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For other uses, see Chaos (disambiguation).
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"Everything is rough in the Unknown Regions."
General Leia Organa[src]

The Unknown Regions, also referred to as Unknown Space, the Unknown Territories, the Unknowns, the Chaos by the Chiss,[4] and the Outer Reaches,[16] was a region of the galaxy located in the galactic west beyond the Outer Rim. Largely unexplored throughout galactic history, it remained a mystery to space travelers and served as a source of tales and wonders.

Description[edit | edit source]

"The Unknown Regions are vast."
Caluan Ematt in The Rebel Files[src]

The Unknown Regions was a vast patch of mysterious space located to the west of the Outer Core.[17] At the time of the Galactic Civil War, the Unknown Regions was regarded as an unexplored region that was separated from the galaxy by a labyrinth of solar storms, rogue magnetospheres, black holes, gravity wells, and things far stranger. Strange creatures were known to inhabit the void. This maze was considered impassable and many exploration ships and probe droids were lost trying to breach it. By the time of the Battle of Jakku, Imperial computers at the Jakku Observatory had identified a safe route through the maze, but one that required multiple short hyperspace jumps, a journey which took several months.[18]

The Ilum system,[1] the Dassal system,[19] the Deep,[20] Rakata Prime,[7] the Chiss Ascendancy[21] and the Chiss homeworld of Csilla[22] were located in the Unknown Regions. The watery world of Ahch-To, the site of the First Jedi Temple, was located in the Unknown Regions.[23] The Queluhan Nebula was also located within the Region.[7]

According to the Z7 series construction droid Zeta, there were few service centers, mechanics and factories for replacement parts in the Unknown Regions and no self respecting droid ever ventured there.[20]

By the time of the Imperial Era, the Chiss Ascendancy were using Force-sensitive children, mainly Chiss girls, as navigators to traverse through the Unknown Regions, instead of navigation computers. The warlike Grysk species of the Grysk Hegemony kidnapped Force-sensitive Chiss children in order to navigate safely through hyperspace, leading to conflict with the Chiss Ascendancy.[12]

History[edit | edit source]

Ancient history[edit | edit source]

Dating as far back as the Old Republic, the Jedi Order was known to utilize the planet Ilum as a source of kyber crystals, which were important in the construction of a Jedi's lightsaber. At a young age, Jedi younglings were sent to Ilum to retrieve these crystals, traveling into the Unknown Regions aboard a ship known as the Crucible.[24]

Age of the Empire[edit | edit source]

"These aren't civilian targets. They're Imperial installations staffed by people who have bought into the Emperor's sick vision of the future—for you, your queen, me, and everyone between here and the Unknown Regions."
Berch Teller[src]

During the early years of the Galactic Empire, some dissidents, such as Berch Teller, believed that the Empire would extend all the way to the Unknown Regions.[25] The existence of "evil threats" in the Unknown Regions had led the Chiss Ascendancy to send the future Grand Admiral Thrawn in forging an alliance with the Galactic Empire. Thrawn made first contact with the Empire by posing as an exile. He eventually gained the trust of Emperor Palpatine and Colonel Wullf Yularen. Following the Batonn insurgency, Thrawn sent his friend Commander Eli Vanto to serve as an Imperial liaison with the Chiss Ascendancy.[21]

During the Imperial Era, the Emperor sent several explorers into the Unknown Regions. Many of these explorers were killed while trying to breach the maze that lay to the west of Jakku. Others went mad from isolation. Palpatine's efforts to map the Unknown Regions were aided by the Chiss Admiral Thrawn, a native of the Unknown Regions.[18] For decades, Palpatine had been seeding the Unknown Regions with storehouses, shipyards, and laboratories.[26] Thrawn served as Palpatine's chief adviser concerning matters within the Unknown Regions.[21]

