In Star Wars, basically everyone is a human with facial make-up; is there an attempt at an in-universe explanation of this within this franchise?

Note:formerly this question was for Star Trek and Star Wars, which was too broad. This is now for Star Wars.

Link to old question: Do characters in Star Trek address how odd it is the universe is filled with humanoids?

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    "Basically everyone" isn't really true. There are many sentient species that aren't human shaped and/or sized.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Sep 19, 2015 at 4:04
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    @RogueJedi, hey, I just migrated the question. I supposed it's still valid if you ignore the hyperbolic 'basically everyone' Sep 19, 2015 at 4:07
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    In the EU, humans could produce hybrids with members of some other humanoid species...just a speculation, but maybe species that could hybridize this way actually evolved from a common ancestor at some point in the past? Also see this question.
    – Hypnosifl
    Sep 19, 2015 at 4:26
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    Why are you singling out Star Wars for this question?
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 19, 2015 at 17:52
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    I won't give a formal answer since I can't cite the necessary sources, but I expect the in-universe answer (and perhaps the answer for the Star Trek version too) to be similar to what Earth scientists believe about potential extra-terrestrial life today: Life anywhere wouldn't differ by too much because we're all built from the same building blocks. Because we're all carbon-based life, the chemical makeup that influences so much of evolutionary directions is the same. Nitrogen-based life is the only other possibility, and so would be expected to evolve down a markedly different path Jan 17, 2016 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


No, it is never commented on because most non-humans in Star Wars don't really resemble "a human with facial make-up."

Here are some large gatherings of non-humans sentients from across the main films.

As you can see, due to extensive use of prosthetics, puppetry, CGI, costumes, etc. very few non-humans in Star Wars significantly resemble humans. Star Wars had a much higher budget than Star Trek, so this makes sense.

As for the few species that do resemble humans, there are several reasons for this:

  1. Their ancestors bred with humans.
  2. The species was a sub-species of humanity.
  3. The species simply looked like each other due to coincidence.

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