My previous question Why does Binary exist? started a conversation which led me to this new question: How do long-range communications work in the first place? (I was wondering why droids had to speak Binary instead of using existing technology for other communication modes humans and other tech already use, then a range of problems are highlighted, but I wonder how much of those problems do indeed exist in Star Wars)

HoloNet transmissions, for one, are transmitted over hyperspace. So the question is:

  • How much do galactic communications rely on the hyperspace medium?
  • Are communication methods over the EM spectrum used? How are the technical problems with using that spectrum in space (mentioned in the chat in the linked question) overcome?

OK, so some form of answer has addressed the hyperspace part. Focusing more on sublight and EM communications:

  • The main issues mentioned were the same as what we can expect in real life: spectrum crunch and background noise, both from cosmic sources and from millennia of galactic use. How are these addressed?
  • With inter-system communications using the hyperspace medium, we can assume they do not contribute to the problems stated, leaving only infra-system communications. The parties involved would be static users (local inhabitants and infrastructure) and temporary users (starships passing through the system).
  • Therefore, the first problem that needs to be overcome is spectrum crunch between these users (I would venture that more futuristic tech allow the same spectrum to be divided between more users, so this may not be as serious a problem to them as it may be to us)
  • The more serious problem would be handling incoming noise from outside the system and (as any responsible person should do) isolating outgoing noise from leaving the system
  • How much do galactic communications rely on the hyperspace medium? - 100%, if you don't count courier ships and sneakernet over starships. There are clearly comm nets that seem to be radio (clearest example is X-Wing chatter over Yavin), but don't know any technical details that exist. Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 4:02
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    not sure how far up the canon this goes - but the EU/Legends mentions "subspace antennas" which Luke and R2 needed to repair in order to communicate (Heir to the Empire).
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 4:28
  • @DVK My logic goes as follows: If ships can conduct microjumps through hyperspace just like normal longer-distance jumps, then if galactic communications like the mass media uses hyperspace, the technology should exist for shorter microjumps too, such as between ships, space stations and planetside communication centres across the span of a single star system. Perhaps a lot of communications on many levels of application had been shifted to hyperspace? Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 1:04
  • @thegreatjedi - Based on EU/Legends, I would say that's not the case. Hyperspace communication was expensive and required fancy equipment. As a matter of fact, "Tarkin" confirmed that, so sorry, that theory contradicts even Disney canon. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 1:12
  • I seriously doubt that noise would be an issue. It'd take tens of thousands of years for communications from even the nearest stars to reach you, so this would really only be a problem in densely populated areas of the galaxy (which in all likelyhood will not exist). Even if they did, even the most well-collimated light will spread, which reduces the signal's intensity. Signals from far-off planets will never be able to significantly drown out tight-band communications between a planet and an orbiting ship.
    – ocket8888
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 0:47

2 Answers 2


Much like interstellar travel thru hyperspace. Star wars exploits the hyperspace route Signals are sent thru hyperspace thru a network of beacons. However long distance communication is attainable thru independent transceivers. However their range is limited. So the beacon network is utilized to put signals thru transgalactic distance.

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    I like this answer if true, but I would love to see some sources. Never heard of this network of beacons, sounds like a decent idea.
    – Aww_Geez
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 18:22

Well, obviously there are so many different species of aliens in the Star Wars Universe and since the galaxy stretches and stretches, more than likely all of them rely on hyperspace, just so that they can communicate over long distances, such as when ships have to call for a landing or when they try and use different communicators across space... Long-range probably works similarly to how telephones work right now. It's a little hard to describe, but the communications might rely on light waves and where the person is in that moment of time...

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