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I'm trying to understand some details related to the map in featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When we first see the map in the beginning of the movie, it is a region of space with a line presumably showing where

Luke has been. Later, when R2-D2 is re-activated, we see this part of the map as a section in a greater whole.

My sense is that the first piece of map is the end of

Luke's journey. That way, if someone hacked R2-D2, then they couldn't figure out exactly where in the region he has gone.
This raises an interesting question though. When they put the first piece of the map into R2's larger portion, it looked like a huge section of the galaxy.

It seems like even with our technology, you could identify some of the stars and be able to figure out where that is. If it were only a tiny part of the galaxy, then I could understand if it weren't mapped sufficiently to be able to do that.

  • I added the same text as others to try to get the spoiler thing working, but it doesn't seem to be showing up right. – John Dec 20 '15 at 5:56
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    This really bugged me in the movie as well. It seemed obvious that it would be easy to identify. – BBlake Dec 20 '15 at 14:21
  • See viewer friendly interface. For simplicity, they chose to represent the incomplete map as a small section removed from of larger whole. Graphically, this could have been done much better. – eclipz905 Dec 22 '15 at 21:31
  • ^TVTropes warning^ – DCOPTimDowd Jun 8 '18 at 18:37
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Here's what Alan Dean Foster's novelization says of the BB8 piece of the map.

He looked to BB-8. “Let’s see whatcha got.”

Dutifully, the droid rolled into a suitable position. A lens brightened, and abruptly the lounge was all but filled with an enormously detailed and complex star map.
Nebulae, solo stars, translucent splashes of concentrated dark matter, and entire solar systems were displayed before them.
Even Chewbacca sat up to have a better look. Finn was impressed and Rey in awe — but Han found himself frowning. Moving forward and into the three-dimensional representation, he tracked system positions and locator stars. One finger traced the outlines of a particularly bright and well-known nebular cluster. Like everything else in the map, it was brilliantly depicted. It was also only half there. He turned to the others. “This is accurate, but it’s not complete. It’s just a piece. I can tell from the location of the breaks and from what’s only partially shown.” He grunted softly.
“Ever since Luke disappeared, people have been looking for him.”

Please note the bolded text. No need for Technology - Han was able to identify the pieces of the map anyway, even without the larger map.

It seems as if the general location/area of interest was split between the two maps.

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