Star Wars symbols, their history, and meanings

Symbols in the Star Wars universe are basically insignias, emblems. They show which organization the person, vehicle, or building it belongs to.

In this post, we are gonna talk about the most iconic Star Wars symbols: their meaning, their history and who uses them.

Republic crest or the Galactic Roundel

The Republic crest

The Republic crest, also referred to as the Republic cog, was the ancient eight-spoked sigil of the Galactic Republic.

It dates back thousands of years to the Bendu monks who were instrumental in creating the Je’daii Order, the predecessor of the Holy Order of the Jedi Knights.

The Bendu believed the number nine signified the benevolent presence of the force and unity of the galaxy, and so they developed a symbol (the Galactic Roundel) consisting of a circle with eight spokes unified by a single core. (in our world the symbol could be paralleled with the Buddhist dharma wheel)

With the outbreak of the Clone Wars between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the crest came to be featured more prominently than before, appearing on brand new war machines, flags, and banners.

Many years later, the Galactic Roundel and its understood message of unity were adopted as the icon of the Galactic Republic and, eventually, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine turned the Republic into the First Galactic Empire, and the Republic crest was modified into the Imperial crest.

The Imperial Crest

Imperial Emblem

The Imperial crest was the six-spoked symbol of Sheev Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. It adorned many things Imperial, from uniforms and starships to flags and propaganda posters.

Under Palpatine’s rule, Imperial domination resulted in the deaths of millions and enslavement of countless species throughout the galaxies.

Ultimately, the Empire came to represent all that was evil in the galaxy and so the Republic Crest which was a symbol of unity and peace turned into a symbol that reminded evil and tyranny.

Imperial uniform with the Imperial crest

The Rebel Alliance

Rebel Alliance symbol

It portraits a Starbird, what we usually call as a phoenix. In canon Star Wars it evolved from the Starbird of Sabine Wren, a symbol she would leave as graffiti on Imperial property during missions.

Some people think its meaning is related to a phoenix being immortal, a being that resurrects from its ashes and The Rebellion is doing the same, trying to rebirth the Republic in the light, from the ashes of the Empire.

Others think it is based on the family crest of the Mareks. That it was chosen as a symbol of hope, and to honor Galen Marek who was Darth Vader’s secret apprentice. Galen sacrificed himself to protect the founders of the alliance.

Another possibility is that it was a nod to the seal of the Old Republic.

The Alliance Starbird is often spotted on pilots’ helmets and can also be seen on uniforms on the Resistance base in The Force Awakens:

Rebel Alliance pilots in a meeting with Leia

Sigil of the New Republic

Sigil of the New Republic

The sigil of the New Republic consisted of a stylized Starbird inside a sunburst. The symbol of a new era, it was based on the emblem of the Rebel Alliance that preceded the Republic.

The carbon-lace armors worn by the members of the New Republic Special Forces were marked with the sigil on the shoulders. The symbol of a changed day, a new dawn. The phoenix, genuinely reborn.

The sigil of the New Republic was created by Chris Zucker, a designer working for Del Rey.

The First Order insignia

 

The First Order logo

The First Order insignia was a sixteen-rayed symbol inscribed within a hexagon. It was the emblem of the First Order, a movement seeking to reclaim the legacy of the Galactic Empire.

Officers of the First Order wore the insignia on their caps, and also as a patch on their uniforms, in the region of the left upper arm:

First Order officer using its uniform

Separatist hex

Separatist Hex symbol

The Separatist hex symbol was used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. It was a hexagon with dark blue outlines resting on one of its bases, dissected into six triangles, and containing a smaller hexagon at its heart.

The final version of “Report Sedition”, a work of propaganda made by Chrigeld Tinnine for the Galactic Empire, depicted the arrest of a man who had just defaced an Imperial crest on a wall and painted a Separatist hex icon below it.

The Jedi Order symbol

Jedi Order symbol

The Jedi Order was an ancient, monastic peacekeeping organization united in their observance of the Force, specifically the light side. A noble order of protectors noted for their lightsabers and ability to tap into the power of the Force, the Jedi served as guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic for over a thousand generations.

The wings in it and what looks like a shining light represents their role and beliefs.

Any other important symbols we forgot?

If you wanna learn more about any other Star Wars symbol we didn’t mention here, let us know, and we will update this post with it. 😁

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