The Star Wars galaxy is the fictional setting for the Star Wars franchise. It is referred to in several official publications as the Galaxy or the Known Galaxy.
It has countless stars packed together in a relatively small area, so hyperspace travel is slow and dangerous. The intense radiation and relatively young stars mean that it has very few habitable worlds compared to the rest of the galaxy. The few known worlds of the Deep Core include Byss (whereto the disembodied consciousness of Emperor Palpatine fled after his death at the Battle of Endor, according to Expanded Universe literature), Khomm, Ruan, and the Empress Teta system. The Koornacht Cluster is one particularly dense area of stars, located at the edge of the Deep Core bordering on the Core Worlds, and contains numerous planets including N'Zoth, the homeworld of the Yevetha. The moon Ebaq 9 was the setting for a major battle during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, resulting in a New Republic victory following the successful execution of a trap for the Yuuzhan Vong.
The Core Worlds contain millions of systems, including Coruscant, Alderaan, Corellia, Chandrila, Thyferra, Kuat, Nubia, and Duro. Less dense than the Deep Core, the Core Worlds are the center of commerce and society in the galaxy as they lie on the intersection of the many great hyperspace lanes. The Colonies include Commenor, Cato Neimoidia, and Bilbringi, as well as numerous other worlds which have served as stage for the great Galactic Civil War in the fight between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance.
Csilla, home to the Chiss, is one of the only known inhabited planets in the Unknown Regions. The Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn was tasked by Emperor Palpatine to lead a pacification mission into the Unknown Regions, a duty that Thrawn carried out until five years after the Emperor's death. Furthermore, the ancient insectoid Killik race inhabits this region of space: their territory borders Chiss space. Rakata Prime, the Rakatan homeworld, is also located in the Unknown Regions. Another species that seems to live in the Unknown Regions are the Vagaari. The Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium also lies in the Unknown Regions.
In the New Jedi Order book series, the living planet of Zonama Sekot flees into the Unknown Regions after being attacked by the "far outsiders" (Yuuzhan Vong). The Jedi find record of the planet's travels after extensive searching, and the Jedi Luke Skywalker leads a team of other Jedi to search for the world in the Unknown Regions; record shows it repelled the Yuuzhan Vong in the past and the Jedi now seek a new ally to help once again thwart the invading Yuuzhang Vong. They eventually are successful and persuade the living planet to attempt a hazardous return to known space.
Bothan Space — A region between the Mid Rim and Outer Rim, which is home to the Bothan race. The capital of Bothan Space is Bothawui. The Caamas incident, involving the genocide of the planet Caamas, took place in this region.
Hutt Space — A region in the Outer Rim Territories, which is controlled by criminal gangsters known as the Hutts. It was subjugated by the Yuuzhan Vong during their invasion after the Hutts attempted to double-cross them. The space is composed of planets such as Nal Hutta and Ylesia. The Y'toub system is the location of both Nal Hutta, and the Smuggler's Moon, Nar Shaddaa. It is surrounded by the planets Bimmisaari, Kubindi, Kessel, Honoghr, Barab I and Gamorr. The Tion Cluster is the right and Bothan Space to the left.
Corporate Sector Authority — The government of a free enterprise fiefdom known as the Corporate Sector that was formed in 490 BBY to free the Republic lawmakers and the Corporate moneymakers from their differences. During the height of Emperor Palpatine's rule of the galaxy, the Corporate Sector Authority comprised 30,000 star systems. Shortly after the battle of Hoth, the Corporate Sector found it profitable to develop technologies for the Rebel Alliance. At a research space station called Pondunt, Corporate Sector scientists created the Mag Pulse warhead. This warhead could temporarily neutralize the weapon systems on an enemy ship. They then handed the Mag Pulse over to the Rebels, who in turn used it in a raid at an Imperial Research space station. A Rebel B-Wing carrying the warhead was captured in the fight. An analysis of the Mag Pulse traced its origins to the Corporate Sector. Emperor Palpatine dispatched Grand Admiral Zaarin to capture the Pondunt station, seize the Mag Pulse schematics, and thereby teach the Corporate Sector a lesson. The Imperial raid was a success, and afterwards relations between the Corporate Sector and the Galactic Empire were very strained. During the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, the Corporate Sector isolated itself from the Galaxy.
