Han Solo explains to us that

Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it.

We also know that there are established hyperspace routes.

In real life, aircraft must declare flight plans with aviation authorities. This helps prevent mid-air collisions. This doesn't seem to be the case in the Star Wars universe, as ships are always being asked for their intended destination.

Calculating a hyperspace route around planetary bodies is fairly straightforward. They move in a prescribed motion and their position can be calculated accurately.

But we see ships jumping into hyperspace with little prior planning (besides the requisite calculations), and coming out in seemingly random spots.

How do ships traveling through hyperspace avoid collisions with other ships in hyperspace (or real space), and how do they avoid collisions with other ships that may or may not be at their intended destination?

  • 1
    Do we even know if "small" objects like ships (ignoring the Death Star) can collide in hyperspace?
    – Ellesedil
    Mar 21, 2016 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.

-- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

In short, space is so big that it's highly improbable that two spaceships would collide by chance.

Think if there were only ten airplanes in the world. Would we really need predetermined flight paths then?

As for hyperspace, as you said, there are established routes, probably calculated to minimize the risk of collision. When off the established routes (like when you're trying to make the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs), there is probably little chance of collision, because relatively few ships are off the established routes at any given time, and again, space is big.

  • 2
    Statistically, it is unlikely for them to collide just randomly traveling from point to point, but arriving at a destination, the chance increases a lot. Take a busy planet such as Coruscant, with tons of ships flying in and out all the time. How does a ship exiting hyperspace avoid collision with another ship also arriving there, or having just arrived there?
    – phantom42
    Mar 21, 2016 at 16:50
  • I would imagine ships don't exit hyperspace right at Coruscant, just like the Death Star couldn't exit right at Yavin and blast the rebels to smithereens before they could react. Mar 21, 2016 at 17:11
  • Even if they don't, and they exit at a standard exit area/zone instead, if everyone is exiting in the same area, they run the risk of collision.
    – phantom42
    Mar 21, 2016 at 17:13
  • The Earth has a surface area of 196.8 million square miles. A Star Destroyer is 5,200 ft long. That means it would take about 200 million Star Destroyers to cover the surface of the Earth. I still don't think there's a real problem here. Mar 21, 2016 at 17:27
  • So your answer is that they just pick a random exit point and hope for the best?
    – phantom42
    Mar 21, 2016 at 18:52

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