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Map [Image Source]

At the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8 completes R2-D2's map to finally reveal the planet Luke Skywalker is on.

But instead of the usual "X marks the spot" to indicate a location on a map, we can see a route with a starting point. And since the route is not a straight line I'm wondering if one has to follow this specific travel path to get to Luke.


My question:

  • What is the significance of this specific route and starting point?
  • Hyperspace.....? – Obie 2.0 Oct 18 '16 at 21:17
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It's likely that it is the hyperlane that allowed Luke to safely get to the planet where we find him at the end of Force Awakens.

"Hyperlanes were routes through space in which a spaceship could safely travel without colliding with a body in space, or some other phenomenon such as a black hole.1 There were five major routes in the galaxy, with hundreds of secondary routes and thousands of minor ones. Scouting new hyperspace routes was an incredibly dangerous task for an explorer.

In many parts of the galaxy hyperlanes also involved periodic re-entry into realspace. This was so as to manually maneuver the ship towards the next hyper-point." -Wookieepedia

And

"Hyperspace routes—also called hyperspace lanes—were an established path through hyperspace, which linked major worlds, just as roads linked major cities on populated worlds. Those routes were regarded as safe, allowing starships to travel without colliding with a body in space." -Wookieepedia

Supporting this idea, a CinemaBlend piece (Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Mysterious Map And What It Might Really Mean) speculates that it is a map, started by Darth Vader, to a Jedi Temple which Luke travelled to, to learn more about the Jedi and to defend the temple.

"Whatever was left of the Empire after The Return of the Jedi was dust by this point, so how did they get any of the map? We think it's because they already had it. But for a different reason than "finding" the missing Luke Skywalker. Let's piece this together." -CinemaBlend

  • If the map was started by Darth Vader, does that mean the starting point is the Empire's home base? That would explain why there is one specific route. – Oliver_C Oct 19 '16 at 10:10
  • It doesn't necessarily start from the Empires home base, assuming it was started by Darth Vader of course. The fact that it's a specific route can be explained in other ways. Travelling using 'uncharted' routes can be dangerous. Whoever plotted the route likely plotted that path because it was safest. – TJF. Oct 19 '16 at 22:48
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Travel in Star Wars can only really be done through charted routes. Blindly jumping into hyperspace in any given direction can lead to fatal ship on space rock kisses of death or being pulled into an unknown gravity well to a spectacular explosion or worse, spaghettifying in a black hole for eternity. Mapping new hyperspace routes is a dangerous but profitable profession. You don't just point at a star and go thataway.

The point of the map route is a safe passage to the specified point in space.

This is basically related to Solo's Kessel Run. He took a more direct, dangerous route, instead of a longer, safer route.

  • Is there only one hyperspace route to that planet? What if you live e.g. on the left side of the map, do you have to go all the way to the starting point on the other side of the galaxy? – Oliver_C Oct 19 '16 at 10:07
  • @Oliver_C If the route to the temple went through several minor hyperlanes in systems with no populations, then it is entirely possible that you'd have to go to the starting point to get safe passage to the temple through those specific systems. In theory, you could just point your ship at the star and hope for the best from the left hand side, but if the temple is so secret there is likely something blocking you from going that way in every other direction. Remember, space is big. There may be hundreds of solar systems between the start and end point. – SGR Oct 19 '16 at 10:09
  • @SGR - So Rey, or anyone else, can't just cut the journey short by entering the route somewhere between the starting and end point, they have to start at the beginning? – Oliver_C Oct 19 '16 at 10:30
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    @Oliver_C If they want to be sure that they'll live, yes. – SGR Oct 19 '16 at 10:31
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    @SGR - But in the movies we see ships jump into hyperspace from wherever they are at that moment. I don't remember seeing ships flying to an "entry point" of a hyperlane first. So I don't quite understand why one can't enter a hyperlane e.g. halfway? – Oliver_C Oct 19 '16 at 19:23
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It's possible it could be a hidden hyperspace route that only Luke knew about (either because he discovered it or because it was a guarded Jedi secret he found). This could explain why they needed a map instead of just a set of coordinates to get to him. It could also explain how no one was able to find him.

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