Kind of brought to my attention by this answer. The poster mentions non-humans, which implies that there are humans in the Star Wars universe.

However, since it happened "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away", how could there be any humans in the Star Wars universe?

Are there "humans" in Star Wars there just because it was easier to make the movies that way? Other shows such as Star Trek are about the future of humans, so it's easy to understand the existence of humans in those storylines. However for Star Wars it just doesn't make sense.

It also seems odd that they'd go around creating all these different species and then just leave the main characters as humans. I guess another possibility is that the humans in star Wars eventually populated Earth, but then what happened to all the technology?

  • 17
    I always though about the humans in Star Wars being ancestors rather than descendants of Earth humans...
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 13:08
  • 12
    panspermia or parallel evolution can explain the existence of beings that look a lot like human beings in a galaxy a long time ago, far far away. Creative license does the rest
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 6:39
  • 9
    And ducks. Don't forget ducks.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 17:17
  • 4
    @MrLister And Falcons. xkcd.com/890
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 15:45
  • 3
    Name a live action movie with no human characters in it. If such a movie exists, it probably didn't do very well at the box office. People like movies about people.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 23:56

17 Answers 17


The humans in the Star Wars universe are not from Earth. There are millions of planets inhabited by humans.

From Wookieepedia:

Humans were the galaxy's most numerous and politically dominant sentient species with millions of major and minor colonies galaxy-wide. Believed to have originated on the galactic capital of Coruscant, they could be found anywhere, engaged in many different pursuits.

The origin of Humans in Star Wars is unknown (though many in the galaxy believe that they originated on Coruscant). Since they appear to be identical to Humans on Earth, some fans have created theories about a species of extragalactic aliens who transported early Humans from Earth to the "Galaxy Far, Far Away". Other fans suggest that parallel evolution could have produced Humans in the Star Wars galaxy as well as in the Milky Way. A canceled, and therefore non-canon, novel known as Alien Exodus would have explained the origins of Humanity and their connection with Earth, but it was never published for a variety of reasons. The storyline in this novel involved both space travel and time travel, which would have explained the line "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."

From a moviemaking standpoint, yes it was probably because it is easier to have the main characters as humans. It is also easier to relate to characters who are humans (or at least humanoid)

  • 6
    But are they really "humans"? Why are there humans on earth without the same level of technology. We know (almost certainly) that humans evolved independantly on earth, and didn't come from elsewhere. How did humans become the "most numerous and politically dominant sentient species" before ever making it outside our own solar system.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:01
  • 13
    There may not even be an Earth in the Star Wars universe. They are referred to as humans and have the same physiology as we do but they don't have to have any connection to Earth. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:04
  • 47
    A "long time ago" might mean a long time ago from the point of the storyteller telling the story to an even later generation, this does not forbid it taking place in our very far future, where mankind forgot where they originated from hundreds of millenia ago. This might be even an explanation why there is Christmas in the Star Wars universe (runs away like hell ....)
    – vsz
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 17:43
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    The universe is infinite. If the universe is infinite then there are infinite planets and species out there. Out of that infinite selection, there are also infinite number of life forms following the same evolutionary path on a similar planet to Earth. Infinite languages, one resembling English spoken by people that call themselves human.
    – riv_rec
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 15:27
  • 1
    a) our Universe is not necessarily infinite. i. not if defined as the creation of the Big Bang. ii. spatial pocket universes are irrelevant as they contain differing original conditions and so you might theoretically have two almost-identical universes, etc. iii. nothingness may consist of an absence of space-time. b) if there are an infinite number of parallel realities then Humans in our reality do not have to have the same origin as Humans in the Star Wars reality. c) if Earth and SW co-exist in SW reality, then you have a problem; unless you assume they are connected in origin somehow.
    – Ber
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 13:30

I have no citations for this, but it seems obvious to me that Star Wars drew from many sources, notably the concept of a faery tale (the opening words, the princess, the farmboy turned hero, the "magic" etc, etc). Faery tales are often set "long ago" and "far away" to give them an exotic flavour, and often imply that there was a past when giants, witches talking wolves, etc, etc were normal.

