Nova crystals were bluish-white gemstones that possessed the unusual property of amplifying light, glowing with an inner luminescence as a result, characterized by a glimmering prismatic sparkle.
Key to the Nova crystal was its unique crystalline matrix; this matrix, when exposed to bright sunlight (especially in the red color band), absorbed heat from ambient light and became excited energetically. This created the Nova crystal's signature glow, which was often bright enough to be its own light source. Mining Nova crystals was risky and dangerous business, however; when removed from its rocky matrix and exposed to temperatures over thirty degrees celsius, a raw nova crystal became increasing unstable and prone to spontaneous reaction to the slightest jarring. Such raw crystals were highly explosive, and capable of exploding with incredible force, with even a single small flake capable of completely destroying a A-A6z Speeder Truck. Raw crystals thus have to be refrigerated for transport, where they are then taken to industrial worlds where they can be bonded to inert trace elements that stabilize the crystalline matrices.
Nova crystals were a valuable gemstone used as currency on the Outer Rim, and were commonly crafted into valuable jewelry. Additionally, due to their ability to amplify light, Nova crystals had numerous applications in optoelectronics, being used in the construction of photoreceptors and sensors. Less commonly, raw crystals could be used as explosive devices.
Nova crystals notably helped bankroll the first Death Star project for the Empire. The planet Mygeeto held immense deposits of nova crystals, which contributed greatly to its reputation for mineral wealth. Nova crystals made up the primary industry of the planet Cotellier, but the world was remote enough to be harassed by pirates regularly, and never rose to the fame of Mygeeto. Sizable Nova crystal deposits were extremely rare, and were significant enough that their discovery had huge economic implications; when Nova crystal veins were found on Krann, the Galactic Empire subjugated the entire planet and enslaved the native Kluuzot to harvest the crystals.
Behind the scenes
There seems to be a discrepancy in the color of Nova crystals; Nova crystals were first described as bluish-white with a luminescence in the 1984 A Guide to the Star Wars Universe first edition, which expanded on the 1979 Han Solo at Stars' End (which itself mentioned, but did not describe Nova crystals). This was upheld by Twin Stars of Kira 1993, which described Nova crystals as sparkling and prismatic.
It wasn't until 2001 in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds that Nova crystals were portrayed as green; in the game they are found on virtually every world, and are used to fund research for advanced technologies and pay for troops and vehicles. Nova crystals have not been green since this game, excluding a singular special instance in Star Wars Galaxies. Indeed, the later Star Wars: The Old Republic seems to fix this issue, by showing the Nova crystal as a bluish-white crystal with an inner luminescence, which is in line with the new canon version.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
- Han Solo at Stars' End (First mentioned) (as "nova-crystal")
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- (Mentioned only)
- (First appearance)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- "The History of R-Series Astromech Droids" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (As "nova-crystal")
- Pirates & Privateers
- Alien Encounters
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side