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Old 09-09-2019, 01:38 PM
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Are the "Star Wars" movies set in our Universe?


Are the Star Wars movies set in our Universe, at some future point in time, or in a fantasy Universe? Is this topic addressed in the movies?
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:41 PM
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Welp, it takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:41 PM
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Given that the first movie opens with this line:

Quote:
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
it's clear that they are set in our Universe, but in the distant past, not future.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:43 PM
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Of course since the opening is a riff on the traditional opening of fairy tales, "Long long ago in a country far far away," one could conclude that it's just a fantasy too. But as far as what is said, it's our Universe.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:47 PM
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"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
According to non-movie sources, they're human, and they speak "Galactic Basic".
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
To - kinda - misquote Harrison Ford:

"Kid, this ain't that sorta movie."
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:20 PM
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According to non-movie sources, they're human...
This raises a lot of questions. It might have been more prudent for them to be humanoid, but since it's non-movie, it's not official and can be disregarded at one's personal discretion. If one accepts the Star Wars humanoids as being "human", then that surely means that they are related to the humans on Earth. The logical conclusion of that would be that the Star Wars universe is not the same as our Universe, since science shows that humans on Earth developed from bipedal apes as part an evolutionary process taking millions of years, and not as a space colony of some distant intergalactic species of humans.
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...and they speak "Galactic Basic".
Do the Star Wars humans/humanoids have a species name? A home planet? What script/alphabet system does the Galactic Basic language use?
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:22 PM
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it's clear that they are set in our Universe, but in the distant past, not future.
The story is definitely set in a distant past, which could be our future.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:24 PM
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What script/alphabet system does the Galactic Basic language use?
This is the script they use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langua...abet-chart.svg
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:27 PM
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Given that stormtroopers rock out to Jefferson Starship, it must be in our universe.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:37 PM
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The story is definitely set in a distant past, which could be our future.
Yes, or possibly they're descendants of colonizers who where thrown back in time somehow when the migrated. Those colonizers brought only English with them which then became the new basic.

Last edited by Trancephalic; 09-09-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:37 PM
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Given that stormtroopers rock out to Jefferson Starship, it must be in our universe.
Good point! The song Jefferson Starship played was "Light the Sky on Fire", which was included as a bonus 45 rpm single in the Jefferson Starship greatest hits collection Gold - in our Universe.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:50 PM
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There weren't any signs or labels in english, were there?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:04 PM
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Of course since the opening is a riff on the traditional opening of fairy tales, "Long long ago in a country far far away," one could conclude that it's just a fantasy too. But as far as what is said, it's our Universe.
Are fairy tales, or urban fantasy, or superhero stories, set in our Universe? Or are they set in an alternative universe that is like ours except for some significant differences (e.g. magic works)?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:20 PM
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Even though it looks like it's the future, it's really a long, long time ago
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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Are fairy tales, or urban fantasy, or superhero stories, set in our Universe? Or are they set in an alternative universe that is like ours except for some significant differences (e.g. magic works)?
When you talk about an "alternative universe," you are kind of assuming that place is real in some sense, or might be real. While these stories borrow real elements, they take place outside of reality. People sometimes suggest that Game of Thrones takes place on a "different planet." Actually, it takes place in a different (un)reality.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:23 PM
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Are fairy tales, or urban fantasy, or superhero stories, set in our Universe? Or are they set in an alternative universe that is like ours except for some significant differences (e.g. magic works)?
Exactly. These kinds of questions miss the point of what fiction is. A fictional movie is not a documentary about a nonexistent setting. It's fiction. There is no logical connection between it and reality.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:34 PM
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There weren't any signs or labels in english, were there?
There were originally. When Obi-Wan deactivated the tractor beam in ANH, the labels were in English. The modified editions changed this to gibberish space text. You can find examples of each on YouTube.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:29 PM
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Do the Star Wars humans/humanoids have a species name? A home planet?
They are called humans. Very human-like species (most, if not all, of which are offshoots of humans), such as the Chiss, are referred to as hear-human. Humanoid includes humans, near-humans, and a lot of not-at-all human species who happen to adhere to basically the same bauplan as humans, such as the Twi'leks. Beyond 'human', humans are usually referred to by their homeworld - Corellians, frex.