Following the Battle of Atollon, Palpatine sensed a disturbance in the Force coming from the edge of a region centered on Batuu and sent Thrawn and Darth Vader to investigate. The two discovered that this disturbance had been caused by the war-like Grysks' kidnapping of Force-sensitive Chiss children, who were intending to use them as navigators. With the help of Lord Vader and Thrawn, the Chiss Ascendancy managed to rescue the children. However, Thrawn still felt that the Grysks continued to pose a threat to both the Chiss Ascendancy and the Empire,[12] though Vader dismissed them as a distant threat that could be ignored for the time being. Like he had with Vanto, Thrawn later sent Assistant Director Brierly Ronan to join the Ascendancy, but Ronan also planned to act as an inside threat if Thrawn was working in any way against the Empire. When she departed with him, the Chiss Admiral Ar'alani feared the chaos growing in the Ascendancy would lead to a war.[27]

During the Imperial era, Palpatine had installed a secret Observatory on the planet Jakku which contained powerful ancient computers that generated a computerized three-dimensional map of the Unknown Regions, a critical part of Palpatine's Contingency plan. The Observatory's computers dispatched numerous probe droids to test the routes that the computers had generated. Shortly before the Emperor's death at the Battle of Endor, the computers finished their calculations and found a safe path into the Unknown Regions. As a result, the Emperor's flagship Eclipse was dispatched into the new frontier.[18] Following the Battle of Endor, Palpatine's former adviser Yupe Tashu advocated that the Empire venture into the Unknown Regions to seek out the source of the dark side of the Force.[28]

New Republic Era[edit | edit source]

The origin point of Starkiller Base was located in the Unknown Regions.

Following the Battle of Jakku and the signing of the Galactic Concordance by Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, the Galactic Empire surrendered to the New Republic. This event caused the defeated Empire to withdraw into the Unknown Regions as its last territories across the galaxy slipped from its control or split into various ineffectual remnants. Among the retreating Imperials were Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, Brendol Hux, and his son Armitage Hux, who rendezvoused with the Eclipse,[18] as well as an Imperial remnant led by Grand Moff Randd that took refuge in the Queluhan Nebula.[29] What was left of the Empire regrouped and eventually reorganized itself into the First Order, a secretive military junta which sought to recapture the lost Imperial legacy and cause.[18]

Also following the fall of the Empire, Mandalorian Spectre Sabine Wren and former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano traveled into the Unknown Regions[30] to search for Padawan Ezra Bridger, who, along with Thrawn and the crew of the Chimaera, had gone missing years earlier during the Liberation of Lothal.[31] Several Shipyards, weapons factories, and base installations, were established and maintained by the First Order within the Unknown Regions.[7] Starkiller Base, which was located on the forested ice planet of Ilum,[13] became one of the First Order's most significant strongholds.[7] The First Order also maintained a space station known as Station Theta Black to mine and process dedlanite to make blasters within the Unknown Regions.[32]

In 34 ABY, the First Order used Starkiller Base's phantom energy to destroy the Hosnian system, which hosted Hosnian Prime, the capital of the New Republic. The First Order then attempted to use Starkiller Base to destroy the Resistance base on D'Qar in the Ileenium system in the Outer Rim Territories. However, the Resistance destroyed Starkiller Base, dealing a serious blow to the First Order.[33]

Following the destruction of Starkiller Base, Rey traveled to the Unknown Regions world of Ahch-To to seek out Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.[23] There, a greatly reluctant Skywalker agreed to train her in the Jedi ways. After Rey returned to the wider galaxy in an attempt to redeem Kylo Ren, Skywalker decided to aid the Resistance by using a Force projection to distract Ren during the Battle of Crait so that the Resistance could escape offworld aboard the Millennium Falcon with Rey and Chewbacca. The stress created by the Force projection proved too great and Skywalker became one with the Force.[34] The Unknown Regions were used by the First Order to hide the Supremacy before the Battle of Crait.[23]

Return of the Sith[edit | edit source]

The Sith fleet was constructed by Sith loyalists for Darth Sidious on Exegol.

