We know Star Wars happened, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away". Is there any information on exactly when that was, relative to our time?

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    In metric or in imperial?
    – DavRob60
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 12:01
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    @DavRob60 - preferably in pints, yards and ounces. Oh, and shillings. Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 12:29
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    @Wikis At Area 51: Hm, your point about the answer in the other question is valid. As I didn't specifically list the time frame that the ET expedition occurred (and can't locate it) I could reopen this. However, this question probably doesn't have an answer based on anything better than ET. Lets find out.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 13:18
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    possible duplicate of Has the light from the Star Wars galaxy reached us yet?
    – DavRob60
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 14:37
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    3826 parsecs ago.
    – Kirby Todd
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 6:52

5 Answers 5


No. I think Lucas wanted to remove all links to our world. Though I found a decent Star Wars timeline explaining when the various events happen in the Star Wars universe.


The issue is one that the Star Wars Galaxy must have 3rd generation (Population I) stars to exist, meaning it's at least many billion years post-Big-Bang.

Given the current estimates of 13.75 billion years of age, it's likely it's not more than 8 billion years ago (BYA), in order to allow for the relatively modern shape portrayed in the films. Moreover, the Milky Way has lots of Population II stars, but those can't give rise to life as we know it in their worlds, as the needed high-metal mixtures won't be present to coalesce into terrestrial worlds until the nova of Population II stars forms sufficient metals to generate the population I stars which gave birth to us all. Note that the oldest Population I stars have less than 2% of the metal content, and that we are, as a life form, carbon, calcium and iron with significant smaller amounts of other stuff, but the lower metalicity of the older stars implies a lack of iron.

So, we can rule out the oldest. Getting to the 5 BYA point, we start looking at stars that might have life as we know it. Not so much heavy metals, but still, enough to have stuff we would recognize.

So, I'd say the "Galaxy Far Far Away" had its "long time ago" no more than 5 BYA and probably no more than 1 BYA, because it looks like galaxies of that age.

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    These is some awesome calculations... Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 10:21
  • @wikis it was inspired by the "official maps" and the galaxy used as the backdrop...
    – aramis
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 2:04
  • Cool. I would have accepted based on the overall awesomeness but I was looking for something official. Hopefully all the up votes by awestruck readers will compensate... :) Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 5:24
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    So, what you're saying is Stormtroopers hit Luke's farm at 14:43 December 21, 8294392101 BC. There you have it.
    – zxq9
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 12:58
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    @zach-saucier: I intended it to be two "no more than" statements - changing the second to no less that is WRONG, and mutilation of the answer. The first is absolute, and the second absed upon median appearance. KNOW WHAT YOU"RE DOING BEFORE EDITING.
    – aramis
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 1:44

There is absolutely no way to pin this down. As Roger Ebert pointed out, we're not even necessarily the frame of reference to which the "A long time ago..." refers to. That is to say, this is all a story being told to us from an unseen narrator, from whose point of view the events of the story happened "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."

Because we don't know where (or when) the narrator exists, we can't know where or when the events occurred. It could well be right around the corner, just a couple of years from now (or ago).

  • Yeah long time ago could be a billion years or 20 years. It is relative. we will never know. Lol Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:15

Star Wars Tales Volume 5 was a comic that was written a few years ago. According to its Wikipedia article:

Han Solo and Chewbacca are aboard the Millennium Falcon when they are attacked by Imperials. They are forced to leap to hyperspace blind and end up in our solar system, where they crash on Earth's Pacific Northwest. Believing they are on Endor due to the large trees, they venture out to investigate, when Han is killed by Native Americans. The mourning Chewbacca leaves the Falcon to live in the trees, where the natives believe him to be Sasquatch. 126 years later, the wreckage of the Falcon and Han’s remains are found by the intrepid American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his sidekick, Short Round. Indy, spooked by how 'eerily familiar' the remains are, decide to leave them in peace.

That would put it somewhere near 1800 because the adventures of Indiana Jones takes place in the '20s and '30s. I heard an unrelated story about it taking place 5,000 years ago, as well.

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    From that same wikipedia article: Starting with Issue #21, when Tales changed editors, all stories are considered to be within continuity, unless labelled otherwise. Tales stories from before Issue #21 are still considered non-canon, although canon references to the stories can and have been made, which incorporates those elements referenced into official continuity. This means that those first 20 issues are essentially "what-if".
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 19:02

Unfortunately I can't remember where I read this and can't provide a reference. But I did read that Lucas originally planned for Star Wars to take place in our future, in the year 3000 or thereabouts. But then the idea struck to set it "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." and Lucas realized it freed him from having to tie the history of Star Wars to our real history, he could simply make everything up from scratch. He didn't even really have to worry about being entirely faithful to the laws of physics (sound in space, gravity and breathing on an asteroid, etc.).

So no, Star Wars doesn't take place in "our" time at all, and that was a conscious choice. (Didn't stop me, as a kid, from thinking ROTJ would end with someone discovering Earth.)

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