It's not known for sure where Humans originated, but it's generally assumed to be Coruscant.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:57 PM
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Welp, that thing was pretty clearly not designed by anyone with linguistic training. It's mostly a mapping between glyphs and English letters rather than sounds, although there are also a few digraphs.

The chart has glyphs that claim to correspond to "C", "Q" and "X". What does that mean? Given that there are also glyphs for "K", "S", "Kh" and "Ch", what sounds would the first three represent? Is the "Th" glyph voiced or voiceless? Does the "J" glyph represent the bizarre English J sound /dʒ/ or the /j/ that it represents in most other European languages? The chart doesn't seem to be useful for anything except maybe as a simple cipher for English.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:03 PM
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According to non-movie sources, they're human, and they speak "Galactic Basic".
Galactic Basic was once spoken across the universe, but then Bill Gates bought it, folded parts of it into Microsoft Basic, and discarded the rest.

The FTC tried to make Microsoft unbundle Galactic Basic, but most people have either stuck with Microsoft Basic out of inertia, or moved to either Galactic Linux or Galactic iOS.

That's what the Trade Wars were about.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:05 PM
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A cancelled novel would have established that humans were from the same universe as THX-1138 is set in, but sent back into the past (and far, far away).
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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I'm proud to say that at my design studio, we hired whoever was creative, no matter what their age or credentials. But that made for amusing lunchtime topics like "Why won't you kids (who've never been to college) even TRY to understand Finnegan's Wake?"

So one of the PhDs came in just after Star Wars debuted (no New Hope back then...), and complained "Okay, okay, I saw it. No, I did not like it. Why does every movie set in the future just assume that people will still be solving their problems with violence?"

Four of us turned to him and all said "But it's not the future. It's a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!
I still chuckle that we said that in unison, with the affronted pride of nerds defending their realm.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:06 PM
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Are the Star Wars movies set in our Universe, at some future point in time, or in a fantasy Universe?
Definitely in a fantasy universe. One in which faster-than-light travel is possible and doesn't result in time travel into the past. And nobody thinks to use this magic space drive directly as a weapon until centuries or millenia after it's invented.

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Old 09-09-2019, 08:30 PM
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I was always under the impression the basis for setting it "A long time ago" was to prevent people from hypothesizing Star Wars took place in an alternate universe where the Nazis won and went to space.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:00 PM
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The chart doesn't seem to be useful for anything except maybe as a simple cipher for English.
It was never meant to be anything else.

If a fictional alien language exists only in written form, chances are it's either pure gibberish, or a cipher of English. The latter allows the reader/viewer to decipher it, themselves, while still looking alien.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:05 PM
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There were originally. When Obi-Wan deactivated the tractor beam in ANH, the labels were in English. The modified editions changed this to gibberish space text. You can find examples of each on YouTube.
Smoking gun!

If one examines the totality of the evidence about the Star Wars "humans" - that they look like humans, they speak English, they (the Empire) use the English written language/alphabet, the hero is called Luke Sky(+)walker - the logical conclusion must surely be that the "humans" of the Star Wars universe and Earth humans are related. This could either be through future humans from our world travelling back in time and populating the long-ago universe, or colonizers from the Star Wars galaxy populating our world - if they were travelling at faster the speed of light for millennia/millions of years, then it's possible they devolved back to bipedal apes, and they lost their technological knowledge in the computer/droid-run spaceship, but retained their English-language capabilities.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:08 PM
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I was always under the impression the basis for setting it "A long time ago" was to prevent people from hypothesizing Star Wars took place in an alternate universe where the Nazis won and went to space.
What about if the Nazis invented a time machine?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:43 PM
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It was never meant to be anything else.

If a fictional alien language exists only in written form, chances are it's either pure gibberish, or a cipher of English. The latter allows the reader/viewer to decipher it, themselves, while still looking alien.
The alien languages in Star Wars have always been gibberish laid over English syntax. It never occurred to Lucas that anything more was required.

Of course? Other than Tolkien, constructing a plausible fictional language wasn’t really done. It wasn’t until Mark Okrand was engaged to create the Klingon language that it started to become part of contemporary fiction.

Even now not everyone does it. George R. R. Martin didn’t do it for Ive and Fire.