This -- in my opinion -- is more of a stylistic impression than a detailed constructed history. The past is supposed to seem fantastic and magical and hard to verify. There is typically deliberately no attempt to make the world consistent with modern scientific evidence.

Several modern works follow a similar trend (plus some who do offer a more explicit explanation for the "waning" of magic), notably Tolkien, who strongly implied that the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were morally if not literally a history of the present day.

I assume Lucas invented humans in a galaxy "a long time ago" because it rang true to our intuition, not because there was a logical reason for it. (And I think he was right to do so.) We're supposed to imagine that maybe the story did eventually lead to colonisation of earth, or maybe it's an allegory with no specific physical existence. And asking "why" is like asking "why there are giants who don't obey the inverse square law", because the story is based on them being there.

That said, it's possible to imagine specific answers -- I assume there are some in the extended universe, but I don't know what they are. Most likely: (a) time travel or (b) humans eventually colonised earth then lost all records, and the anthropological evidence is wrong somehow[1].

[1] After all, Star Wars is awesome, but it isn't, and doesn't pretend to be, biologically accurate :)

  • 9
    Many fairy tales begin with: "Long ago, in a land far away." Lucas was imitating that classic style. Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 0:37

This would have been explained in a series of canceled novels, Alien Exodus. However, having been canceled, it appears to be one of the few pieces of Star Wars that actually falls under "non-canon", rather than just a low level of canon:

"Another place, another time. A world called Earth, in its early 25th century, is moving toward a totalitarian, computer-controlled society."
―Robert J. Sawyer, Alien Exodus outline

The Human Exodus begins on Earth, in the 25th century. The three main characters—computer hacker Dale Hender, space pilot Antonia Corelli, and her lover Paxton Solo—are leaders of an underground movement resisting the computers who have taken control of Earth's society. Hender discovers that the computers intend to force-feed the people of Earth drugs to control their emotions. They also learn that the computers intend to strip away the identities and family ties of the Humans under their control by replacing their names with serial numbers (Hender is to become the first of the THX series, THX-0001).

Powerless to stop the computers, the underground decides to secretly convert a comet-mining ship called the Oort Raider to a colony ship, carrying five thousand Humans on a multi-generational journey to Alpha Centauri. After a narrow escape from the computers' forces on Earth, the Oort Raider escapes the solar system. Their long journey is interrupted when they fall through a "cosmic whirlpool" leading to another solar system in another galaxy. To their great surprise, the wormhole is not only a bridge to another galaxy, but to another time, billions of years in the past.

The Wookieepedia page does not give an exact timeline, and this "billions of years in the past" would indeed be much further back than the main Star Wars universe because after arriving in the past, the humans were turned into slaves - it would be a long time before they rose to power. The main character of that era is a descendent of one of the humans who went through the wormhole:

"An even longer time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …."
―Robert J. Sawyer's opening lines for Chapter 1 of Alien Exodus

The main story opens with Cosmo Hender, leader of the Human slaves on the Varlian planet Forhilnor. Forhilnor's slaves include Humans, Bith, Ithorians, Kubaz, Ortolans, Kitonaks, Twi'leks, Mon Calamari, and Sullustans. The Varlians—giant insectoids who rule a large star empire—have Rodian and Gamorrean henchmen to oversee the slaves. The slaves are being forced to build a massive stone temple, which by this point has reached a height of one thousand meters. A secret council, consisting of the leaders of each slave species, plots to somehow gain freedom, though their people have been enslaved for at least five generations. The slave council note that all their people are weary, even more than can be explained by the hard work and short rations.

