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This article is about the alternate dimension facilitating expeditious interstellar travel. You may be looking for the former official fan club of Star Wars, also called Hyperspace, or a restaurant on Yag-prime.
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"For fast travel over interstellar distances, hyperspace is optimal."
―Tseebo[src]

The blue tunnel of hyperspace travel

Hyperspace was an alternate dimension that could only be reached by traveling at or faster than the speed of light. Hyperdrives enabled starships to travel through hyperspace lanes across great distances, enabling travel and exploration throughout the galaxy.

Nature[edit | edit source]

"We live on a ship powered by energies that sunder cause and effect, beginning and end… hyperspace is a mystery more profound than gods and demons."
Micha Evon[src]

The Millennium Falcon exiting hyperspace

Hyperspace was a dimension of space-time[1] alternative to that of realspace. It could only be accessed through molecular displacement, which was achieved by breaking the speed of light.[2] It was coterminous with realspace, meaning that each point in realspace was associated with a unique point in hyperspace, and all adjacent points in realspace were adjacent in hyperspace as well. Additionally, every object in realspace (such as stars, planets, and asteroids) had its "shadow" counterpart in hyperspace. Aside from those well-established facts acknowledged by all competent astrophysicists and astrogation experts, other aspects of hyperspace admittedly remained a mystery.[1]

Hyperspace usage[edit | edit source]

"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"
Han Solo, to Luke Skywalker[src]

The Phantom detaches from the Ghost and falls out of hyperspace.

Hyperdrives manipulated hypermatter particles in order to thrust a starship into hyperspace[3] whilst preserving the ship's mass/energy profile.[3] This shortened travel distance significantly, allowing the vessel to "jump" from a specific point to another without having to travel directly between them, therefore reducing journey time by an extraordinarily large margin.[4] A vessel's ability to travel through hyperspace depended on it being equipped with a hyperdrive engine;[5] thus, vessels that suffered a hyperdrive failure while in hyperspace,[6] or lacked a hyperdrive and had separated from a vessel with one, would immediately fall out of hyperspace.[7] Cutting power to a functional hyperdrive would also have this effect.[8] The Galactic Empire employed Interdictor vessels to disable hyperspace capabilities in other vessels, both to pull them from hyperspace and to prevent them from making the jump to it.[9]

Quick jumps into hyperspace could be unsettling to even experienced pilots, but those with the proper stamina and training could overcome this.[10]

Large objects in realspace cast "mass shadows" in hyperspace, so hyperspace jumps necessitated very precise calculations.[11] Without those, a vessel could fly right through a star or another celestial body.[4] Because of the danger, there existed predetermined hyperspace routes which interstellar travelers could take. The discovery of a new, safe hyperspace route could play a pivotal role in war, as it would allow naval forces to move faster unbeknownst to their adversaries.[12]

Upon entering hyperspace, a ship appeared to accelerate dramatically—a phenomenon known as pseudomotion[13]—and emitted Cronau radiation, which made their jump detectable by specialized sensors.[9]

It was technically possible for a vessel, such as a shuttle, to disembark from another vessel while in hyperspace, but the procedure carried extreme risk. Such a move would tear the disembarking vessel violently out of hyperspace.[14]

A T-70 X-wing starfighter traveling through hyperspace

Safely entering hyperspace from a standing start while docked or exiting hyperspace directly into the atmosphere of a planet were both feats that were generally considered impossible, even for an experienced pilot. Despite this, Han Solo accomplished both with the Millennium Falcon after being drawn into the First Order–Resistance conflict.[15] In fact, starships had safety protocols that prevented hyperdrive engines from firing within the gravitational pull of a planet. Although it was possible to turn those protocols off, such a move was highly dangerous, and any ship doing so had a high chance of blowing up or falling apart in hyperspace.[16] Successful jumps near a planet were possible, though: during the Clone Wars, a cruiser carrying an injured Anakin Skywalker had its hyperdrive accidentally triggered while still in a planet's atmosphere due to damage from droid fighters, and despite the proximity to the planet the ship successfully jumped to hyperspace without being destroyed.[17] Jyn Erso and her company jumped into hyperspace from inside the atmosphere of Jedha after the Death Star destroyed the moon's Holy city.[18] While fleeing Lothal in a U-wing, Hera Syndulla jumped to hyperspace right in front of an Imperial construction module and flew through the hangar, successfully getting out the other side and making the jump.[19] Desperate to save the remaining Resistance escape ships, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo engaged the hyperdrive of the Resistance cruiser Raddus directly into the path of the First Order Mega-class Star Dreadnought, the Supremacy, heavily damaging it and effectively vaporizing all traces of her ship.[20] This tactic became known as the Holdo maneuver.[21]

History[edit | edit source]

"When I was young, I was told amazing stories of creatures that lived in the stars, traveled between the worlds. Old pilots said it was the purrgil who inspired us to jump from system to system. But I don't believe it."
Hera Syndulla[src]

Venator-class Star Destroyers in hyperspace

The ability to travel through hyperspace occurred in nature. The space-based species known as the purrgil could naturally travel through hyperspace.[22] At some point in the ancient past of the galaxy, an ancestral species unlocked the secrets of traveling through hyperspace and opened the galaxy up to exploration.[9] Hyperspace travel was mastered as early as four millennia before the Cold War, as demonstrated by the existence of hyperspace sextants from that era.[23] In the early days of the Galactic Republic, hyperspace travel between the Greater Seswenna and the Core Worlds required astrogating by hyperwave beacons, with numerous reversions to realspace necessary to ensure safe passage.[9]

Around two centuries before the Invasion of Naboo,[24] starships across the galaxy were abruptly knocked out of hyperspace in the Great Disaster.[25]

At the time of the First Order–Resistance conflict, the First Order discovered sub-hyperspace, which they utilized with their superweapon, Starkiller Base.[26] The firing of Starkiller Base during the Hosnian Cataclysm in 34 ABY released enough energy to create a temporary rip in sub-hyperspace. This made the disaster visible from across the galaxy instantaneously, for a short time.[27]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Owners' Workshop Manual
  2. Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
  4. 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  5. StarWars.com Encyclopedia X-wing starfighter in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  6. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
  7. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
  8. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Tarkin
  10. The Rebellion Begins
  11. StarWars-DatabankII.png Hyperdrive in the Databank (backup link)
  12. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Citadel"
  13. Thrawn
  14. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
  15. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  16. Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape
  17. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash"
  18. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  19. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Kindred"
  20. Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  21. Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  22. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Call"
  23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  24. SWYTlogo.png Star Wars: The High Republic | Announcement Trailer on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link) states that the events of Star Wars: The High Republic, which include the events of The High Republic: A Test of Courage, take place two hundred years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace to 32 BBY.
  25. The High Republic: A Test of Courage
  26. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens novelization
  27. TwitterLogo.svg Pablo Hidalgo (@PabloHidalgo) on Twitter: "@Thimburd What they're seeing is some weird hand-wavy hyperspace rip. Side-effect of the Starkiller." (content obsolete and backup link not available)
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