But I find it irritating in the Star Wars movies when I hear a putative alien language that obviously has the structure of English. Why not just have them speak English?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:52 PM
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What about if the Nazis invented a time machine?
They did, but it can only go into the future.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:01 PM
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The alien languages in Star Wars have always been gibberish laid over English syntax. It never occurred to Lucas that anything more was required.
This isn't entirely true.

One example is Nien Nunb, the Sullustan co-pilot for Lando on the Millennium Falcon during Return of the Jedi, who was voiced by a Kenyan named Bill Kipsang Rotich. Rotich used lines from two African languages, Kikuyu and Haya, for Nien Nunb's dialog.

As related to me by my former pastor, who had grown up in Kenya, the Kenyans *loved* that character, because they understood his lines in their native language.

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Old 09-10-2019, 03:23 AM
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I always thought it was strange and proof that there was some earth/Star Wars universe connection that the Millennium Falcon had the name "Falcon" in it, which is a bird found on earth. I guess the Millennium Porg just doesn't have the same ring to it. I am aware it was officially named after the bat-falcon.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:30 AM
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My take on it: "Basic" is the most common language spoken in the Star Wars galaxy. It's not actually English, and probably doesn't sound or look at all like English, but it's the language that people are expected to know without translation, and so the movie presents it as English (both in spoken and, originally, written form). In the same way, there is one species out of many that is the predominant species in the galaxy. They're not humans, and they probably don't even look at all like humans, but they're the species that everyone is expected to recognize as looking "normal", and so the movies depict that species as humans.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:33 AM
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My take on it: "Basic" is the most common language spoken in the Star Wars galaxy. It's not actually English, and probably doesn't sound or look at all like English, but it's the language that people are expected to know without translation, and so the movie presents it as English (both in spoken and, originally, written form). In the same way, there is one species out of many that is the predominant species in the galaxy. They're not humans, and they probably don't even look at all like humans, but they're the species that everyone is expected to recognize as looking "normal", and so the movies depict that species as humans.
I kind of see it like this too. I use this kind of philosophy for pretty much all fiction (espcially fantasy and sci-fi) -- something like the following: in the "infinite multiverse of existence", all stories really have happened and/or will happen, including stories like Star Wars. The author/creator just happened to pluck this story from the aether, and is presenting it the best way they can, on the page or the screen or whatever. There might be little mistakes, or adaptive choices (like showing the characters as human, and the language as English), but that doesn't change the "true" version of the story. This was just an adaptation of something out there in the aether.

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Old 09-10-2019, 12:24 PM
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by contrast …
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:25 PM
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Of course since the opening is a riff on the traditional opening of fairy tales, "Long long ago in a country far far away," one could conclude that it's just a fantasy too. But as far as what is said, it's our Universe.
That assumes they mean long ago from now, and far away from here. But that's not necessarily the case.

If you ask, "When was The Princess Bride set?" the answer is "The mid-1980s." Because that's the setting where the sick kid is told a story by his grandpa. All the sword fights and stuff is what the grandpa tells the kid. Similarly, the setting for Star Wars is, technically, whatever setting the person who starts off with, "A long time ago..." is in. But we don't know that person's setting, or who they are. You're assuming that the referent was America circa 1977. But it could equally be "Luke Skywalker's nth generation descendant sharing family lore."

As for the idea that the characters are supposed to be speaking English in-universe - no. No more than the Nazis in a WWII movie are supposed to be speaking English to each other in private. It's a convention for English-speaking audiences, not an attempt at world-building.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:07 PM
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According to non-movie sources, they're human, and they speak "Galactic Basic".

By an astonishing coincidence, it's exactly the same as English...and Rigilian.

I suppose technically Star Wars is set in "our universe" (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away). But from a narrative perspective, no, they are not. That is to say, Earth is not part of Star Wars lore, nor does anything in Star Wars have a shared history with anything from Earth.

As someone else pointed out, the fact that the characters speak what sounds like English, look human and possibly reference items that are called the same thing on Earth is just a convention for the audience to let you know they serve the same purpose. This is different from other sci-fi works like Dune, Issac Asimov's Foundation series, or Battlestar Galactica.

