'Star Wars' map: A close-up look at a galaxy far, far away...

Being a Star Wars fanatic — let’s face it, there’s no such thing as merely being a Star Wars “fan”means familiarizing yourself with a lot of names of a bunch of odd-sounding planets. Some, like the ice planet Hoth, play a huge role in George Lucas’ intergalactic ring cycle, especially if you need to seek shelter inside the guts of a snowy beast. Ditto for A-list locales like Endor and Alderaan. But others, like Orvax and Lwhekk? That’s straight-up nerd terrain. You probably have to have a closetful of action figures and a Jedi’s familiarity with the Kessel Run to have the name Ord Mantell mean something. And once you get beyond all those funny names with vaguely Norwegian combinations of vowels, you’re left scratching your head as to where the hell all of these places fit into the Star Wars universe geographically. (Is Devaron a Core World or a Colony? And where is it in relation to the Tingel Arm in the Northeast Quadrant?) Fortunately, the good folks at Dark Horse and LucasFilms have a color map of all this stuff (it was published in 2009’s Star Wars: The Essential Atlas). It may not be new to some of the real die-hards reading this, but it was new to me. And I just spent the better part of a Friday afternoon staring at it, geeking out and having Aha! moments.

If you’ve never seen it, check it out below. And for a bigger, more detailed look, click here. Then tell us what you think: Is this too much of a good thing or Nerdvana? 

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • Margie

    I love this! Thanks for writing about it!

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    I have no Jedi action figures in my closet and I know about Ord Mantell. It was mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back referring to recent events, apparently a bounty hunter attacked Han there making him decide to pay off Jabba.

    A real fanatic would need to know stuff like H’nemthe and Sulon.

  • Jake

    So explain to me why two Jedis, a queen decoy, and a frog-rabbit flee Naboo and land on Tatooine when it’s out of their way to Coruscant?

    • Jake

      Jedi, not Jedis. A thousand apologies

    • ali

      Maybe it would make sense if the map was 3-dimensional?

    • Eric Geller

      If you remember, the Queen’s pilot said that their ship’s hyperdrive core was leaking (from damage sustained during their escape). Tatooine was the closest planet without an official Trade Federation presence.

  • tracy bluth

    I love it when other people are as Star Wars obsessed as me…

  • Bianca

    @Jake Probably because they were looking for a planet that had no ties to the Trade Federation and was fairly “off the map”. So they could make their repairs “in peace” and go “fairly” unnoticed. That’s why Qui-gon picked Tatooine.

  • Dan Wallace

    This is great! I’m one of the authors of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas and helped make this particular map (with my coauthor Jason Fry and the mapmaker, Modi). Great to see EW giving it some love. If anyone’s interested in more info I rolled up the Atlas info on my blog at this link: http://geekosity.blogspot.com/search/label/star%20wars%20atlas

  • J.Bradley

    The writer of this article doesn’t quite understand the differentiation between fans of the movies, the “Expanded Universe”, the Clone Wars series, and role playing, video, PC and online games. A map like this helps to unite the exposition of all these mediums into a “grand unified” atlas that serves as a solid basis for them to base their storytelling or gameplay on.
    He doesn’t quite get this but to paraphrase Mace Windu from another movie he’s in, “He’s tryin’ REAL hard.”

  • Robert

    I first saw this in the Atlas at a retailer show and told the publisher to make it into a sellable POSTER for fans to purchase – I know I’d buy it! It is a great map – one of the best done…

  • GB10

    This is just so unbelievably stupid, space is 3D.

    • Nanite

      Space is 3D but galaxy is disc like also. Great map!

  • question

    Why was Kamino left out?

  • J.Bradley

    Kamino was hidden from the star charts. So perhaps it’s hidden in this map as well, the way it’s hidden in the Star Wars universe.

  • J.Bradley

    Note too that Alderaan is still depicted as a planet and not an asteroid debris field left by it’s Death Star destruction.

  • Dave

    Has nobody noticed the glaring mistake in the headline of this article? “A CLOSE-UP Look…”?

  • Dave

    Also, shut up, nerds. Space is FOUR dimensional when you count the time it takes to travel between star systems. If Han can brag about his hot shot record in the Kessel Run IN PARSECS, then you have to assume that physical distance between planets is not the only consideration in hyperspace travel. Threading your way through gravity wells, even using them to slingshot you faster and farther, may be a way to reach distant systems quicker than a straight line.

    • J.Bradley

      “A CLOSE-UP Look…”?
      You can click on the map and zoom in, can’t you?

      • Dave

        I suppose, from an Intergalactic point of view, or maybe through the eyes of a Supreme Creator of the Universe(s), this would be a CLOSE-UP of a tiny part of all that exists. For us mortals, however, it is a pretty big slice of the galaxy- zoomability notwithstanding.

      • KingClark

        On your note of Han bragging about his run in parsecs, he actually meant it as a unit of distance. He flew through the Maw (a series of one thousand black holes) to do it in 12 Parsecs rather than 16, which was extremely dangerous.

        And there’s your dose of Star Wars nerdiness today!

  • Flint

    Where is Lando System?

    • Gina

      Lando’s not a system, he’s a MAN.

      You’re welcome.

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