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"I left for the Unknown Regions, determined to lose myself. I learned that unknown was not the same as empty."
Darth Krayt[14]

The Unknown Regions, also known as Unknown Space,[15] the Unknown Sector,[16] the Unknown Reaches,[17] the Unknown Territories,[18] or the Unexplored Regions,[19] was a region located in the galactic west beyond the Outer Rim. The Unknown Regions were largely unexplored, in contrast to Wild Space, which was explored.[4]

The Unknown Regions was broadly defined as areas not connected with the skein of reliable or well-known hyperspace routes spanning the galaxy, did not belong to the wider well-known galactic community, did not look to Coruscant as the ultimate center of civilization, or were not part of the Galactic Republic before the Galactic Civil War. Beyond the Unknown Regions laid the Galactic Rim and the circumferential hyperspace barrier.

During the Imperial Period, the nearby dwarf galaxy of Firefist that orbited beyond the galactic disk was considered as part of the Unknown Regions according to Imperial charts despite laying outside the galaxy.


"There are a hundred different threats out there that would freeze your blood if you knew about them."
Stent to Mara Jade[20]

The reach of civilization extended at least nominally to the edge of the galactic disk—for instance, the territory of the Corporate Sector extended to the end of the Tingel Arm. The galactic disk and some satellite galaxies were mapped well enough that the omission of thirty-seven systems (including Kamino) from stellar charts were obvious gravitational anomalies, even when scanning from afar.

The large galactic volume designated as the "Unknown Regions" included uncharted areas in dense nebulae, globular clusters, and the galactic halos. 15% of the galaxy's stellar mass was estimated to be contained within the Unknown Regions.[21][4] Many governments repeatedly sent scouts into the Unknown Regions. General Wedge Antilles once remarked that "If you continue to map the Unknown Regions, you'll have to call them something else."[22] During the early years of the Galactic Empire, a colonization corporation, Anawa, offered refuge to people by guiding them into the Unknown Regions where the corporation would administrate and police newly discovered habitable planets.[23]

The Unknown Regions included a unique section of the galactic disk to the "galactic west" of Bakura, Bilbringi, and the Imperial Remnant. Important powers in this area of space included the Chiss Ascendancy, the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, the Vagaari, the Killik Colony, and the Empire of the Hand, but it was also home to species such as the Croke, the Ebruchi and the Eickarie. Though severely cut off from the rest of the galaxy, these species interacted with one another, and had created a sort of interstellar culture separate of that of the Galactic Republic or the Empire. Communication and trade were sparse and infrequent, but species such as the Lugubraa were found in the services of larger powers across the Regions. Common threats such as Mnggal-Mnggal brought together disparate species such as the Chiss, Lugubraa, and others to combat its encroachments.[23]

Terminus ground

The spaceports on Terminus had ships going to and from the Unknown Regions.

One hypothesis by a noted scientist suggested that a mass of dark matter intersected the galaxy in this region, creating gravitational anomalies that hindered navigation. However, the lack of any tidal disruption of the galaxy's spiral form (as shown in Jedi Archives) may have disproved this supposed dark mass. Alternate theories included "hyperspatial gravitic ripples", or the intentional construction of a barrier, possibly by the Celestials to hedge the expanding Infinite Empire or to contain Mnggal-Mnggal. What was known for certain is that[4] a web of hyperspace anomalies known as "the tangle"[23] that impeded galactic exploration by the Republic for millennia and divided explored space and the Regions was almost precisely at the midline of the circumferential hyperspace barrier that surrounded the galaxy.[4] It was clear, moreover, that much of the Unknown Regions were passable to determined travelers—for instance, Corellian traders had been in contact with the Chiss for many years before their "re-discovery,"[24] the planet Ilum was reachable by Force-sensitive navigators,[4] the Rakata homeworld of Lehon was also reached by a Republic naval task force at the climax of the Jedi Civil War[25] and subsequently made a protected historical site by the Republic. Additionally, frontier spaceport worlds in the known galaxy, like Terminus, were known to be visited frequently by transports and traders from the Unknown Regions.[4]

