And here’s something really interesting. Empire Magazine gives us our first canonical map of the galaxy:
UGH, they kept the Unknown Regions as a giant blot that reaches right next to the Galactic Core. So DUMB.
I’ve always maintained that the Unknown Regions should have been one of the spiral arms of the galaxy. At least that would have made some sense.
Hasn’t it always been like that in SW canon though?
It’s still stupid.
It takes Yoda – what? – a couple hours to take a trip from Coruscant to Moraband, but no one from Coruscant’s ever sent explorers into the Unknown Regions, which is significantly closer to Coruscant than Moraband is?
Personally, I feel that when the powers-that-be decided to reintroduce the Unknown Regions, either the Unknown and Known Regions of the galaxy should have swapped places (making the Republic/Empire/etc. a smaller corner of a larger, unexplored galaxy) or the Unknown Regions should have been made to completely surround the Known Regions, like a ring.
It is a bit odd, but then again we had Vikings in real life travelling as far as to the Midlle East (possibly even China), yet hardly anyone ever thought about travelling across the Atlantic ocean. Once you’ve established trade-routes in one direction, you usually have very few reasons to travel in the other direction. It’s just a waste of time and money.
Also is there any canon-for how long these journeys really take? For all we know a trip from Coruscant to Moraband might take days, if not weeks. And even if it doesn’t take that long, it does help to have light-speed when you know exactly what planet you’re aiming for. Space is mostly just emptiness, and exploring the Unknown Regions regardless of how close the borders are would still just be a very slow sub-light-speed scan of mostly empty space. When the other half of the galaxy is explored, why waste your time and money on the other?
Having said that, however, I would have preferred it to be a little bit further away from the core. But it also does kind of make sense, so I’m not going to waste any effort getting annoyed at it.
I would however be very interested to hear why they specifically decided to design the SW-galaxy like that. I still find it an oddly specific thing to add to the canon.