10 Common Elements That Define The Star Wars Universe

from The New Hope way back in 1977 to the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, the galaxy far, far away has evolved into a massive realm with its lore, culture, mythos, and population of famous faces. The realm of Jedi, Sith, droids, and starfighters has simply snowballed into its own universe stretching beyond the limits of the imagination.

Casual fans will be quick to compare Star Wars to other science-fiction contenders such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and many others. Still, the fact of the matter is Star Wars has vital components that define it as a whole. Elements of Star Wars essentially helped redefine what genre could be.


The Massive Galaxy

star wars han solo hyperspace

Star Wars not only manages to create a massive environment of planets and moons, star systems, and otherworldly beings, but it also manages to create a size and scale that truly makes a viewer feel like they’ve only seen a speck of what the universe has to offer. Where the original film gave viewers a host of strange new worlds, the universe has only expanded since then.

With the inclusion of novels, TV series, animated features, and spinoff shows, the galaxy has expanded exponentially. To put it bluntly, it’s honestly impossible to define just how far that outer rim stretches.

Fleets Of Starships

Star Wars Rise of Skywalker Final Battle Ships

It’s not the first or only film franchise to use spaceships, space stations, and the like, but they are one of the few whose crafts can be distinctive enough to pull out of a lineup. In short, there are certain examples of spaceships that can only be Star Wars.

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X-Wings, TIE-fighters, and the Millennium Falcon are all products of the galaxy far, far away. To see them in something like Doctor Who, Star Trek, or firefly would be somewhat jarring. By their very design and aesthetic, they simply can’t exist anywhere else.

Interplanetary Cultures

As the series grew, fans were exposed to more and more planets, worlds, and alien cultures. This can be exceptionally seen in the prequel series and the Clone Wars spinoff, simply due to the ability to expand on the universe and methods of storytelling. Even so, the different cultures and races seen across the galaxy did nothing but help shape the franchise’s universe.

While places like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor are all well and good, the series evolved to include massive city planets, underwater palaces, and even realms beyond the plane of mortal comprehension. All the planets and environments have their own cultures and practices, making them each an elaborate and intricate part of the universe.

The Large Alien Population

Star Wars video games should stop ignoring aliens in favor of human protagonists

One of the best signs of a successful sci-fi world is making the human population the minority. The franchise is loaded to the brim with all sorts of unique and strange races and alien creatures that go beyond the stereotypical little green men. From Jawas to Rodians, the galaxy is a massive melting pot of species and extraterrestrial beings.

Similar to the previous factor, the mixing and blending of different species and races throughout the galaxy only serves to better define it. By turning the galaxy into an intergalactic melting pot, Star Wars not only secures its identity but makes it one of the biggest realms in science fiction.


Star Wars Force Awakens R2 KT Pink Droid

They can be servants, they can be sentinels, they can be friends, or they can be forces of mass destruction that wage war across the galaxy. For a race of walking hardware, the droids of the Star Wars universe are some of the most adaptable and dynamic sets of artificially intelligent lifeforms in the sci-fi genre.

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In no uncertain terms, there is a droid for every occasion. From the friendly protocol droids like C-3PO and the cantankerous astromechs like R2-D2 and Chopper to the destructive battle droids and assassin units like IG-88, they run a range of forms and functions, and the franchise would be incomplete without their contributions .

Space Magic

Mortis Arc The Clone Wars

Space magic is simply the best way to describe the sense of fantasy/science-fiction hybrid that Star Wars creates. By mixing a variety of fantasy elements with its world of aliens, droids, and Death Stars, the series becomes something new that parties in both camps can truly enjoy.

It’s this mixture of magic and technology that separates Star Wars from other series. Not only does it combine both genres in an equal balance, but does it so in a way that one complements the other. Not many other sci-fi contemporaries can have both wizards and warships as seamlessly as this series does.

Lightsaber Duels

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader lightsaber duel in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back

If there’s one image that just about everyone recognizes, regardless of exposure to the franchise, it’s the epic lightsaber duels. Whether that’s the original confrontation between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader or the epic fight scene with Kylo and Rey in Snoke’s chambers, the sound of a clashing lightsaber is one of the most recognizable audio cues in movie history.

A weapon of a more civilized age, the lightsaber is perhaps the tool that helped the franchise carve its place in modern pop culture. Available in a variety of colors, styles, and strengths, they are one of the most identifiable weapons in any genre.

A Battle Of Good And Evil

Anakin Skywalker vs Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber battle in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Whether it’s the ongoing battle between the light side and dark side of the Force or the clashing of the Rebels and the Empire or Resistance and the First Order, the eternal struggle of good and evil is a motif that will never fail to satisfy any audience. While the series and its complexities evolved with the passage of time, the dueling abstracts still lie at the core of the narrative.

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Audiences will always want to root for the heroes and relish in the defeat of the villains, even with fan favorites like Darth Vader and Count Dooku. And there are few feelings of triumph more infectious than watching a ragtag group of heroes topple down an evil regime time and time again.

A Sense Of Lore And Mythos

Star Wars Revenge Sith Opera Vader Easter Egg

Star Wars does something few franchises manage to accomplish, and that’s creating an entire world with its own history, lore, religion, and mythology. The mythos presented in the series goes beyond the philosophical aspects of the light side, the dark side, and so on. Essentially, there are multiple fantastic forces at work in the universe.

A great example of this is the scene at the opera in Revenge of the Sith, reflecting the arts and culture of Coruscant along with the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise. The pair of stories being simultaneously told display the fictional and mythological within a fictional/mythological setting, making a world so rich in lore that it develops its own.

The Force


To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power, it’s an energy field created by all living things…” Essentially the soul of the universe that binds the galaxy together, it’s the MacGuffin of the original series that evolved into something much more spiritual and complex as the franchise evolved.

The Force is not wielded by Jedi alone, even The Mandalorian discussed it, but they are the ones most sensitive to its flow through the galaxy. Its themes of cosmic balance and connection to the universe is the key component that binds all of Star Wars together in harmony.

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