Even if you've never seen Star Wars (yes, there are people who haven't, and no, we still don't understand how that's possible), you know the opening phrase, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ..."
The thing is that while Star Wars takes place in an entire galaxy, the movies really only follow a small number of people on a handful of planets, and a good chunk of them are from the same family. However, what you might not know is that there are dozens and dozens of books, video games, comics and several TV shows that expand the Star Wars galaxy even further. And the size of that galaxy has not been calculated.
Researchers fed hundreds of webpages talking about Star Wars, including the hilarious site named Wookieepedia, into a computer program. It found that the Star Wars properties actually include 21,647 characters in 640 communities on 294 planets. Oh, and that's in a 36,000 year time span cover six major periods: "before the Republic, the Old Republic, the Empire, the Rebellion, the New Republic, and the Jedi Order."
The program also looked at the connections between characters, finding that the three most connected are Anakin Skywalker, Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine and Luke Skywalker. Strangely, lovable Jedi Master Yoda came in at 15th, which is the least of any major character. Although that might change if the proposed Yoda movie makes it to the screens.
The researchers behind the project say that the techniques they used to organize a massive amount of data from scattered Internet pages could be adapted for other, more serious research in the future.