Hyperspace travel is one of the basic foundations of the Star Wars franchise. The technology that allows spaceships to travel at light-speed was introduced in 1977’s A New Hope, and it’s been crucial in every film and television series since then. This concept is what allows starships from both the Rebellion and the Empire to move from one corner of the galaxy to the other in relatively short amounts of time. Hyperspace travel has also been used to make rapid getaways, and even to create a devastating attack.
The Star Wars films and television series have shown that any ship enabled with a hyperdrive can perform the jump to light-speed, from A-Wings and the Razor Crest to Imperial Star Destroyers. The technology is more or less available to anyone in the galaxy and, although it’s sometimes problematic, it can easily be fixed. For a long time, hyperspace technology was just something that fans accepted as part of the Star Wars universe, never once questioning it. However, Star Wars: Rebels changed all of that with a surprising revelation.
In the Star Wars: Rebels Season 2, the crew of the Ghost are running low on fuel. In order to get more, not just for themselves but for the entire Rebel fleet, they locate an asteroid belt claimed by the Mining Guild. There, the guild was refining a gas known as Clouzon-36 to create fuel. Before they find the asteroid belt, however, the Rebels crew comes across a herd of Purrgil in the middle of open space. This species is a race of giant, tentacled space whale-like creatures who are rarely ever seen by travelers.
Hera is none too pleased to see them, as she tells stories that the rare occurrence of these space whales has led to the accidental deaths of some her friends. However, Ezra establishes a powerful connection with the Purrgil, and he comes to understand that they too are after the Clouzon on-36. The gas is a food source for the alien whales — and it’s the source of their most impressive ability: hyperspace travel. That’s right, at the end of the episode, the legends of the Purrgil were proven true. After consuming the Clouzon-36, the space whale’s tentacles begin to light up, and they all blast away at light-speed.
Therefore, the episode revealed that hyperspace travel is a natural ability that originally belonged to the Purrgil. The hyperdrives of spaceships were likely inspired by the individuals who noticed the whales’ abilities to travel at light-speed and tried to replicate it.
The Purrgils only returned in one other episode of Rebels, but they could always make a return further down the line in one of the upcoming Star Wars projects. After all, while their appearances were few, their introduction changed the scope of the Star Wars universe and made it all the more special.
Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 changed everything fans knew about hyperspace travel with the introduction of the mysterious Purrgil.