Was there ever a point in Star Wars lore where Hyperspace wasn't available to any race, and ships had to travel on Ramscoop (or other similar drives) drives?

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    Using a Bussard Ramjet as a propulsion system, it would literally take decades or centuries to travel between most stars (it would take 5.5 years just to get from the Solar System to the nearest star). And that's in ideal conditions, without having to slow down (if you have to slow down, it would take an order of magnitude longer). It wouldn't be very practical to have any kind of interstellar trade/federation/war in this manner. Imagine it taking 11 years just to send a message to and get a response back from the nearest star system. Jul 31, 2013 at 4:14
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    Star Wars is more sci-fi-fantasy, but even still I would expect the writers to realize you need FTL travel for any kind of meaningful interstellar story. Jul 31, 2013 at 4:16
  • I know how a Ramjet works, and I was asking if there ever was an era of Star Wars where, say, the bothans, are stuck in one solar system, with space technology similar, if a bit more advanced, than we currently are. Also, come to think about it, they never really explain how the Hyper Space Drives work. Jul 31, 2013 at 8:37
  • Well, anything even remotely possible present day would be really primitive compared to what is necessary for interplanetary trade and civilian travel. E.g. plasma propulsion or ion thrusters, or even Orion- or Promtheus-type nuclear propulsion would be way too slow and unwieldy to have any kind of regular space travel. I think any Star Wars stories, even those set in the deep past, would at least involve a Star-Trek-impulse-engine-equivalent fictional propulsion system civilian crews could use to travel to Mars and back in less than 2 months. Jul 31, 2013 at 9:06
  • The sublight drives used in the X-wing and TIE fighters are variously referred to as fusial thrust (X-wings) or ion drive engines (TIE fighters, imperial cruisers, and most other ships). The ion drive itself is basically just an ion thruster that uses fusion reaction. So I guess that's probably what early Star Wars civilizations used if they wrote any stories back when only sublight drives were available. Jul 31, 2013 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


Yes. The point before Rakatan Empire. From http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperspace#History:

The principles of Hyperspace travel were first discovered by the ancient Rakata. (cite: "Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi")

However, this Wikia info may be outdated (since it may have come from older canon when Rakata were considered the Architects).

In newer superceding canon, there were supposed to have been races who used FTL way before Rakata: Columi, Gree, and Kwa; and moreover, most likely, the same can be said about Celestials, who preceded all other known races in the Galaxy. So, presumably, Celestials may have been the first with FTL but not much explicit is known about them or their history.

  • Wasn't there a Hyperspace war?
    – Jersey
    Jul 31, 2013 at 20:46
  • It seems that hypergates might have been used by the Gree before actual hyperdrive was invented by the Rakata, but it still was based on hyperspace. Likewise, before the Rakata discovered hyperspace travel, the Kwa were already using Infinity Gates, a similar technology, to travel FTL. And that's actually how the Kwa encountered the Rakata, giving them knowledge of the force as well as advanced technology. Jul 31, 2013 at 20:52
  • @Jersey - yes. See here. But that was millenia after the fall of the Rakata, in 5000 BBY
    – The Fallen
    Jul 31, 2013 at 20:53
  • @Lèsemajesté - good point. Addressed. Jul 31, 2013 at 21:06

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