  • Amazing answer! Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 15:26
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    Those poor Solos. They get screwed by history almost as much as the Skywalkers.
    – nomen
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 6:26
  • "Their long journey is interrupted when they fall through a "cosmic whirlpool" leading to another solar system in another galaxy. To their great surprise, the wormhole is not only a bridge to another galaxy, but to another time, billions of years in the past."
    – Rigolletto
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 10:53
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    Curious, could they actually tell thy are in different time? how would they know?
    – Rigolletto
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 10:54
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    @Rigolletto Actually, if it was really billions of years, it would be quite trivial to get that value in the right ballpark - the background cosmic radiation would be substantially hotter than today, easily seen on any infrared telescope the ship would likely be carrying. I'm not sure what kind of accuracy you could expect from such primitive measurement, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate enough for the statement "billions of years". Something like "a million years" would be a lot more suspicious, in a fun aversion of Sci-fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale :)
    – Luaan
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 22:49

Actually, in Universe (Lucasfilm movies) the Star Wars Universe and Earth are connected. How else would the Egyptians of the lost city of Tannis depict C-3P0 and Artoo Dee-Too?

enter image description here

How would E.T. recognize a Yoda costume worn by a child for Halloween?

enter image description here

enter image description here
E.T. species in Star Wars

Also, fictional works are often very well known in their (fictional) universes. Don Quixote read his own book as it was being printed, after all.

  • 3
    I love the reference to the droid hieroglyphs
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 23:46
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    I added some photos to your answer- hope you don't mind. Welcome to the site!
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 23:53
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    Hah! I always thought those were simply jokes typical of the studio; I never would've thought that they were meant to show a story-bound connection — but then, why not? Nice surmisal. Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 8:12

This is definitely a tough one to answer. As such, I think you answered your question in the last sentence. The most logical answer with the data at hand is that the humans in star wars eventually populated earth.

It makes sense when you think about the shear overwhelming odds against one species evolving into homo-sapien, and then a completely different species, many many years later, evolving into homo-sapien (of course, that would make them the same species in the scientific sense).

Even if it isn't canon, humans from that far away galaxy must have ended up on Earth in some fashion. If a large refugee colony without a ton of tech was marooned here, that could account for the lack of lightsabers and blasters showing up on carvings at Giza.

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    Perhaps Battlestar Galactica is a cross over between Star Wars and Star Trek. Sounds like the makings of a good serial of stories.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 21:04
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    Makes me think of the "Lost Tribe of the Sith" series of stories on Amazon.
    – eidylon
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 21:08
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    The odds of humans evolving in the same fashion in multiple places are only against you if your only belief system is science.
    – BBlake
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 12:29
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    There's at least one fanfic out there where humans from Earth (specifically, the Federation from Star Trek) are engaged in combat against the Empire and end up getting sent through a wormhole to a world in a galaxy far, far away (and an even LONGER long, long time ago).
    – Jeff
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 19:40
  • But that still doesn't account for how the Force isn't present here since Star Wars explicitly states that it is anyone
    – Jax
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 19:34

There's one hypothesis that IMHO makes the most sense (it's one of several that have already been mentioned). On the other hand, making sense is not necessarily a prerequisite for accuracy in the Star Wars universe.

That hypothesis is that some unknown alien species, for some unknown reasons, brought humans from Earth to Coruscant in the distant past, where they built a civilization and spread out to the rest of the Star Wars galaxy.

In our reality, there is ample evidence that humans evolved independently here on Earth. There's been plenty of fiction that has humans being introduced on Earth from elsewhere, but that doesn't fit in with the known fossil record and our genetic similarity to all the other species on Earth.

In the Star Wars universe, the origin of humans is unknown. The most widely accepted theory is that they evolved on Coruscant and spread out from there, but that's difficult to verify; Coruscant is so over-built that archaeology is impractical.

According to this timeline, Coruscant was completely covered by its principal city 100,000 years before the events of Episode IV. Anatomically modern humans appeared about 200,000 years ago. That leaves 100,000 years to be split between (a) time for the human colonists on Coruscant to build their planet-covering city, and (b) time to account for the "a long time ago" in the opening credits.

Humans on Coruscant developed an interstellar civilization much more quickly than Earth humans have, but that could be explained by the influence of whoever brought them to Coruscant.