Similarly, the world of Game of Thrones could take place on an alien planet peopled by aliens, an "alternate Earth", an alien planet in "our" universe where the "First Men" were perhaps Earth colonists who regressed technologically and whose origins were forgotten or it could be something even more exotic. But it's not explored because it's not relevant to the story.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:06 PM
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By an astonishing coincidence, it's exactly the same as English...and Rigilian.

I suppose technically Star Wars is set in "our universe" (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away). But from a narrative perspective, no, they are not. That is to say, Earth is not part of Star Wars lore, nor does anything in Star Wars have a shared history with anything from Earth.
Actually, the anthology "Tales From The Mos Eisly Cantina", which was canon until Disney took over and decanonized almost everything, has two connections directly to Earth. In the story The Pipe Smoker, it is stated that he is smoking a rare hard to get herb called t'bacco from a planet called Earth in another galaxy.

Another story has Luke Skywalker Himself enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, another hard to get luxury from some obscure planet called Earth in another galaxy.

I may be a bit off on some of the details, it's been many years since I lost my copy of the book, but those two connections are there
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
During the pod racing scene in Phantom Menace the play by play called Anakin 'Human."

Its pathetic that I remember that.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:15 PM
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I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
Luke et al. are not human, but George Lucas had to settle forusing humans to portray them.

The $7B for which he sold the franchise is to fulfill a secret clause in the sale agreement allowing Lucas to reshoot the film with actors to whom the original characters are distant ancestors.

The first movie will be titled Disney's Descendants IV: A New Re-release.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:06 AM
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I forgot that bit.

So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and "Ben" Kenobi are "humanoids", but not humans? And they are not, technically, speaking English?
And what about the Millennium Falcon?
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:08 AM
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Han's ship is named after a well-known small, fast-flying predator: That's what matters. The creature it was named after wasn't a Falco perigrinus, but that's irrelevant.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:17 AM
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This raises a lot of questions. It might have been more prudent for them to be humanoid, but since it's non-movie, it's not official and can be disregarded at one's personal discretion. If one accepts the Star Wars humanoids as being "human", then that surely means that they are related to the humans on Earth. The logical conclusion of that would be that the Star Wars universe is not the same as our Universe, since science shows that humans on Earth developed from bipedal apes as part an evolutionary process taking millions of years, and not as a space colony of some distant intergalactic species of humans.

Do the Star Wars humans/humanoids have a species name? A home planet? What script/alphabet system does the Galactic Basic language use?

Starseeding is still a viable option here, perhaps using native genetic material to make a human in the new world, It would change what it is to be 'human', or perhaps even guiding evolution towards it though all those animals. Or we could just have a God who likes to make humans everywhere.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:32 AM
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During the pod racing scene in Phantom Menace the play by play called Anakin 'Human."

Its pathetic that I remember that.
And before the race, doesn't Anakin say "I'm the only human who can do it"?
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:35 PM
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I'm mildly surprised that nobody has mentioned the pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey in Watto's junkyard. That could be taken as an indication that the series is not only in our universe, it's post-2001.

Of course, other explanations are possible, such as "it fell into a wormhole and ended up in another galaxy in the distant past," or "it's a visual Easter egg and doesn't mean anything."
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:44 PM
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… or "it's a visual Easter egg and doesn't mean anything."
that
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:50 PM
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I am confident that nowhere in our universe can mortals travel at the speed of light. And 'light speed' is even faster than just c, otherwise they'd need cryogenic chambers to even get to one other planet in another solar system nevermind an inhabitable world.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:08 PM
DorkVader's Avatar
DorkVader is offline
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I can't believe nobody, including me, has remembered or mentioned Speilberg's E.T.s having a delegation of representatives in the Galactic Senate as shown in The Phantom Menace, so yep, it is canonically true that Star Wars is in our universe and Speilberg's universe is the same as Lucas' universe.

As for the pod in watto's junkyard, I recall seeing something...will report back when or if I can find the explanation again
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Last edited by DorkVader; 09-14-2019 at 08:10 PM.
  #50  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:14 PM
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kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DorkVader View Post
I can't believe nobody, including me, has remembered or mentioned Speilberg's E.T.s having a delegation of representatives in the Galactic Senate as shown in The Phantom Menace,
That's because I have carefully-constructed mental blocks regarding the existence of Episodes 1-3.
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