At the start of the movie it says:

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

Does this mean that the entire Star Wars saga takes place in a single galaxy?
To my understanding a galaxy isn't very big compared to the universe itself. Star Wars has many different sentient races, and the way they are presented suggests that most planets are host to only one of them (some exceptions like naboo). This strongly leads me to believe there should actually be more galaxies in the Star Wars universe (hehe).

Another thing, I think it's safe to assume that even if the entire saga takes place in one single galaxy, their researchers can observe other galaxies (I think we started doing that in the 1600s, and they are a lot more technologically advanced than we were back then). When Obi-wan is looking for Kamino (the rain planet with the cloners) the librarian says something like "If it's not in our records, it doesn't exist", so she must be convinced that the entire universe has been explored.

If the entire universe has been documented, why wouldn't they go to those other galaxies? The technology seems to be advanced enough to hop to another galaxy. Is there any canon material that suggest that traveling between galaxies is done? If not, is there a canon explanation why they don't?

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    <comments removed> Take the tangential discussion to chat please.
    – user1027
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 21:43
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    Well, an earth librarian doesn't necessarily know as much about the state of discovery of our galaxy as NASA does. She can be convinced of all sorts of stuff, but she ain't the one launching exploratory missions.
    – Misha R
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 9:31
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    “Just”? Man, some people are never happy. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 16:29
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    The formal name of the Empire is the Galactic Empire. If it occupied more than one galaxy, they'd call it something else, like the Universal Empire. Otherwise it'd be like calling the US the "Continental Republic". Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 14:32

6 Answers 6


Based on the maps seen in Star Wars II and III, the action takes place in a single galaxy but there are also several "dwarf galaxies" in orbit of the main galaxy.

Star Wars II
enter image description here

We also have confirmation from the narrator of Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back - So You Want To Be A Jedi? that there are indeed other galaxies, presumably including our own.

All I’m trying to say is that “gross” is a matter of opinion. In some galaxies, eating kidneys is gross. In other galaxies, swimming pools are.

There's also repeated mention of an "Intergalactic Banking Clan" that plies its trade between the main galaxy and its satellite galaxies (including the Rishi Maze), so clearly leaving the main galaxy to go beyond the Outer Rim isn't a huge deal, as long as you're not heading out into the void.

Moving down the canon scale, there's mention of a vague threat from intergalactic barbarians in the Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections factbook:

The Imperial Starfleet will justify its existence in unending war against Separatist holdouts, dissident rebels and even, it is rumored, deterring barbarian invaders from outside the galaxy.

And in various EU novels it's explained that the Yuuzhan Vong had to cross from their galaxy to the Skyriver Galaxy at sublight speed due the 'inability of the hyperdrive system to lock onto recognisable features', which would explain the general lack of true intergalactic travel

  • There is an in-universe name for the Star Wars galaxy mentioned in former C-Canon.
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 11:13
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    Yuuzhan Vong were supposedly in world ships, that took thousands of years to cross through space between the 2 galaxies.
    – Himarm
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 14:49
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    I could be wrong, but I thought travel from one galaxy to another wasn't possible because there were no known safe hyperspace routes. In the video game, Knights of the Old Republic, one of the main characters, a Mandolorian named Canderous, describes how he and his crew chased a Vong scout to the edge of the galaxy. They stopped at the edge of the galaxy because they believed chasing the scout beyond the galaxy would be the equivalent of committing suicide.
    – jliv902
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 21:41
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    @jliv902 - In the EU canon, it's mentioned that you can't get a hyperspace lock in the void. There's nothing to stop you just pointing your ship toward the nearest galaxy and turning on your engines though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 22:25
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    @Richard, Skyriver is a description the same way Milky Way is, don't you think? Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 18:37

The story takes place "In a galaxy far, far away" - that is, in one galaxy, that doesn't include ours, so not the entire universe. So yes, "just" one galaxy.

Being able to see other galaxies is very different from being able to travel to them.

Check out the math of how many stars are in one galaxy (hundreds of billions), and how many galaxies we think are in our known universe. From your question, it doesn't seem like you appreciate the enormity of a single galaxy, let alone the universe. All the Star Wars stories AND fan fiction could probably fit in one millionth of one galaxy, or less. Galaxies are also almost always at extreme distances from each other. The ability to jump from one solar system to another is extremely small compared to the ability to travel across one single galaxy, which itself would be extremely small compared to the ability to jump to another galaxy, unless your technology makes distance irrelevant. Listening to Han Solo talk about travel times in the first film, it sounds like distance is a consideration even to familiar planets.

Even if travel could be done instantly, imagine the time and effort required to gather information about 100 billion stars. Just try counting to a billion, and let us know how far you get before you stop, and how long that took. Hint: One billion seconds is over 30 years.

"When Obi-wan is looking for Kamino (the rain planet with the cloners) the librarian says something like "If it's not in our records, it doesn't exist", so she must be convinced that the entire universe has been explored." - No, I am certain she means simply that any planet of any interest to Obi Wan would surely be in her records, not that there aren't planets outside the known galaxy. And of course, she's wrong about even this statement.

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    I don't think you can apply real-world astronomy facts regarding galactic scales to a scifi universe which is as scientifically soft as Star Wars. Sci-Fi writers have no sense of scale, after all.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:52

I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned the rendezvous point at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Looking at the galaxy from afar

The characters are looking at the galaxy from far outside it, and there are also stars in all directions in all the shots, meaning the rendezvous point is in another galaxy, at least a separate satellite galaxy or star cluster.

