For over four decades now, Star Wars fans have pondered and argued over what the nature was of the cosmic object in the final scene of Empire Strikes Back.. Many have assumed it was a distant view of the galaxy far, far away from a view of… well… very far, far away. Others claim it was a nebula or perhaps an exploding star. All wrong.
Well people, in the words of everyone’s favorite Malastarian senator, Ask Aak “The debate is over.”
We now finally have a definitive answer on what the mysterious object in space is. From the good authority of Pablo Hidalgo, who has been a long-time writer behind many of the franchise’s reference materials that are used to settle such matters.
In a series of recent tweets, Hidalgo discussed the nature of the star-like object and how its identity had changed several times over the years. For many, it was a source of contention that the object was a view of the Star Wars galaxy from afar.
Many analyzers have determined that such a view would be impossible unless the rebel fleet had been traveling for countless thousands of lightyears across interstellar space.
Indeed, it is not the galaxy or a nebula or even a black hole. Hidalgo confirms that the celestial object in question is in fact a protostar although he concedes that this is only the current understanding of the object.
There have in fact been conflicting sources regarding this, both canon and non-canon. Originally the object was meant to be a large red star, according to the novelization of Episode V which was released prior to the film. When the time came to actually create the concept, the set piece ended up being a concoction of “baking soda and glass beads on a tabletop covered with black velvet.”
Other sources actually did once identify the object as the galaxy viewed from beyond, causing much confusion over a lengthy stretch of time. Another classic example of how the sheer size of information in the franchise can sometimes buckle under its own weight.
Despite us now having a seemingly confirmed take on the issue, it is unlikely we have heard the last of this debate.
What did you originally think the space object was? Let us know in the comments below! For all things Star Wars, be sure to check out Dork Side of the Force.