Can You Recognize All of These 11 ‘Star Wars’ Insignias & Symbols?
The Star Wars universe is sprawling—rich in characters, locations, alliances, and factions. And there’s so much care to detail in the canon, that it feels almost impossible to know every bit of lore or trivia. It’s a richness that shouldn’t surprise us, really— what else could we expect from a space opera phenomenon that started in 1977 and has never stopped growing since then?
Each new movie, television show, book, or comic series adds some new elements to the world-building and the lore— making it beautifully immersive for fans but maybe not the easiest to navigate for those who are just now getting into it. Many of the alliances and factions come with a symbol or insignia that appears time and time again (both in-universe and on every item of merchandise you can think of). Making them easy signifiers for those who have consumed every piece of the Star Wars universe, less easy if you’re a more casual fan.
Are you a superfan? Or just a casual watcher? Do you think you could remember what every one of these insignias relates to? Well, here’s your shot to prove that you are fit to rule an empire.
Scroll down for answers (and explainers) below!
Here are 11 of the recurring and most significant Star Wars symbols.
A. The Rebel Alliance
Found on pilot helmets and X-Wing fighters throughout the entire Original Trilogy, the crest of the Rebel Alliance is probably one of the most beloved insignia in the entire Star Wars canon. It’s also known as the Alliance Starbird since it technically represents a phoenix—a fitting animal to embody the intention of the Alliance to help the Republic rise again from the ashes of the Galactic Empire.
According to Wookieepedia, the Alliance Starbird was also chosen as an homage to the Marek family, and in particular to Galen Marek—a character of the expanded Star Wars canon who was raised as a Sith apprentice by Darth Vader but ended up betraying him and saving the three founders of the Alliance in the process.
B. The Jedi
The legendary knights of the Jedi Order, who we see go from full splendor to all but legends throughout the nine episodes of Star Wars, are represented across the galaxy by the Jedi crest, also known as the Jedi Insignia. It depicts a stylized version of a winged lightsaber, signifying their allegiance to the light side of the Force.
C. Yoda’s Crest
The Prequel Trilogy introduced the idea that high-ranking Jedi Masters had their own personalized crests—and it did so by showing that the doors leading into Grand Master Yoda’s quarters at the Jedi Temple in Coruscant were adorned by a particular insignia. That same insignia appears on various pieces of furniture in his living space, as well as on the wing of his personal starfighter. It features two glyphs meant to represent Yoda’s name—according to both the 1994 novel The Courtship of Princess Leia and the statement of conceptual artist Philip Metschan, who designed the crest for Attack of the Clones.
D. The Sith
We don’t see the official symbol of the Sith very often throughout the main Star Wars canon, but of course, the polar opposites of the Jedi Order also have their own insignia—which was undoubtedly met with fear and swift action whenever it appeared throughout the galaxy.
E. The Old Republic
The Jedi order was a massive influence during the early history of the Republic, thousands of years before the events of the Prequel Trilogy—defending it during the Great Galactic Wars against the Sith Empire. That influence is evident to see in the logo that the Republic chose to adopt, which greatly resembles the one of the Jedi Order.
F. The Galactic Republic
The symbol of the Galactic Republic evolved as time went on and wars were fought and won—at the time of the Prequel Trilogy, the official crest was the Galactic Roundel, also known as the Insignia of Unity. It consists of an eight-rayed stellar symbol, meant to actually symbolize the number nine—with eight rays and one central disc—which was believed to embody the Force present within a united galaxy.
G. The Galactic Senate
The legislative body of the Galactic Republic was the Galactic Senate, whose seats were filled by senators —like Padmé Amidala—hailing from all the planets of the galaxy. The Empire transformed it into the Imperial Senate, even though its powers were pretty much stripped away by Emperor Sheev Palpatine. The Senate also had an official crest, which included elements of the Galactic Roundel as well as being shaped like the actual Senate Building in Coruscant.
H. The Galactic Empire
The Imperial crest, also known as the Imperial insignia or Imperial logo, was the official symbol adopted by the Galactic Empire after it managed to rise to power after having toppled the Galactic Republic at the end of both the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Purge. It’s a modified version of the Republic’s crest, with six spokes instead of eight—and it was an omnipresent sight throughout the galaxy when the Empire was in power.
I. The Separatists
Another Clone Wars era symbol, this hex icon was used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems at the height of the war and featured a hexagon outlined in dark blue, dissected into six smaller triangles.
J. The First Order
The First Order is the main antagonist of the Sequel trilogy—and since it’s a movement trying to reclaim the legacy of the Galactic Empire, it’s no surprise that their symbol also resembles that of the Empire itself. The First Order insignia, also known as the hexagonal sigil, includes sixteen rays inscribed within a hexagon—a stylization of an explosion pushing against the restraint that is trying to contain it.
K. The New Republic
The New Republic is the form of government that emerged once the Rebel Alliance managed to topple the Empire and restore democracy throughout the galaxy—and so it makes sense that the main focus of its official crest is the Alliance Starbird, in blue rather than the red it usually appears in. The Starbird is bordered by a circle of stars — representing the galactic community— and a golden circle standing for the right of the people to govern themselves.
And let’s not forget one of the most famous symbols of all—lightsabers themselves. Yes, they’re not an insignia technically but their meaning is perhaps the most recognizable, to fans and non-fans alike—a red kyber crystal means allegiance to the dark side of the Force, while other colors like green, blue and purple are the ones most frequently found in Jedi lightsabers.
But if we look at insignia and insignia only, then I have been and forever will be partial to the Rebel Alliance crest, of course—but what is your favorite?
(featured image: Lucasfilm)
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