Hello everyone and welcome to the Sarlacc Pit! This week I am going to give a geography lesson on the Star Wars galaxy. While I’m sure that geography is probably not the correct term to use while talking about a galaxy, I’m going to use it anyways (mostly because I do not know what the correct term is). I’m going to give a general overview of where a few of the more popular systems are located as well as talk about terms you might regularly hear while watching Star Wars, such as Outer Rim, Western Reaches, the Core, etc. Also, I will be keeping strictly to canon sources, so this post may end up being a lot shorter than many will be expecting. With that, get out your maps, it’s time to learn!
Sections of the Galaxy
Just as countries are divided into states and the planet is divided into hemispheres, the galaxy of Star Wars is also divided into sections. Generally each section of the galaxy are named for their location relative to the core of the galaxy. Before the rise of the Empire (and even a little during the Emperor’s reign), political power and influence was generally given to planets closer to the core, as the closer to the core you were, the closer to Coruscant, the galactic capital. For the rest of this post, I am going to go through the different sections, starting with the Core Worlds and working my way out.
The Core Worlds
The wealthiest section of the planet, the Core Worlds referred to the group of planets surrounding the Deep Core, a dense cluster of stars and planets with a super-massive black hole in the middle. For all intents and purposes, the Core Worlds were the center of the galaxy, and in general the inhabitants of these planets behaved as such, as they were known to be fairly snobbish. Planets located in this region included Alderaan (R.I.P.), Chandrila (the original location of the New Republic capital), Corellia (Han Solo’s homeworld), Hosnian Prime (the last known location of the New Republic capital, R.I.P.), and of course, Coruscant. Approximately one thousand years before the Clone Wars, when the Galactic Republic was founded, the inhabitants of the Core Worlds were given permission to expand and colonize other planets, enter the Colonies.
The Colonies refers to the group of planets between the Core and the Inner Rim. This section was named for the fact that they were the first planets colonized by inhabitants of the Core Worlds. Not much is included in canon yet except that this area was home to Cato Neimoidia, Neimoidia, Abednedo, etc.
The Inner Rim
The Inner Rim is the first of the three “Rim” sections of the galaxy. This section was found between the Colonies and the Expansion Region. Really the only planet here of much canonical interest is Onderon, which I wrote about in my “Origins of Rebellion” post a few weeks back.
The Expansion Region
Once the Inner Rim was colonized, explorers continued expanding outward, thus the name of this next section, found between the Inner Rim and the Mid Rim. This region was home to the Ghost Nebula, in which was found the Umbaran system, home to perhaps one of the creepiest sentient species: Umbarans, who were known for developing very advanced technology compared to galactic standards.
The Mid Rim
Just outside the Expansion Regions came the Mid Rim. This area was home to Bothawui (home to excellent spies as long as you don’t need them to come back alive), Kasyyyk (shout-out to my Wookie friends, Gwwaaarrrrawah), Takodana (home to Mas Kanata’s castle), and Naboo.
The Outer Rim Territories
By far the most rugged area of the galaxy, the Outer Rim was far enough removed from the Core that there was very little in the way of regulation or law enforcement. It was pretty much a survival of the fittest situation. Slavery, piracy, terrorism, you name it, it existed in the Outer Rim. Home to planets such as Tattooine, Mandalore, Hoth, and Eriadu, the Outer Rim either killed you, or made you stronger for the experience. Home to the Sith as they rose and then dwindled in number, home to the warrior Mandalorians as they fought against the Jedi, and home to the Hutts as they expanded their criminal empire. Undisputed champion of the Imperial Cheekbone Competition, Grand Moff Tarkin, also grew up on the Outer Rim planet of Eriadu, where his harsh upbringing and rise in the ranks of the Outland Security Force molded him into the cunning an ruthless military leader we all know and love. Despite its harshness, many sentients would move out to the Outer Rim in search of escape or new fortunes. New hyperspace lanes were constantly being discovered as people desired to push outside the bounds of known space and discover new planets and people. In fact, during the time of the Galactic Republic, many factions would attempt to discover new planets to bring into the Republic in hopes that they would have more votes on issues in the Senate.
The Western Reaches
Looking at the map above, you can tell that most of the discovered planets were discovered toward the “eastern” portion of the galaxy. The Western Reaches refers to a section of planets toward the “western” part of the galaxy. The only planet of canonical importance in this section is Jakku, where Rey grew up and the location of some shady First Order business (see Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt).
Outside of the Western Reaches past the Outer Rim of the galactic “west” was a mapped, but largely unexplored section of the galaxy referred to as the Unknown Regions. This region was the location of the Starkiller Base’s origin point, Ilum (location of caves where lightsaber crystals formed), and numerous legends.
The above sections refer only to sections of the galaxy that were known and charted. However, on the outer edge of the galaxy existed a vast cluster of unknown systems known as Wild Space. This region was unmapped (as opposed to Unknown Space, which was largely mapped but not explored). Mortis (the strange Force-imbued planet/realm/dimension/mind-blaster) was located here, as well as Lira San, the original homeworld of the Lasat.
And there you have it, all the sections of the known galaxy (so far), and what you might expect to see in each area. For even more information about the background of each section, you can check out some of the Legends canon, which had a lot more info on each area. However, as this is a Star Wars canon blog, I decided to keep it canonical for now. Next week, I plan on talking about Princess Leia and the Force: instances that show she is Force-sensitive and how that affects her character. Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!