy-wide governments were born in the Core Worlds and spread out over the galaxy. Established as a nexus of political power early in the days of the Galactic Republic, Coruscant is considered by most to be the capital system of the galaxy and the key to holding legitimacy as galactic government. The system was the home of the Galactic Senate, and now the location of the Imperial Palace, both symbols of galactic governance.
Historically, Coruscant's status as the center of civilization was challenged on numerous occasions by neighboring Alsakan, thrusting the galaxy in to a series of lengthy wars known as the Alsakan Conflicts, with both systems and their subordinate territories battling for dominance and control of newly explored areas of space and the major hyperlanes that converge in the Core Worlds.
The Colonies is the region of the galaxy between the Core Worlds and the Inner Rim. It was among the first areas outside the Core to be colonized, with even some Pre-Republic era settlement conducted by Humans and other species, particularly in to the regional territory that later became known as the Slice. Settlement was made easier by the proximity of several major hyperspace routes, such as the Perlemian Trade Route, Hydian Way, and Corellian Run. These charted routes also helped Coruscant maintain its hold on the systems there while the Galactic Republic was in its infancy. The areas between the Hydian Way and Corellian Run were the first to be settled, with further southern and western expansion continuing across the centuries as the hyperlanes were extended further rimwards from the Core.
Due to their proximity to the Core, worlds of the Colonies are typically heavily populated, cultured, and industrialized. Underlining the latter point, the region was the birthplace of the Trade Federation, with Neimodia located almost perfectly centered in the area where the Slice intersects the Colonies. Settled millennia after the rest of the region, sectors south-west of the Hydian Way in the Colonies are often referred to as being part of the Southern Core. Likewise, the sectors of the Colonies north-west of the Core, between the Perlemian Trade Route and Wild Space, are traditionally defined as being part of the Northern Dependencies and the Negs.
The Inner Rim is a region of the galaxy between the Colonies and the Expansion Region. A large portion of this territory was settled between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago, during the early years of the Galactic Republic. As such, it was originally referred to simply as "the Rim," as it was expected to be the farthest extent of the known galaxy for centuries. However, the "Expanded Rim" (later renamed the Expansion Region) was opened within a hundred years of the Inner Rim as explorers continued to chart extensions of several major hyperlanes outwards from the Core.
East-ward settlement of the Inner Rim was most prominent in the early years, as efforts continued to extend the Galactic Republic's territory further in to the Slice between the fringes of the Hydian Way. Even so, the Hapes Cluster in the eastern parts of the Inner Rim was not settled until approximately 4,300 years ago. Fringe sectors sectors in the western parts of the Negs, Northern Dependencies and Western Reaches (particularly the Bamula, Kiffex and Reecee sectors) were not explored nor settled until millennia later, some even as recently as near the end of the Galactic Republic.
The Expansion Region was an experiment in corporate-controlled worlds, with powerful corporations exploiting and profiting heavily from the planets for their Raw Materials. Inhabitants were oppressed while the corporations stripped entire stellar systems of all their resources. Eventually civil unrest spread from system to system. The Galactic Republic eventually took control of the system due to mounting pressure from its denizens by limiting or evicting corporate interests. Expansion Region worlds continued to be producers of raw materials and ores. Unfortunately, most of them were already exhausted by the time the Galactic Empire rose.
With fewer natural resources (and therefore a smaller population) than many neighboring regions, the Mid Rim is a territory where residents have worked hard for everything they have. Several planets have built up impressive economies, and pirate raiders often hide in the relatively unexplored spaces far from major trade routes.
Outer Rim Territories
The Outer Rim Territories is the last widely settled expanse before Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. It was strewn with obscure worlds, and rugged, primitive frontier planets.
Wild Space is a term applied to the frontier of galactic civilisation, in particular any areas north, east and south of the Outer Rim. Within these wispy areas and the three galactic arms, few systems have been mapped, and sector boundaries have not been drawn up. West of the Galaxy's major astrographical regions, Wild Space is a vague fringe between organised sectors and the Unknown Regions. There the term is also applied to the theoretical western parts of the Core, Colonies, Inner Rim, Expansion Region and Mid Rim regions if these had extended around the Deep Core, with the Mid Rim's outer boundary extending vertically from the Churnis sector in the north to the tip of the Trilon sector in the south. Some systems have been discovered, such as Huk, but no large-scale exploration and charting of hyperspace routes have taken place thus far.
Historically, much of what is now parts of defined astrographical regions was considered Wild Space, for examples areas north of the Perlemian Trade Route outside the Inner Rim, or areas between the Expansion Region and Hutt Space. With the charting of additional hyperspace routes like the Hydian Way and widespread settlement and organisation of such areas, the Wild Space frontier was pushed ever outwards towards the galactic rim.
The term "Unknown Regions" most commonly refers to the large, unexplored area in the western part of the galactic map. Historically, the label of the Unknown Regions was also applied to various parts of the Galaxy that are now settled areas, essentially anything beyond the fringes of what was then Wild Space and the Galactic Republic's sphere of influence and governance, also in the eastern part of the disc. As time went by and exploration became more widespread, the term became more exclusively applied to the inaccessible areas in the west.
In the far west and south, the region encompasses two of the galactic arms which have yet to receive any universal designation. While it is speculated that local governments and sentient species call the Unknown Regions home, no contact has been made between these and the great galactic community over the millennia, apart from with the Chiss. The region is comprised of only a few billion stars, out of a galactic total of 400 billion. This may (but not definitively proved) be part of the reason why it has thus far been impossible to chart any major hyperspace lanes into the area. Dangerous stellar objects, hyperspace eddies, and other phenomena that obstruct travel have ensured that the region has been left alone while galactic civilisation has spread north, east, and south from the Core over the centuries. Some scientists speculate that this so-called "tangle" of hyperspace impediments is an ancient relic of Celestials design, but no conclusive evidence to that effect has been found. The Unknown Regions designation also includes uncharted areas in dense nebulae, globular clusters, and the galactic halo.
