Where is the Star Wars galaxy in the Universe? I’ve been using my knowledge of Astronomy to muse over that one for a while.
It all began a long time ago, in a Cinema not so far away when a young Mercer watched STAR WARS EPISODE FIVE- THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for the first time on the big screen, then on TV every Christmas, then on video, then back on cinema for the Special Edition, then on DVD Special Edition and then the Box Set with Original version and Special Edition together.
I’ve even watched it again over the holidays, just the Original version though.
In the Final scene, Luke, Leia and the droids watch as Lando and Chewie leave to find Han Solo.
The backdrop is of the Rebel Fleet in space with a large galaxy in the background. For years this was misinterpreted as being outside the galaxy, now it’s being called a protostar, both assumptions are wrong.
Firstly, the starfield around the fleet means that it is inside the galaxy, as being ‘outside’ would have a void, or at least very few stars. The Falcon then flies OVER it and to one side away, and then the fleet head off away from it too- so clearly not heading into it.
Secondly, ILM made those shots after Lucas asked for clarification of Luke etc in position to the Falcon, hence the window showing outside. In the Special Edition rerelease, it was changed to a reddish nebula (but I don’t really care about them, it’s the Original versions that matter, though that’s just my preference)
Anyway, calling it a Protostar ignores the spiral shape, plus the fact that it looks a hell of a lot like the Andromeda galaxy, especially the closer shot of the Falcon flying over the arms. I’ve seen many different pictures of it, as I set my Intergalactic version of Romeo and Juliet in it and it’s the main setting for my Intergalactic Crime and War serial Rebirth!
As Andromeda is the largest galaxy in the Local Group of Galaxies, it makes sense that a digital rendering making use of parts of it to show a nearby Intergalactic neighbour- call it Galaxy 2. It’s led to some speculation that the SW galaxy is actually Triangulum, but how far is ‘far, far away’ anyway? That implies massive distances and my theory is it lies somewhere beyond a Billion light years, but it’s up to Lucasfilm and Disney to set some stories beyond the Main galaxy. There were the Nagai and Yuuzhan Vong invasions in the old comics and New Jedi Order books, but whether they will be included in the New Canon in some form or another is yet to be seen.
Either way, it’s a First Step into a Larger world, as Obi Wan Kenobi said, but that’s a topic for another time!
Oh, and by the way? The cinema where I saw it was The Empire Cinema in Widnes, where I also saw ET/Superman 1 and 2/Return of the Jedi!