Unbeknownst to much of the galaxy, Darth Sidious, who had returned through mysterious means following the Battle of Endor, had established a new regime on the isolated Sith world of Exegol. There, his Sith Eternal cultists had built a massive armada of Xyston-class Star Destroyers that were capable of destroying worlds. From Exegol, Sidious had controlled the First Order and guided Kylo Ren to the dark side through his puppet Supreme Leader Snoke,[35] an artificial being created through ancient Sith rituals.[13]

After issuing a broadcast threatening revenge, Sidious forged an alliance with Supreme Leader Kylo Ren by offering the Sith Eternal fleet, the Final Order in return for killing Rey Skywalker, his granddaughter and the last known Jedi. With the help of the embittered First Order General Armitage Hux, the Resistance learned of Sidious's return. Sidious also gained the fealty of First Order Allegiant General Enric Pryde. After Rey and her team recovered a Sith wayfinder leading to Exegol, Resistance forces led by Commander Poe Dameron attacked Exegol. Despite being outnumbered by the Sith forces, the Resistance were aided by a massive armada mustered by Lando Calrissian.[35]

During the Battle of Exegol, Rey and a redeemed Kylo Ren, who had reclaimed his identity as Ben Solo, fought against the Dark Lord. Realizing that the two were a Force dyad, the Sith Lord tried to drain them. However, Rey defeated and killed Sidious for a final time with the help of all of the past Jedi. Though the exertion of Force powers killed Rey, Ben gave his life force to resurrect her, while dying and becoming one with the Force in the process. With the defeat of Sidious and his Final Order, the Resistance armada withdrew from Exegol.[35]

Political divisions[edit | edit source]

Religion[edit | edit source]

A Sith cult, the Sith Eternal, was created following the Battle of Endor, the resurrected Darth Sidious established a secret Sith regime known as the Sith Eternal on the ancient Sith world of Exegol. The Sith Eternal built a massive armada of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, which were capable of destroying entire worlds. Palpatine kept his survival and cult a secret from much of the galaxy until 35 ABY, preferring to exercise control over the First Order through his puppet Supreme Leader Snoke. After gaining the fealty of the First Order, the Emperor merged their combined military forces into the Final Order. That same year, the Emperor and his Final Order were defeated and destroyed by Rey, a redeemed Ben Solo, and a galactic armada led by the Resistance.[35]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Unknown Regions were originally introduced in the Heir to the Empire Sourcebook, which was an accompaniment to the Legends novel Heir to the Empire. It was brought into canon when the planet Ilum was introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Gathering".

Pablo Hidalgo explained in Rebels Recon that the borders of the Unknown Regions were known (and therefore should be visible on the map of the galaxy) but what were within the regions were unknown. This would be in contrast with Wild Space, which was outside the known map of the galaxy (in other words, 'off the edge of the map').[37]

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 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. SWResistanceLogo.jpg Star Wars Resistance – "The Core Problem"
  3. Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
  5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
  6. Poe Dameron: Free Fall
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  8. The Legends of Luke Skywalker
  9. Age of Resistance - Captain Phasma 1
  10. A Call for Heroes
  11. Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Traveler's Guide to Batuu
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Thrawn: Alliances
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  14. Where in the Galaxy Are the Worlds of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? on (article) (backup link)
  15. Nexus of Power
  16. ToppsDigitalLogo.pngStar Wars: Card Trader (Card: Princess Leia - 2020 Base Series)
  17. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Aftermath: Empire's End
  19. StarWars-DatabankII.png Dassal system in the Databank (backup link)
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Legends of Luke Skywalker: "I, droid"
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Thrawn
  22. 22.0 22.1 Star Wars: Alien Archive
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  24. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
  25. Tarkin
  26. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
  27. Thrawn: Treason
  28. 28.0 28.1 Aftermath
  29. Lost Stars
  30. The Star Wars Book
  31. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
  32. SWResistanceLogo.jpg Star Wars Resistance – "Station Theta Black"
  33. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  34. Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  36. The Last Jedi: Bomber Command
  37. SWYTlogo.png Rebels Recon #2.14: Inside "The Call" | Star Wars Rebels on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
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