Common Star Wars Terminology: A Glossary for Newbies

New to Star Wars? You’re not alone. New content for Star Wars is coming out on Disney+ all the time, so Star Wars is gaining lots of new fans. If you’re just getting into the Star Wars universe and maybe haven’t seen all the movies yet, it can be easy to get lost in all the terminology.

That’s why I’ve put together this helpful guide that will walk you through Star Wars’ most popular terms! Come on, stormtrooper (which I’ll explain in a second,) it’s time to move out!

1. The Force

You can think of the Force like spiritualists think of energy. The Force is a living, breathing thing that is both tangible and not. It exists in everyone and everything. Some people can harness and control it, but those people are a special few. You can fight with the Force, like Jedis and Siths, and those that do live their life trying to better understand it.

2. Jedi

Star Wars Jedi
Image from Star Wars Fandom

Jedis fight with the Light Side of the Force and dedicate their lives to the service of others. Jedis learn to fully control their emotions, harness their will, and fight with a lightsaber. There used to be many Jedis, but now Rey Skywalker is the only remaining Jedi in the galaxy.

3. Padawan

A padawan is an apprentice of a Jedi. Padawans often get to accompany the Jedi who trains them, who they refer to as “Master,” on missions to learn how to live, fight, and protect people as a Jedi.

4. Sith

Siths have dedicated their lives to wrath, pain, a lust for power, and fighting with the Dark Side of the Force. Siths always have red lightsabers because fueling a kyber crystal with negative emotions like rage and pain to form a lightsaber causes the crystal to turn anywhere from a bright red to a dark crimson.

5. Sith Lord

There are only ever 2 Sith Lords in the galaxy at a time-one Master who is the representative of the Dark Side of the Force and an apprentice to one day kill and overtake them. The cycle is destined to repeat.

6. Droid

“Droid” constitutes any robot you see in Star Wars. Most droids are intelligent with their own distinctive personalities, thoughts, and emotions (like R2-D2.)

7. Battle Droid

Battle droids are humanoid droids designed for war. When it comes to their own will, they don’t have any of their own, they’re armed, and they can all act as one.

8. Lightsaber

Star Wars Lightsaber
Image from Star Wars Fandom

These are the weapons of Jedis and Siths. Lightsabers can be shut on and off simply by willing it for those who are strong with the Force. They consist of a plasma blade, a kyber crystal, and a metal hilt.

9. Jedi Knight

Jedi Knights are a special class of Jedi who focus on peaceful acts to protect the people instead of violent ones. Jedi Knights will only ever strike an opponent as a last-resort in self-defense or out of the defense of others.

10. Jedi Master

Jedi Masters, like Jedi Master Yoda, represent a rank of Jedi who have advanced past Jedi Knight and obtained complete mastery over the Force. Jedi Masters are ordained by the Jedi Grand Master.

11. Clones

Thousands of clones of the famous bounty hunter Jango Fett (Boba Fett’s father) were used to make up the original stormtrooper army. Every single clone was originally a clone of the same human man.

12. Galactic Empire

The Galactic Empire represents every planet, solar system, and galaxy overtaken by the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. The Galactic Empire was vaster than human comprehension and a huge number of beings were a part of it.

13. Death Star

The Death Star is the Galactic Empire’s HQ starship in space. The original Death Star was 120 km in diameter, while the second, DS-2 Death Star, was 160 km in diameter.

14. Wookiee

Wookie Star Wars
Image from Star Wars Fandom

Chewbacca is a wookiee! Wookiees are a sentient, humanoid species native to the planet Kashyyyk. They look similar to Bigfoot.

15. TIE Fighter

TIE Fighters are fast single-person starfighters from the Galactic Empire. Imperial pilots would use TIE Fighters to engage in aerial combat with Rebel X-Wings and other single-person starfighters.

16. X-Wing

X-Wing Fighters are agile single-person starfighters used by Rebels. You often see X-Wing pilots trying to outmaneuver and shoot down TIE Fighters to protect the heavier Y-Wing Fighters.

17. Y-Wing

Y-Wing Fighters are another type of starfighter used by Rebel pilots. Unlike X-Wing Fighters which are used for agility and protection from enemies, Y-Wing Fighters are used for dropping heavy bombs on the Imperial army.

18. Stormtrooper

Stormtroopers are a massive collective of Imperial troops that serve the Sith Lord. Originally, every stormtrooper was a clone of Jango Fett. Later, when the Galactic Empire could no longer access the factory that made Jango Fett clones, they use a much less expensive army of recruits.

19. The Empire

The Empire constitutes every piece of the galaxy that is under the control of both Sith Lords.

20. The Rebel Alliance

The Rebel Alliance is made up of everyone from every planet who opposes Imperial rule. While Princess Leia leads the Rebel Alliance, there are a huge number of beings who comprise the entire group.

21. The Dark Side

Dark Side Star Wars
Image from Star Wars Fandom

The Dark Side represents the unpredictable, emotionally-driven side of the Force. Its essence is fear, pain, lust for power, and aggression. In contrast, the Light Side of the Force represents logic, honesty, compassion, selflessness, and enlightenment.

22. Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon is Han Solo’s starship. While it frequently needs repairs, it’s an incredibly reliable and iconic ship.

23. Smuggler

Smugglers don’t want to pay the pricey taxes and restrictions on the transportation of goods, so they illegally transport them across the galaxy. This is extremely illegal. Han Solo is a smuggler.

24. Hutt

Hutts are species of sentient, slug-like beings who inhabit the planet, Nal Hutta. Jabba the Hutt, the ultimate crime lord, is the most notable hutt in the Star Wars universe.

25. Carbonite

This is a solid metal alloy with a base of carbon. Carbonite becomes significant when Han Solo is frozen in a solid block of it in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

26. Nerfherder

Nerfherding is considered a lower-class job for beings who herd a species called nerfs. It became a popular term to use as an insult. Princess Leia famously calls Han Solo a nerfherder, but now we all know it was out of love.

27. First Order

The First Order is the dictatorship that replaces the Galactic Empire after it falls. Darth Vader’s grandson, Kylo Ren, is in charge under Darth Sidious.

28. Old Republic

The Old Republic is the system of government that ruled the galaxy before it was overthrown by the Galactic Empire. This old system of government used to have an entire council of Jedis.

29. Tatooine

Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker were both born on Tatooine. Tatooine is a desert planet on the outer rim, separated from much of the rest of the galaxy.

You’ve Done Well, Young Padawan

George Lucas created an expansive universe, didn’t he? Have more questions about Star Wars terminology? Feel free to toss them below! For more great Star Wars content, come check out our website!

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