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    It certainly looks like what we generally think a galaxy looks like, but it could (must?) be something else. If I had to make something up, I'd probably say it's a protostar. Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 14:27
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    It has been confirmed to be the Star Wars galaxy.
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 23:55
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    Furthermore, when the movie came out in 1980, nobody thought protoplanetary disks or indeed anything but galaxies looked like that. Protoplanetary disks shouldn't have a central bulge. Certainly nobody had seen any by 1980, but every artist's conception lacks a bulge. And finally, the characters stare at it rather meaningfully and the Millennium Falcon flies toward it in the scene. These actions make no sense unless it is the Star Wars galaxy.
    – J Doe
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 0:09
  • That's a galaxy. What if it's not the galaxy the story is set in? The Andromeda galaxy looks to be about that big from our vantage point here on earth - if you could amplify the light enough to make it this bright. Based on the scale we see here, that puts the galaxy in the background at around 2 million light years away, well outside the galaxy they're currently occupying, which would typically be about 100-200 thousand light years across. Just because the Millenium Falcon is flying towards it, doesn't mean that there aren't a hundred million stars between this place and that galaxy.
    – Ernie
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:18
  • I still believe that the end of EpV shows that people in the Star Wars Universe can travel outside the galaxy, but I'm not sure that the rebels are anywhere significant outside the galaxy, because the shots of the fleet don't show any surrounding planets/stars. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:00

enter image description here

If you take the fact that E.T. came to Earth in the movie E.T. he Extra-terrestrial and then you take a closer look at these aliens in the Republic Senate in The Phantom Menace.

I think it is safe to say that some aliens on the Star Wars galaxy are able to travel in other galaxies counting our own Milky Way.

  • This is an easter-egg put in by George Lucas after Steven Spielberg created a Yoda easter-egg appearance in E.T. (they did a lot of this stuff in their movies and even had a drawing contest, drawing movie posters for each other's movies)
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 19:53
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    No there are space creatures that look like E.T. in the senate. There is no confirmation at all that this is the same species as E.T. In fact, I don't think it's known what E.T.'s species is called or where they are from, nor is it known what these creatures in the senate are called and where they are from.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 22:01
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    @Kevin E.T recognises Yoda in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, indicating that these species do exist in the same galaxy (and as such, these films are set in the same universe). Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:05
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    @DrRDizzle Just the fact that Spielberg put a reference to Yoda in his movie, doesn't mean that the Star Wars lore is somehow affected by that. They are two completely different movies, that have nothing to do with each other and are made by different studios.
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:14
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    @Kevin Also - they are called Asogians, and they come from Brodo Asogi. One of the ones pictured here is called Grebleips, which is "Spielberg" backwards. They actually have a fair bit of history and lore in the Star Wars Extended Universe. Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 12:28

There are as @Dronz pointed out trillions of stars in most Galaxies. That surely answers your question about the number of known races vs the number of planets. In the linked wiki page at the bottom, the intergalactic invaders known as the Yuuzhan Vong are described.


A summary of the Vong are a warlike species of nature lovers essentially. They crossed from the nearest major galaxy after decimating their own in a war and invaded the tech based New Republic during an economic depression and time of war, conquering corusant.

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    A galaxy with a trillion stars is unusually large. It's probably accurate to say that most galaxies have tens or hundreds of billions of stars, which is more than enough to support the variety of species we see in Star Wars. Commented May 21, 2015 at 19:08

The place mentioned in Attack of the Clones Obi Wan is looking for Jango, the Rishi Maze, is a smaller satellite galaxy (as seen on the image from the movie) and it's the closest of 3 sat galaxies, somewhat closer than the 2nd closest which is approximately 150 million LYs away from the main galaxy. Kamino is apparently just outside this sat galaxy, and Obi Wan is able to travel to and through the Rishi Maze and back with relative ease. It sounds like the 2nd sat galaxy (known as Firefist) is at least partially explored. The 3rd doesn't seem to be explored or named at present. It is possible the fleet at the end of ESB is in or near one of the sat galaxies looking back at the main one. This is all on Wookieepedia, by the way.

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    This could really use specific supporting evidence. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:20
  • The planet (Kamino) where Kenobi found Jango Fett was part of a system inside the galaxy where all the rest of the action takes place. Unless you have some proof that the Rishi Maze is another galaxy, I will go on believing that it is a star cluster inside the original galaxy.
    – Theyna
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:12
  • For those wanting exact reference (and not willing to look at the Wookieepedia article source bibliographies), here you go.
    – user59668
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 15:46
  • Dwarf satellite galaxies named Companion A (Rishi Maze), Companion B (Firefist), and Companion C exist based on the Star Wars Essential Atlas (2009) , also supported in the SW RPG supplement The Unknown Regions (2010), and SW Insider articles in issues 80 and 131. Not to forget that nearby dwarf galaxies certainly exist based on the onscreen map from Attack of the Clones and the final shots from Empire Strikes Back (as others have already pointed out.)
    – user59668
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:07
  • Possibly the best evidence was from Leland Chee who confirmed on Star wars.com that the Rishi Maze is a separate galaxy. Chee was Lucasfilm's canon archivist, and under Disney is in charge of streamlining a cohesive continuity for the new canon of the SW universe. Considering that most non-film events from pre-Disney have been declared non-canon, but that most alien species and locations from those sources seem to be retained (especially those that were made up or confirmed directly by Disney's SW continuity director), I would assume this is canon unless directly contradicted in the future.
    – user59668
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:08

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