This assumes that "a long time ago" is relative to our current time. If instead it's relative to the time of the story's hidden narrator, we have a lot more flexibility. Future Earth humans could develop interstellar, and then intergalactic travel, and establish a colony on Coruscant without outside help. Some disaster could then cause them to lose their historical records; as they recover, they build a new interstellar civilization, the one that we see in the movies.

Pulling some numbers out of the air, we could have:

  • 1977: Humans on Earth watching science fiction movies.
  • 2200: Humans have developed interstellar and intergalactic travel.
  • 2500: Humans colonize a planet that will later be called Coruscant.
  • 3000: Human civilization on Coruscant goes through a crisis that results in a loss of historical knowledge.
  • 10,000: Human civilization on Coruscant has recovered and built a single dense city covering the entire planet.
  • 110,000: Battle of Yavin
  • 200,000: The civilization that (re)started on Coruscant has now spread to other galaxies. Someone produces an epic historical drama about the events that happened 90,000 years previously, "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".
  • 200,100: The script for this drama falls first into a black hole, then into the hands of George Lucas on 20th century Earth.
  • 201,977: Contact with Earth is re-established. Descendants of Coruscant humans see the original Star Wars. The temporal paradox causes the Universe to vanish in a puff of logic.

Note that some of this is just a little bit speculative.

  • the idea that it's the future is interesting. IIRC Dune's narration is semi historical feeling, and of course that occurs a long time in the future.
    – zipquincy
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 23:14

Any movie or book that claims to cover real events can either be a direct non-fictional account, which will be very dry, or it can be modified slightly to present it as a narrative so it's a good read or entertaining enough to watch that people will pay money to see it.

There may be other in-world answers, for instance, maybe humans in this galaxy are a result of seeding missions from the Star Wars galaxy, but I think it's also safe to say that if the dominant species in the SW galaxy were three-legged, purple, and four-eyed, then it would be much harder for humans to form an emotional bond with the characters. For example, we can connect with the Navi because they are at least humanoid.

So, assuming that Lucas had gajillions to spend and could have made the movies with Luke, Leia, Anakin, and the rest having three legs and four eyes, by taking poetic license and making the main characters something we can identify with, it results in a story that humans will connect with on a deeper level.

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    I can't help but to also point out that in SW, Lucas ripped off -- er, I mean "paid homage" to so many movies, with scenes directly from "The Searchers" and much by Kurosawa, that he was definitely thinking in terms of imagery that resonates with the human psyche.
    – Tango
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:03

My friend and I were talking about this very subject just the other day. We came to the conclusion that the events of Star Wars took place in THIS galaxy (in a non-canonical sense, of course). The exact reason for humans losing all their history and technology is still up for debate, but what is not in question is universal expansion. As the universe expands, the galaxies move. Therefore in a purely scientific sense, the events of Star Wars could easily have taken place in our own galaxy. After all, a long time ago, our galaxy was far, far away.

  • "far, far away" from what? Commented May 21, 2015 at 19:01

Have you given though that humans are not native to earth? Some ancient scriptures report the Adam Kadmon race, from Archurtus came to earth, helped to boost evolution of the species already here, gave start to the different races. But we are talking about Star Wars and not our actual planets history.


I think what happened was sometime during the events of the galactic civil war a colony of humans flee the galaxy surrounding coruscant and crash land on what will be known as earth a long time ago and the set up a new colony of humans. The reason no tech exist is it either got destroyed in the crash or ran out of power and with no way to recharge it, it becomes no more then a decoration on the wall. Then humans rebuild and the stories passed on from parent to child about the old world becomes the stories we now know as.... STAR WARS

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    Welcome to scifi.stackexchange! Do you have any sources / evidence to back that up?
    – Einer
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 7:54

Science says convergent evolution makes it likely that a near identical primate species would very possibly evolve on planets with similar habitats. Even if it's one in a billion given the size of the cosmos them's not bad odds. In my opinion, science is not just another "belief system." There is a lot of research and peer-reviewed evidence available to research.

