The Unknown Regions, also referred to as Unknown Space, the Unknown Territories, the Unknowns, The Chaos by the Chiss, and the Outer Reaches, 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.
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.
The Ilum system, the Dassal system, the Deep, Rakata Prime, the Chiss Ascendancy and the Chiss homeworld of Csilla 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. The Queluhan Nebula was also located within the Region.
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.
By the time of the Imperial Era, the Chiss Ascendancy were using Force-sensitive children, mainly Chiss girls, as navigators to navigate through the Unknown Regions since they lacked nav 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.
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.
- "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
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. 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.
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. For decades, Palpatine had been seeding the Unknown Regions with storehouses, shipyards, and laboratories. Thrawn served as Palpatine's chief adviser concerning matters within the Unknown Regions.
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, the Grysks continued to pose a threat to both the Chiss Ascendancy and the Empire.
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. 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.
Following the Battle of Jakku, which saw the death of Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, Brendol Hux, his son Armitage Hux, and other Imperials used these coordinates to travel through the Unknown Regions and rendezvous with the Eclipse. In addition, another Imperial remnant retreated to the Queluhan Nebula. This movement of Imperial loyalists into the Unknown Regions eventually gave rise to the First Order, a military junta which sought to recapture the lost Imperial legacy and cause.
Following the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the Galactic Empire formerly disbanded, spitting into Imperial remnants. One such remnant of hardliners that rejected the terms of the Galactic Concordance, had tensions with the New Republic. These hardliners eventually withdrew from Republic politics and relocated to the Unknown Regions to join with another Imperial remnant, the secretive First Order, giving it more political legitimacy.
Several Shipyards, weapons factories, and base installations including Starkiller Base were established within the Unknown Regions. Starkiller Base, which was located on forested, ice planet of Ilum, became the First Order's major base in the Unknown Regions. 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.
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.
Following the destruction of Starkiller Base, Rey traveled to the Unknown Regions world of Ahch-To to seek out Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. 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. The Unknown Regions were used by the First Order to hide the Supremacy before the Battle of Crait.
Unbeknownst to much of the galaxy, Emperor Palpatine, 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, the Emperor had controlled the First Order and guided Kylo Ren to the dark side through his puppet Supreme Leader Snoke, an artificial being created through ancient Sith rituals.
After issuing a broadcast threatening revenge, Emperor Palpatine forged an alliance with Supreme Leader Kylo Ren by offering the Sith Eternal fleet 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 Palpatine's return. The Emperor also gained the fealty of First Order Allegiant General Enric Pryde, which resulted in the combining of their forces into the Final Order. 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 combined Final Order forces, the Resistance were aided by a massive armada mustered by Lando Calrissian.
During the Battle of Exegol, Rey and a redeemed Kylo Ren, who had reclaimed his identity as Ben Solo, fought against the Emperor. Realizing that the two were a Dyad in the Force, the Emperor tried to drain them. However, Rey defeated and killed the Emperor 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 the Emperor and his Final Order, the Resistance armada withdrew from Exegol.
In the Unknown Regions, the Chiss Ascendancy, a great but very secretive power that was ruled by the Aristocra, a grouping of royal families that formed the ruling class of the Ascendancy, presided over an interconnection of sovereignties. The Grysk Hegemony, a rival power, was an empire that was described as nomadic without a single fixed home. The location of the Hegemony's area of influence and control brought them into conflict with the Chiss Ascendancy.
For decades, the Galactic Empire undertook the colonization of the Unknown Regions and established a number of storehouses, shipyards, and laboratories on distant moons and asteroids beyond known space, with survey teams and droids having previously been sent to explore the Unknown Regions. Emerging after the fall of the Empire, Imperial exiles transformed themselves into the First Order, a militaristic hermit state.
Following the Battle of Endor, the resurrected Emperor Palpatine 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 regime 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.
Behind the scenesEdit
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').
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ultimate Star Wars
- ↑ Star Wars Resistance – "The Core Problem"
- ↑ Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- ↑ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game
- ↑ The Legends of Luke Skywalker
- ↑ Age of Resistance - Captain Phasma 1
- ↑ A Call for Heroes
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Traveler's Guide to Batuu
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Thrawn: Alliances
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Nexus of Power
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 The Legends of Luke Skywalker: "I, droid"
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Thrawn
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Star Wars: Alien Archive
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
- ↑ Tarkin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Aftermath
- ↑ Lost Stars
- ↑ Star Wars Resistance – "Station Theta Black"
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- ↑ The Last Jedi: Bomber Command