From the answer posted on this thread, I was wonder what is meaning of Ether in reference to star-wars franchise.

Luke focused on the emptiness of space beyond the window behind the Emperor’s chair. The deep void, where nothing was. Nothing. He filled his mind with this black nothing. Opaque, save for the occasional flickering of starlight that filtered through the ether.

What I found about ether on wikipedia is that it is class of organic compound. see this

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    It's the luminiferous ether, the stuff that fills empty space, or used to "long long ago". – user14111 Dec 25 '15 at 9:00
  • @user14111 I think it's funny that people no longer believe the ether exists, when in reality it does a fine job of describing space itself. – user11521 Dec 25 '15 at 18:33
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    @Michael "ether theory" was about the concept of having a material that permeates space and that carries light waves the same way as physical material carries sound waves. It turned out that carrying light waves is quite different from carrying sound waves, but we now have a new form of "ether" which seems to behave like a special kind of superconductor (see also: Higgs mechanism). So, yes, the ether is still alive. – David Tonhofer Dec 25 '15 at 18:51

This isn't really a Star Wars questions, but a question of the English language, though it's a bit archaic. Searching past the first Google hit for the organic compound, we can find it in several online dictionaries:


  1. A substance (aether) once thought to fill all space that allowed electromagnetic waves to pass through it and interact with matter,

  2. (poetic or literary) The sky or heavens; the upper air.

From Old French ether, from Latin aethēr ‎(“the upper pure, bright air”)

Or in Merriam-Webster.com:

1a : the rarefied element formerly believed to fill the upper regions of space

1b : the upper regions of space : heavens

2a : a medium that in the wave theory of light permeates all space and transmits transverse waves

Basically, it's a poetic expression that means "emptiness", and specifically the emptiness that light travels through, as in your quote.

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    quick answer...tnx a ton. – Karan Mer Dec 25 '15 at 9:05
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    Fun fact: in older (e.g. 1930s) science fiction, spaceships were sometimes called "ether ships". – user14111 Dec 25 '15 at 9:23
  • @user14111, to amend this, in Kurd Laßwitz 1887 novel "Two Planets" interplanetary spaceships where propelled by the slow release of "condensed ether". – Eike Pierstorff Dec 25 '15 at 10:47
  • Doc Smith had spacemen wish each other “Clear ether!” (When I first saw this phrase, as title of a quarrelsome fan's apazine iirc, I thought it meant “Get off my frequency!”) — A key moment in the history of ether was the Michelson-Morley “ether wind” experiment. – Anton Sherwood Nov 27 '19 at 5:25

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