Fan Theory: Star Wars Is Set In Our Universe

30th May 2016

death star - battle of endor


Science fiction is a fascinating genre in its ability to bring us expansive, epic and fantastical worlds and characters. The Star Wars franchise is just one collection of stories in the science fiction genre that grips our imaginations and ignites a sense of wonder in all of us. Star Wars is set in “A galaxy far, far away…” from Earth. But exactly how far away is this galaxy from Earth? And does the Star Wars narrative take place in an entirely different dimension of existence? Does Star Wars have links to any other franchise? And the big question: is Earth a planet in the Star Wars universe?

I do believe there are many links between the Star Wars universe and that of other science fiction franchises, and there are many deliberate references to Earth in the stories of the Star Wars franchise. Here I will briefly explain some of them.

This theory, as with many others I discuss, is not a new theory or a theory of my own. This theory has been written about multiple times across the Internet. But I will discuss my views on the matter and provide an overview of the topic. There are many, many further examples of evidence of this theory but to cover them all would be too exhaustive an entry so I have covered only several examples.

E.T. is in The Phantom Menace / ET: The Extra Terrestrial

One of the examples from the films themselves which establish Star Wars as having links to Earth is in The Phantom Menace. Three members of ET’s species have a cameo in The Phantom Menace. During the Galactic Senate scene, the three members of ET’s species (one may in fact be ET) are seen representing presumably his home planet in the senate. This implies that his species are from a planet within the Galactic Republic. As ET’s species travel to Earth we then can establish that travel between the worlds in Star Wars and Earth is possible so they may not be as far away as assumed. Officially, ET’s species were present in The Phantom Menace because it was suggested by Spielberg to include them as an easter egg. But I do believe it adds a canonical layer to this overall theory.

Also, in ET: The Extra Terrestrial, ET famously recognises Yoda’s likeness in a child wearing a Halloween costume of him (and sounds like he’s saying “Home”). Again this is likely just an in-joke/easter egg but it does add another layer of canon to the theory. But this both acts as evidence for and against the conclusion that ET is from the Star Wars universe, since Star Wars is clearly a fictional film as toys and costumes of the characters exist. This is one flaw of the overall theory.

Star Trek references

There are several subtle references to the Star Wars universe in Star Trek (post Original Series era). This includes mention of Alderaan in both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine on several occasions. Also in Star Trek: First Contact, the Millenium Falcon can be seen flying by in the frame (image below)

millenium falcon in star trek

Also in Star Trek: Into Darkness, an R2 unit is seen hurtling through space (clip below).

As Star Trek is based in our universe and makes references to Star Wars in its own continuity, it can be assumed that Star Wars is also based in our universe. So Earth is a part of the Star Wars universe.

Alien Exodus

This piece of evidence though not canon now, was going to be canon and would have settled this debate once and for all. Alien Exodus was to become the first book in a trilogy of Expanded Universe novels by Robert J. Sawyer. It was to tell the story of the human race embarking on a colonial expedition from Earth to find a new home in a new galaxy around the 25th century. This was to present an ancient Star Wars history origin story for humans and would explain why they exist in the Star Wars universe, firmly linking their presence to Earth and space exploration. This would have meant the Star Wars would be showing our future as opposed to the distant past far away. This series was later completed by Deborah Chester and published as the Alien Chronicles with the Star Wars connection dropped entirely. An early draft of roughly 11,000 words can be read online (link below).

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

An R2 unit is briefly seen on the mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (upside down). Is this just an easter egg to give a nod to fans, or is it an attempts at hinting at a larger connection between the two narratives.

Soul Calibur IV

Soul Calibur IV is set on Earth in the 17th century but features appearances from Darth Vader, Yoda, and Starkiller (from The Force Unleashed games). I have not played this game to be honest so cannot add much more to this entry but this trailer gives some hint that the characters of Star Wars have travelled to the world to meet the characters of the Soul Calibur franchise.

Earth in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast through a cheat code

In the Jedi Outcast game by LucasArts, there is a cheat code that allows the player to see Earth when jumping to light-speed in their ship.

In Conclusion

I do believe there are many deliberate references to Earth in Star Wars which pushes the series firmly into the realm of science fiction as opposed to space fantasy. Although each of the above incidences in other franchises were perhaps intended as minor easter eggs as references to Star Wars, over time enough of them have built up a solid body of evidence to establish the Star Wars universe in the same continuity as many other science fiction franchises. This in turn by default establishes Star Wars as at least having links to our universe through small crossovers with other franchises and films that are set in our universe (like E.T., Star Trek, Soul Calibur, Close Encounters etc.).

I am not suggesting that this theory is taken too seriously or that it does not have holes in it but I believe it holds a lot of water and makes watching any of the above that little bit more fun and interesting. As with many Star Wars fan theories it is a nice piece of head-canon and adds a new dimension and fun twist to our viewing experiences. Furthermore, it is perhaps one of the more feasible fan theories around as to my mind the only thing contradicting it from the above points is that in E.T., Star Wars is clearly a work of fiction.

Further Reading

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