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    The odds against an alien species evolving to look that much like Earth humans are much much steeper than a billion to one. Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 16:42
  • @KeithThompson, the odds of humans coming into existenc at all by mere chance is much much MUCH steeper than a billion to one. ;)
    – Wildcard
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 18:38

i always considered that there are humans in the star wars universe because the story is being told from a future perspective and not directly toward us on earth who are watching the films, therefore its our future, and we are the origin of the human diaspora that time forgot.


I just found a interesting article : A Chart That Explains How Long Ago Star Wars Actually Took Place. It places Cade Skywalker leaving the Jedi Order in 1941. So no, it would not have caught up to our time line yet.

  • 1
    This answer looks like it was posted in the wrong place and was actually intended for Has the Star Wars universe caught up to our time?, because it does not address the question being asked here.
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 7:15
  • Actually someone edited the question after I posted this answer
    – Arun
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 13:36

Technically, there are no humans in the strict sense of "human" in star wars. The reason is simply that if someone is a human, then s/he has Homo Sapiens Sapiens ancestors, whose origin is the Earth. But in Star Wars, the human-like people don't have as ancestors creatures whose origin is the Earth. Therefore no human-like person in the Star Wars universe is a human in the strict sense of "human". QED

So in the Star Wars universe, "human" simply abbreviates "human-like person intrinsically indiscernible from members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species". I am sure you'll agree it's much more convenient to call such creatures just "humans".

  • If you could back this up with evidence, it would be a great answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 12:30
  • What do you want me to back up with evidence? That human-like people in SW don't have homo sapiens sapiens ancestors? I take this to be implied by the "Long time ago, in a galaxy very far way" disclaimer. Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:57
  • This is a very bold statement, basically claiming that despite the characters being explicitly called "humans" (in the films, screenplays, supporting materials, novelisations and comics), acting like humans at all times and looking like humans that they aren't actually humans at all. When you make a bold statement you should be able to back it up with bold proof.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:59
  • It is very common for people to be conceptually confused or to fail to draw the consequences of the premises of their own stories. If you don't like my statement, then you can rephrase it in conditional terms: if in the SW universe human-like creatures have evolved independently from any Earth-born species, then they are not human beings in the SW universe. It's part and parcel of the concept of being human that one has homo sapiens sapiens ancestors, from planet Earth. Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 17:13
  • Authors can make you imagine different possibilities, but they cannot change the concepts you already have. Of course, they can make you imagine that, in the SW universe, "human" applies to non-homo-sapiens-sapiens. But then it's not the same concept as our our concept of being a human. It's a different concept altogether, and my point stands. Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 17:14

How about this for an explanation; the earth doesn’t exist in the star wars universe. There’s no coincidence to warrant an explanation. It’s no more a coincidence than the movies being set in a galaxy exactly the same as the star wars galaxy. Surely visitors from the star wars galaxy would be a bit baffled if they watched the star wars films to find that they were set in a galaxy just like theirs? They’d think we must have visited their galaxy at some point, wouldn’t they? Well, in any work of fiction, the work of fiction doesn’t exist in-universe. In star wars, earth also doesn’t exist in universe. In-universe, Humans emerged in the star wars galaxy and nowhere else. Actually, I think the fact that Zabrak, as well as a few other species, look pretty similar to Humans deserves more of an explanation. Not a species that evolved on a planet that doesn’t even exist to them.

  • The Star Wars Galaxy is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. What is it far away from, if not here?
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 17:17

"a long time ago" doesn't seem to be based on our present on earth. it seems to be the explanation given by somebody further on in the future, maybe two or three times further from our present than star wars is.to those beings in the far future who are telling the story, star wars would be the past.

given the development of genetic engineering (which we already have), it is quite possible for the human race to escape evolution and keep itself close, if not identical, to what it is today.


Given the # of planets that are rocky and in the habitable zone is estimated in the millions for the Milky Way alone, and untold numbers across the universe. So even at one in a billion, statistically there are trillions of worlds where evolution has produced humans identical to Earth humans throughout the cosmos.

Having said that I am curious where you get the one in a billion odds, since technically we are the only known planet with humans, how did you arrive at this figure?

  • I would like to know where you got all of your numbers...they don't seem reasonable.
    – The Fallen
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 15:27

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