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Saga What is the average distance between star systems (in Star Wars)?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Mdriver1981, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Mdriver1981

    Mdriver1981 Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Recent observations of the Andromeda Galaxy by NASA show that the distances between star systems there is about half the distance than the average here in the Milky Way, about 1 pc (3.3 ly). What is the average in the Star Wars Galaxy? If the Millenium Falcon can travel between star systems (such as from the Hoth system to the Bespin system) without a hyperdrive, it's probably a massive understatement to say that the distances are extremely smaller.
     
  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The Falcon had a backup hyperdrive (in both Legends and Newcanon) - slower than the main one, but still FTL. Probably took so much work to bring online, and was so slow, that Han didn't try until he'd given up on the main one.

    In both Legends and newcanon, you can estimate the minimum distance between Hoth and Bespin from their listed distances from the Galactic Core. 50,250 light years for Hoth, 49,100 light years for Bespin. Minimum distance between the two - 1150 light years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  3. Arwen Sith

    Arwen Sith Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 30, 2005
    I've always been puzzled by Han's comment that the Falcon can do 1.5 times lightspeed. Doesn't really compute for galactic distances.
     
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  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Hence the EU's interpretation of it as meaning "The Falcon has a class 0.5 hyperdrive".
     
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  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jun 19, 2019
    I don't know if there is an exact figure for the average distance between star systems in a galaxy far, far away, but I imagine it would be something between 3-5 lightyears between each star system. So, even traveling at the speed of light, that would mean that it would take between 3-5 years to travel from one star system to another, which is why I think that Star Wars travel has to be taking place even faster than light speed, since travel between star systems seems to be a matter of days rather than years. I think the Falcon must have been traveling above the speed of light between Hoth and Bespin. Otherwise, I don't think it would be feasible that Han and Leia could've traveled that distance in less than years. That's why I think when characters speak of jumping to light speed, they might be using a colloquial shorthand for jumping past light speed as it were.
     
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  6. YT-2400

    YT-2400 Jedi Master star 2

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    Sep 3, 2008
    So Padme and the gang were traveling at mere FTL speeds between Naboo and Tatooine?
     
  7. DARTH_BELO

    DARTH_BELO Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Well there they said the hyperdrive was leaking, but it wasn't broken beyond functioning. To me it sounded like it was going to break down soon so they had to go somewhere nearby to get it fixed so it could handle the rest of the trip to Coruscant.
     
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  8. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Force Ghost star 4

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    Mar 10, 2005
    "Point five past light speed" could mean just about anything, really. So yeah, it makes sense that Han would be referring to a hyperdrive class.
     
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  9. Arwen Sith

    Arwen Sith Jedi Master star 4

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    May 30, 2005
    Yeah, I guess something like that is a necessary retcon for it to make sense.
     
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  10. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    The SW galaxy is in legends IIRC 130,000 LYers across. Its a little bigger than the RL milky way.

    In simple astrographical terms? More or less the same as star systems are apart in RL.

    Hyperspace allows these distances to be crossed-sort of like trains or subways over seas.

    Imagine a malfunctioning hyperdrive and ending up in the void of interstellar space, your in serious trouble if that happens.
     
  11. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    While the Milky Way used to be estimated as 100,000 Light-years across, it is now thought to be somewhat larger:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

    The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with an estimated visible diameter between 170,000 and 200,000 light-years (ly).[24][25][26][27]
     
  12. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    I stand corrected then, must have not been keeping up with cosmology.

    So the GFFA is actually smaller than the RL milky way.
     
  13. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Yup. Milky Way's number of stars is difficult to pin down though - could be as little as 250 billion and as much as 500 billion. The GFFA is estimated to have 400 billion or so.
     
  14. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 30, 2015
    Exactly! That statement doesn't make sense to me in any way. If he actually means 1.5 times lightspeed it would still take years, decades or even centuries to reach any except the very closest of the star systems. Even in our galaxy the closest system, Proxima Centauri, is about 4.2 light years away. So with Han's given speed it would still take the Falcon just under 3 years. No way that is possible in the SW universe. Maybe there is a drive system that can get you above lightspeed but isn't actual hyperdrive. I understand hyperspace to be like a wormhole, and you don't actually need to cross the physical distance. In Dune it's called "folding space" (Guild highliners actually arrive at any given point in the universe instantaneously, not even after minutes. I think the terms "being in two places at the same time" and "traveling without moving" are mentioned somewhere in the books), in Star Trek they have warp speed, which may work in a similar way. This would really be the only possible way to get anywhere without spending centuries in a spaceship. Lightspeed, even 10 times or even 1000 times lightspeed really wouldn't get you anywhere fast. No, it has to be something like "folding space". Lucas' 1.5 times lightspeed is either a plot hole or he meant something else, not hyperspace. While in SW hyperspace is pretty efficient it's still not as fast as Dune's folding space technology. Sure, two different universes, but you have to make comparisons somehow in order to try to explain something.
    My theory is whenever they say "jump to lightspeed" in SW what they actually mean is you need to reach lightspeed first in order to enter hyperspace, then you are way beyond lightspeed, in a different dimension or space. Maybe a little like Back to the Future. You have to reach the speed of 88 mph, then the time machine is activated. The Falcon can make 1.5 times lightspeed, meaning he can outrun most other ships BEFORE entering hyperspace. Once in hyperspace speed no longer has any meaning, as you are in an alternate dimension. Does that make any sense?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  15. Arwen Sith

    Arwen Sith Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 30, 2005
    Yes, it does. Or I suppose it has to, for lack of any other explanation. It could even be something like the theorized Alcubierre drive.
     
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  16. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Interesting article. I was surprised that some scientists actually find something like warp drive is at least theoretically possible. We nowadays certainly don't have the technology, but who says we NEVER will have it?
    I like the example with the race car on a train. It reminds me of something I have always asked myself. What if a spaceship was able to achieve, say, 60 % lightspeed, with another spaceship coming from the opposite direction at the same speed? That would mean those two objects, in relation to each other, would be moving faster that lightspeed. I know I read somewhere that according to Einstein it still wouldn't work, but didn't quite understand the reason. I'm not much of a physics expert to be honest.[face_dunno]