From A-Z: A Star Wars Glossary

Definitions of Star Wars Terms

An action figure of Rey from the Star Wars Film Franchise
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Want to learn more about the Star Wars universe? Check out these helpful definitions.


ABY: Stands for "After the Battle of Yavin," designates the years after the events shown in "Star Wars: A New Hope" with the destruction of the Death Star by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance.

Agricultural Corps: a branch of the Jedi Order that focused on helping people through cultivating crops. It first appears in "Jedi Apprentice: The Rising Force" by Dave Wolverton (1999). Because Obi-Wan Kenobi was not initially chosen as a Padawan, he was sent off to join the AgriCorps until Qui-Gon Jinn took him on as an apprentice.

Anzati: The Anzati are an alien race that have many characteristics in common with vampires: they hunger for the life force of other beings, subdue their victims with mind control, live for millennia, are incredibly fast and strong, and have no pulse.

Archaic Lightsaber: The first lightsabers were created by the Jedi around 15,500 BBY. The blades were dangerously unstable, however, using large amounts of power and tending to overheat. As a result, these early lightsabers served as ceremonial objects rather than weapons. Functional lightsabers were developed after 5000 BBY.

Astromech Droid: A type of robot that usually served as a mechanic and backup computer for small spaceships. R2-D2 is an example.

AT-AT (All-Terrain Armored Transport): The Imperial Walker battle transports that are about 50 feet tall and have the appearance of giant four-legged monsters, armed with laser cannons and blasters.

AT-ST (All-Terrain Scout Transport): The smaller Imperial transport that has two legs and stands only about 28 feet high. It lacks the heavy armor and can run over 55 miles per hour, using their front-mounted weapons to attack vehicles and mow down infantry.


Bacta: A medical treatment fluid that accelerates healing and can treat even major injuries in almost all species. It first appears in "Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back," when Luke Skywalker is submerged in a bacta tank after the Wampa attacks him.

Battle of Endor: The battle fought by the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire in "Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi." The second Death Star is destroyed and Darth Vader kills the Emperor, dying and redeeming himself as Anakin Skywalker.

Battle of Yavin: The Battle of Yavin occurred at the end of "Episode IV: A New Hope," when the Rebels fought the Empire and destroyed the first Death Star. It became the dividing line for the dating system, with the battle occurring in year 0.

BBY: Stands for "Before the Battle of Yavin," designates years before the events shown in "Star Wars: A New Hope" with the destruction of the Death Star by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance.


Clone Wars: The Clone Wars lasted from 22 to 19 BBY. A Separatist movement, led by former Jedi Count Dooku, sought to secede. The Republic had the assistance of a clone army commissioned by a Jedi who foresaw the conflict years earlier. However, the entire war was a ruse as both Dooku and Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic were Sith who used it to gain control and massacre the Jedi by having the clones turn on them.

Curved-hilt Lightsaber: Has a curve at the top of the hilt, causing the blade to project at a slight angle compared to a standard lightsaber. Used by Count Dooku.


Dark Jedi: Followers of the dark side of the Force, in different eras they may have joined the Sith or been sympathetic to them.

Darth: A title of the Sith, preceding the new name taken by the Sith, signifying the transformation they underwent on their path to the dark side. 

Doubled-bladed Lightsaber: A lightsaber with an extra-long hilt that has a blade emitter on each end. It was used by Darth Maul in "Episode I: The Phantom Menace."


Endor Holocaust: Imperial propaganda that the Ewoks were killed in the destruction of the second Death Star over Endor in 4 ABY. However, the debris did not cause significant damage on that moon. Most of it was sucked into a hyperspace wormhole, and the Rebel Alliance ensured no large debris rained down on the moon.


The Force: An energy field created by all living things that binds them together. Jedi and other Force users access the Force with the help of midi-chlorians, microscopic organisms inside their cells.

Force Ghost: The spirit of a dead Force user who is able to communicate with the living. It is a skill that is learned. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn became Force Ghosts.

Force Lightning: A Force attack in the form of electrical energy, channeled through the hands. It is usually used by a Sith.


Gray Jedi: Force-users who are neither Jedi nor Sith and who may used both the light side and the dark side of the Force.

Great Jedi Purge: The events seen in "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" as Chancellor Palpatine executes Order 66 to wipe out the Jed and take Sith control of Republic. It continues for the next few years as Jedi are hunted down and exterminated.


Imperial Knights: A faction of light-side Force users serving the Fel Emperor in the comics "Star Wars: Legacy." They are distinct from the Jedi.


Jedi: A member of the Jedi Order, who studies and apprentices in using the light side of the Force and may be accepted as a Jedi Knight.

Jedi Knight: A Jedi who has completed his training and passed the trials to become a knight. Most Jedi remain knights throughout the rest of their lives, serving the Jedi Order.

Jedi Master: The highest rank in the Jedi Order, reserved for only the most talented and awarded by the Jedi Council.


Kriff: A swear word, can be substituted for the f-word.


Lightsaber: A blade made of pure energy wielded by Force-users in the Star Wars universe.

Lightwhip: A rare variation of the lightsaber. Its handle projects a flexible, whip-like energy beam around one or multiple tassels. It first appeared in the "Marvel Star Wars" comic book series, wielded by the Sith Lady Lumiya.

Lost Tribe of the Sith: A Sith order created for the Expanded Universe series "Fate of the Jedi." They were isolated from the rest of the galaxy for 5,000 years and developed different traditions of the Force.


Midi-chlorians:  Microscopic organisms which allow Jedi and other Force-sensitive beings to connect to the Force.

Mind trick: Jedi techniques using suggestion on weaker-minded individuals.

Moff: The title of sector governors in the Galactic Empire.


Nightsisters: an all-female organization of Dark Jedi who use the dark side of the Force.


One Sith: A new Sith organization that replaced the Rule of Two. It was first introduced in the "Star Wars: Legacy" comic series. With this rule, there can be many Sith and all are subservient to the head of the Sith Order.

Order 66: The order Chancellor Palpatine gave the Grand Army of the Republic in "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" to have the clone army kill their Jedi leaders, starting the Great Jedi Purge.


Padawan: A Jedi apprentice.

Potentium: A philosophy of the Force stating that the Force is a benevolent entity, with no inherent light side or dark side.

Protocol Droid: A humanoid-shaped droid that aids sentients with etiquette and relations, such as C-3PO.


Rule of Two: The rule that there can only be one Sith master and one Sith apprentice, established around 1000 BBY.


Shoto: A short-bladed lightsaber most often used as an off-hand weapon.

Sith: An order of Force-sensitive beings who use the dark side of the Force.


Telekinesis: The ability to manipulate and move objects using the Force.

TIE Fighter: Imperial one-man starfighters with a spherical cockpit, hexagonal wings, and two chin-mounted laser canons. 

Training Lightsaber: The blade of a Jedi training lightsaber is shielded by a powerful electromagnetic field. At worst, a hit from a training lightsaber will produce a painful burn. 


The Unifying Force: The theory of the Unifying Force states that the Force is a singular entity, with no inherent light side and dark side. It was first introduced in the "New Jedi Order" series, where it was adopted by the New Jedi Order.


Witches of Dathomir: an all-female organization of Force users from the planet Dathomir. Although they use the light side of the Force, they are one of many organizations distinct from the Jedi Order, having different philosophies and traditions. 


Youngling: A common term for a child in the first stages of Jedi training. It is also a generic, species-neutral word for a young child.