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This question already has an answer here:

Finn witnesses the destruction of Hosnian Prime and 4 other planets while standing on Takodana. If Takodana is not in the Hosnian system (Wookieepedia doesn't seem to think it is) how can they see the planets so distinctly? Is this just a case of "Star Wars is fantasy, not science" or is there a different explanations? Are the "Western Reaches" just really jam packed with close together systems?

marked as duplicate by zipquincy, Jack B Nimble, alexwlchan, Rand al'Thor, Rogue Jedi Dec 30 '15 at 21:41

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  • This is not a duplicate. The quiestions are prompted by similar motivation, but both the actual question asked, AND the answer answering it, are different. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 22 '15 at 2:04
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No.

According to the map published in TFA Visual Dictionary, they are in different parts of the Galaxy alltogether.

enter image description here

Hosnian Prime isn't in Western Reaches (because "West" is very well defined in a galaxy :), it's at the outer edge of the Core.

Here's a blowup of the center of the map:

TFA Visual Dictionary

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    I expect a bounty for the freehand artisanal red circles. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 21 '15 at 15:53
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    So the fact you can see several distinct planets destroyed from a fifth of they way across the galaxy is just "it's a movie, not science!"? – zipquincy Dec 21 '15 at 15:58
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    @zipquincy - no, it's because J.J. Abrams. There is no canon answer...errr ... retcon yet. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 21 '15 at 15:59
  • @DVK "Because J.J. Abrams" is probably it. He's portrayed the destruction of planets as being visible at infeasible distances in this film, he's done it before, and he'll most likely do it again. – user867 Dec 22 '15 at 2:23
  • it the movie to me it looked more like planets in the same planetary system that got destroyed as we see them all in the same shot.... – Cherubel Dec 22 '15 at 8:03
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Pablo Hidalgo tweeted that the shot from Starkiller Base ripped a hole in hyperspace that made what happened visible to the people on Takodana (and maybe other places as well). I mean that's not science but it's a good Star Wars explanation.

  • Could you add a link to your source? – Rand al'Thor Dec 22 '15 at 14:16
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    Isn't Hildago the guy whose twitter specifically says do not cite as canon? Lol – Robert Wertz Dec 22 '15 at 14:19
  • Yes, Pablo Hidalgo works for the creative group, but cautions that his tweets should not be cited as canon. It certainly lends weight, but makes it not definitive. – phantom42 Dec 22 '15 at 14:25
  • I just checked his account on Twitter and didn't find anything similar. When? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 22 '15 at 15:03
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The Starkiller weapon fired through hyperspace. This is why it was able to get a beam of energy to travel half-way across the galaxy in a matter of seconds. I think this same hyperspace tunneling created an effect where one could look at the resulting destruction.

Think of it as a hyperspace-window that allows you to see things that are light-years away, despite the limitations of the speed of light. I don't think the Hosnian system would be visible at all from Takodana before or after the Starkiller created the hyperspace tunnel.

It's "hollywood science" for sure, but I think it is consistent with the rest of the weapon's capabilities.

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