In addition to the aforementioned astrographical regions, there exists a multitude of other regions in the Galaxy. They typically overlap and extend across several astrographical regions and include numerous sectors and systems. Most of these have relatively vague borders, and are regarded as general, grouped areas of the Galaxy with some commonality to them, reflecting past or present political and/or cultural divisions of the Galaxy. What is characteristic for many of these is that their definition originally arose as a result of astrographical coordinates, location relative to major hyperlanes, or shared history of major discovery and settlement.
Arrowhead (Inner Core)
The various regions of the Galaxy are divided in to areas defined by set boundaries known as sectors. The borders for these areas vary, either having conventional boundaries defined by the extent of stellar phenomena and the like, or have an artificial design as a result of political, economic, or military organization in the course of Galactic history by dominant powers and authorised cartographers. In many cases, sector borders have been redefined or reorganised as a result of expansion or other practical concerns. Hence, sectors are defined as belonging to a specific astrographic region (for example the Core or the Outer Rim) and never overlap the borders between these regions (save for Hutt Space; see below). All sectors contain countless stars and star systems, but records of some previously known inhabited systems of planets have been lost as a result of various galactic conflicts, and are gradually being rediscovered. Therefore certain sectors on the Galactic map appear empty while their borders are clearly defined and they have designated names.
The areas collectively known as sectors vary in terms of type and specific designations. The two primary types would be regional sectors and subsectors. The regional sector designation applies to most sectors found on astrographic maps, with relatively vast expanses of space that in most cases contain many known populated systems. The designation subsectors is applied to smaller areas that, for historical or practical reasons (such as large amounts of systems in a condensed area,) are considered separate from a larger regional sector. In some cases the designation may be a result of the subsectors placement on the Z-axis, meaning its position above or below the Galactic plane. Typically these areas are either fully encapsulated, largely surrounded, or on the fringe of a regional sector. Examples include Moddell, which is a subsector of the Zuma regional sector and part of the so-called Inner Zuma region; the Gree subsector, which is an enclave within the Veragi sector; and the Periphery, which is a small region of space historically and politically tied to the vast, neighbouring Hutt Space.
Hutt Space itself is an area that is more complex in definition, and a quite unique section of the Galaxy. Due to its enormous size, Hutt Space is by some considered to be one of the Galaxy's defined greater astrographical regions, equal in status to for example the Expansion Region, rather than a regional sector. However, the border between the Mid Rim and Outer Rim is traditionally regarded as running directly through Hutt Space in a straight, vertical line, rather than surrounding the area. This is in part due to Hutt Space's borders having been constantly in flux in the course of history, ebbing and flowing as a result of the varying power of Hutt clans and their criminal empire. The Hutts did not adhere to the standards of the galactic government, such as the Galactic Republic, and their definition of regional sectors. Hence Hutt Space was at a time typically just considered to be the expanse in which the Hutts had influence or direct governance, at times extending far beyond present day borders. For a while considered a client state (or allied region) of the Galactic Empire, the current borders were defined by stellar cartographers in more recent times. After the overthrow of Emperor Charon, the influence of Hutt clans was diminished, and much of their territory was divided up by other organisations and successor governments, with the area now existing as a specter of past Hutt power in the form of a vast regional sector.
In Wild Space, and to some extent the Unknown Regions, one finds freestanding subsectors. These areas are largely uncharted and on the wisps of galactic civilisation, regarded as the immediate area surrounding individual systems that have been discovered. A notable example would be the Huk system located a few hundred light years in to Wild Space from the Carrion sector in the northern Outer Rim. Another is Csilla, which surrounds the Chiss homeworld located deep inside the Unknown Regions. As the natives have not divulged the extent of their exploration or knowledge of other systems in proximity to Csilla, the freestanding subsector known just as Csilla extends a lightyear out from the local star until more information becomes available about the local astrographical area to warrant more defined borders.
Additionally, governments have tended to apply their own definition to their space and the sectors that their territory encompasses. For example, the government called the Tion Hegemony regards the three sectors Cronese Mandate, Allied Tion and Tion Hegemony, to be the Tion Cluster. This is due to the regional sector definitions being applied to the Tion Cluster and dividing it astrographically during the time of the Galactic Republic. The Galactic Empire's regional government similarly divides its vast territory in to six distinct areas known as Imperial Sectors, where one is defined as an Oversector and the other five as mere Sectors. All of these are comprised of numerous astrographic regional sectors, and named after one of them - for example the Coruscant Oversector.
The galaxy consists of approximately 400 billion stars. Of these, approximately 180 billion are considered star systems, and 7.1 billion are considered habitable. Stars are classed Aurek through Osk (A-O) according to type, and are divided in to four different categories (pre-main sequence, main sequence, post-main sequence, and compact.) Of all the types, red dwarfs are the most abundant, making up approximately 70% of the galaxy's stars. Habitable planets are primarily found in systems with a main sequence star, though some notable exceptions such as the Ku'Bakai system (a post-main sequence blue giant) exist.
|Star Type||Class||Example Star||Possibility of supporting life||Abundance (% of all stars)|
|Pre-Main Sequence Stars|
|Main Sequence Stars|
|Post-Main Sequence Stars|
|Red Supergiant||Leth||Primus Goluud||unlikely||1%|
|Black Dwarf||Nern||star of "the Ring"||unlikely||0%|
|Neutron Star||Osk||Din Pulsar||unlikely||0,1%|
|Black Hole||Peth||The Maw||unlikely||0%|