4

In Star Wars, we see the main characters more or less traveling freely between various planets. Characters that are wanted by a faction (e.g. the Empire, Confederacy, etc.) do face challenges sneaking around and through blockades (and such form major plot points), but there doesn't seem to be an indication that worlds are regularly or permanently blockaded "just because" during times of relative peace. It seems that if you can physically get to a place in one piece and aren't specifically on anyone's radar, you will generally be left alone to do whatever you want.

Does the Star Wars universe have a concept of immigration restrictions? For example, if a Jawa from Tatooine wanted to travel to Mustafar for whatever reason (to find local employment, sell droids, attend school, escape overprotective parents, sightsee, perform a religious pilgrimage, whatever), would they have to meet any specific official requirements (e.g. carry a passport issued by a government authority, apply for a visa, be formally interviewed by local authorities at a booth, satisfy a criminal background check, pay a migration fee, pass a literacy test, undergo a screening for infectious diseases, etc.) or would they be able to travel as long as they had access to a ship and did not encounter any specific trouble from faction authorities (e.g. neither planet currently blockaded, no arrest warrant out on the individual, no chance encounter with scurvy space pirates, arr)?

Jar Jar Binks's banishment from Gungan society seems like it could count, but that's more a case of exile - he was kicked out of his homeland rather than restricted from traveling to or settling in a new one - there's no indication that anyone tried to prevent him from living among the Human population of Naboo or later traveling to Tatooine or Coruscant, nor is there any indication that any government officials on either of those worlds would have particularly objected to his presence (or sought to have him deported) if they had been specifically made aware of it.

In other words:

  • Do we not see immigration checks because they are just not done in the Star Wars universe?
  • Is it implied that immigration checks are done off-screen, and we are just not shown them in order to prevent the movies from being ten hours long (Episode VII, Part F, Rey is still waiting in line to be interviewed by the Takodana Immigration Authority, and feeling tempted to punch the Gungan five meters closer to the desk)?
  • Are immigration checks actually required by most or all planets, but the main characters are just so badass that they dodge them for the street cred (maybe that's why Amidala landed in the middle of the desert, because she forgot her passport and didn't want to be detained by Tatooine ICE (or perhaps SAND would be a better term, maybe Strategic Action for Noncompliance Department))?
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    The Galactic Republic is like the EU, you can go anywhere you want as long as you bail out Greece every few years. – amflare Dec 22 '17 at 20:38
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    @amflare so which planet is Greece? – Robert Columbia Dec 22 '17 at 20:39
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    @RobertColumbia - Tatooine. – Valorum Dec 22 '17 at 20:48
  • Han is a smuggler. That implies customs checks. – Valorum Dec 22 '17 at 20:52
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    @Valorum not necessarily. In our world, there is a persistent issue of smuggling of tobacco products between Virginia and New York, two places that do not have any immigration or customs checkpoints between them. Even though there are no regular checks, anyone who does happen to get checked for whatever reason (e.g. traffic violation) and is found smuggling can be punished. – Robert Columbia Dec 22 '17 at 20:54
9

Within the Star Wars universe, custom and immigration controls seem to follow much the same pattern as you find within our own galaxy. The more civilised parts have extensive controls, less advanced societies pay lip services and the wild parts have next to nothing.

In Catalyst: Rogue One, Krennic travels to a spaceport on the planet Merj where he has to pass a control point.

Krennic had expressed concern that an all-human crew would arouse suspicion among the immigration and customs agents, but Has had guaranteed that he had employed human crews in the past, and that there was no need for worry. In fact, the Morseerian spaceport officials—four-armed bipeds with translucent skin and conical heads covered with multihued scales—did little more than glance at the shipping manifests Has provided and rap their knobby knuckles on one of the alloy containers.

Catalyst: Rogue One

In Star Wars: Tarkin, the titular villain protagonist has to go to a really crappy world called Murkhana. Most of the population has emigrated and the remaining government facilities (including ironically immigration control) have been relocated away from the spaceport.

Spaceport control says that it’s up to us to find a place to set down, as their guidance systems are no longer in service and the terminal has been shut down. Immigration and customs have relocated to the inner city.” Tarkin shook his head in disgust. “I suspect no one makes use of them. What do our scanners tell us of the atmosphere?”

Star Wars: Tarkin

By comparison, Coruscant has extensive facilities and monitors the immigration status of all new arrivals as well as keeping tabs on them while they're on-planet.

“Victimization,” Shevu suggested quietly, still watching the status boards. “That’ll make life in the city very awkward. Latest tally from Immigration Control says we have nearly twenty million Corellians living here.”

Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines

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    Tarkin visited the horrible world of 'Muricana, you say? – Adamant Dec 23 '17 at 0:00
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    I always tended to assume that local governments (one planet or one cluster or whatever) tended to "roll their own" regarding rules for immigration, becoming a voting citizen, etc. They might be far more lenient about spacers who were obviously just passing through than they were about, say, millions of refugees from some other world suddenly arriving in orbit and saying, "Hello, we're here to stay! Once we land, you'll never get rid of us!" – Lorendiac Dec 23 '17 at 3:31

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