I’m of the understanding that the canon Star Wars movies are set in the relative past (18th and 19th century in our time). Yet looking up the biographies of characters like Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker etc their species is listed as ‘human’.

If they are indeed, human beings as you and I, how did they manage to end up in the far reaches of space hundreds of years ago, when we don’t have to technology to travel long distances in space even today?

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    I'm guessing here, but I think Lucas tried to find Rodians, but none came for the casting call... – Iceman Jan 15 '16 at 10:24
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    it wa a long time ago far far away so 18th to 19th century is probably wrong – Eumel Jan 15 '16 at 10:28
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    not long enough ;) – Eumel Jan 15 '16 at 10:35
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    The best estimates for the beginning of unintended colonisation of Earth by human crash survivors is currently set at 2-5mya or earlier, so these events must have occurred much earlier than that. – thegreatjedi Jan 15 '16 at 10:57
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    @MartinBean Look up the Wikipedia article on John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th president of the United States, and read about his two living grandchildren. – user14111 Jan 15 '16 at 11:48

Humans in Star Wars are not the species homo sapiens that we find on Earth. And they also don't speak English. There is deliberately no connection between "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away" and any place or time that we know of. So the word that is translated into English as "human" is simply the word that they use to refer to the species in the Star Wars universe that looks like homo sapiens.

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