Iokath, was a massive artificial sphere that constructed weapons. The Nihil Retreat was a collection of twelve stellar clusters associated with the Perann Nebula, that housed the planet Rhand. In some eras, like during the Great Galactic War, Cold War and Galactic War, prominent species like the Chiss cooperated with galactic powers like the Sith Empire.[26] The Ascendancy also participated in diplomatic talks with the Republic[27] and later maintained relations with both the Galactic Empire,[23] the New Republic, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances[28] and the second Galactic Empire ruled by Darth Krayt.[29]

Imperial exploration[]

As part of the relations with the First Galactic Empire, the Chiss Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn, a native of these parts, was dispatched aboard the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Admonitor to the Unknown Regions during the years of the Galactic Civil War, ostensibly on a simple mapping expedition, but in reality to explore and subjugate entire sectors for the Galactic Empire. While there, Thrawn appeared to have encountered the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong. He also created a shadow Empire, the Empire of the Hand. Thrawn would established military installations, shipyards, and laboratories. Normalized relations between the Chiss Ascendancy and the New Republic were established following the Galactic Civil War, and the portion of the Unknown Regions existing in the galactic disk was essentially eliminated thanks to the availability of Chiss star-charts.[4] At least several Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts were sent to the Unknown Regions by Emperor Palpatine.[30] By 21 ABY, the Super Star Destroyer Intimidator of the Black Fleet would be discovered after a long crisis, only in battle remains.

Political divisions[]


Taungs migrated from Coruscant to the Unknown Regions.

"You remember the devastation of the Yevethan Great Purge? There were things in the Unknown Regions that would have made it look insignificant, save we were there and stopped them."
Colonel Jagged Fel, a soldier in the Empire of the Hand[31]


Due to the very fact that the region was "unknown," it presumably had not been charted and divided into sectors by the Republic. However, the Empire of the Hand had plotted 250 sectors in the region.

Behind the scenes[]

The depiction of the Unknown Regions varies from source to source. In Vision of the Future, the space known to the Old Republic, Empire, and New Republic is not specifically assigned to any section of the galactic disk, nor are the Unknown Regions. They do appear adjacent on the map, which includes the disk. The territory under the hegemony of the Empire of the Hand, while by no means comprising all of the Unknown Regions, seemingly embraces as much as 240 sectors, roughly a quarter of the volume of known space. Although huge, this volume is emptier than the galactic disk, since the combined total of the Unknown Regions contains no more than one percent of the galaxy's stars.[33]

In contrast, The Essential Chronology and The New Jedi Order series, as well as the associated galactic map, have bulked the Unknown Regions on one side of the galactic disk.

Recent sources such as The Essential Atlas and The Unknown Regions incorporate both interpretations of the region, ascribing the internal galactic portion to the result of an initially impassable hyperspace barrier near the mid-line of the galaxy, in addition to the one located beyond the edge of the galactic disk, with the area beyond that known as the Intergalactic Void.



Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Nexus of Power
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 StarWars Star Wars: The Essential Atlas Online Companion on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  3. SkyeWalkers: A Clone Wars Story
  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 The Essential Atlas
  5. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
  6. StarWars Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut, Part 12: Tales of the New Republic on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  7. Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
  8. Survivor's Quest
  9. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne
  10. Outbound Flight
  11. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
  12. SWTOR mini Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne — Mission: "Jedi Under Siege" on Ossus
  13. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  14. Legacy (2006) 18
  15. SWAJsmall "Mist Encounter" — Star Wars Adventure Journal 7
  16. X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
  17. DSCheader "Endgame" — Endgame
  18. Darksaber
  19. The Last Command Sourcebook
  20. Vision of the Future
  21. The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
  22. X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 The Unknown Regions
  24. Outbound Flight
  25. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  26. SWTOR icon Holonet Chiss profile on The Old Republic Holonet (backup link) (content now obsolete; original version)
  27. The Clone Wars: Secret Missions 2: Curse of the Black Hole Pirates
  28. The New Essential Chronology
  29. Legacy (2006) 15
  30. The Essential Guide to Warfare
  31. The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
  32. Crosscurrent
  33. Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts p24; Tales of the Bounty Hunters p301

External links[]