Tion Hegemony — Also known as the Ancient and Honorable Union of the Tion Hegemony, this sector of the Tion Cluster is a collection of 27 star systems. It is far from the Core Worlds, but embraces some of the oldest and most ancient human civilizations in the galaxy. As time went on, the Hegemony lost power, but it remained the breadbasket of the Tion, providing foodstuffs for all three of the Tion's sectors.
Cronese Mandate — A small government within the galaxy.
Hapes Consortium — A female-dominated alliance of sixty-three worlds. It originated as a base for pirates and privateers, but soon turned into a high class society with elegant ship designs and sprawling cities. The chief of state is the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother is also head of the royal family. It is the task of the prince to find a wife who will give birth to the next Queen Mother.
Ssi-Ruuk Star Cluster — Also known as the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, this cluster of planets was inhabited by the technologically-advanced Ssi-Ruuk. It is located beyond the Outer Rim.
The Centrality — An independent government in a large and remote region of space nestled between Hutt Space and the Cron Drift. It was an empty region lacking many stable hyperspace routes, with areas so devoid of systems that some travelers would run out of fuel before finishing their journeys even halfway.
Asteroids are also commonplace in the Star Wars setting. Cairn is an Outer Rim asteroid that was once a base of operations for the Imperial Remnant, before being conquered by the New Republic. Kyle Katarn visits the asteroid in the game Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
Various nebulas exist throughout the galaxy, serving as plot devices and scenery for the stories. The Cowl Crucible is a minor nebula located between Lahara and Oricho Sectors. The Dragonflower Nebula, on the other hand, plays a central plot role. It is located near and around the Gamorrean colony world of Pzob in the Outer Rim. Site of the Imperial battlemoon Eye of Palpatine until it undertook its mission to Belsavis eight years after the Battle of Endor. Finally, the Spangled Veil Nebula (from the Meridian Sector) and the Nyarikan Nebula (near Garos IV and Sundari) round out the list of nebulas.
There are several other points throughout the Star Wars galaxy. The Maw is an unstable and almost completely unnavigable cluster of black holes located near the planet Kessel. The Maw was the site of Grand Moff Tarkin's Maw Installation, which built the Death Star superweapon, among others. The Rishi Maze is a satellite galaxy located beyond the frontier of the main galactic disk. Finally, Tingel Arm is a region of the Corporate Sector that extends off of one of the galaxy's "arms".
Numerous artificial landmarks and stellar arrangements also appear in the saga's various storylines. Lupalnia Satellite Moons is a collection of artificial moons created by the Empire, located on the outer rim, to monitor the nearby planets. Stenness Node is a collection of seven mining worlds in three star systems located in the Colonies region. There are 25 humanoid species, who collectively are often referred to as 'Nessies. Due to the demand for the ores mined, Stenness Node was given its own hyperspace jump very early on. While the mines are played out now, the wealth generated still provides good lifestyles for the planets' inhabitants, who are highly addicted to spice.
The Ison Trade Corridor is a lightly populated minor trade route in the Outer Rim of the Star Wars galaxy. It branches off from the Corellian Trade Spine and passes through such backwater planets as Varonat, Bespin, Hoth, and Ison before meeting back up with the trade spine. Additionally, the Perlemian Trade Route is a major hyperspace corridor. Beginning at Coruscant, it crosses the Hydian Way at Brentaal and ends in the Outer Rim in between the Corporate Sector and the Tion Cluster.
The Rimma Trade Route rounds out the major trade routes of Star Wars. It was initially established by Tapani Sector merchants around 5,500 BBY. It begins in the Core worlds near Fondor, intersects the Corellian Trade Spine at Yag'Dhul, and travels through Sullust and Sluis Van before its end, in the Kathol Sector.
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo makes a seemingly confusing statement when he boasts to have made the run with the Millennium Falcon in "less than twelve parsecs" even though a parsec is a unit of distance. However, as explained in A.C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy, Han is referring to how close he was to "The Maw" en route to Kessel. The closer a ship ventured toward the massive black holes of the Maw, the more speed they could achieve by utilizing the gravity of the black holes, and thus, the faster they could make the Kessel Run. What makes making the Kessel Run so close to the black holes of the Maw so impressive is the tremendous amount of acceleration and speed that the Millenium Falcon would have to have maintained while so close to the black holes to keep from being pulled in beyond hope of return by the black holes' gravity - a fate suffered by many smugglers making the run before.