Lucasfilm uses FileMaker database to tracks Star Wars universe continuity

Posted by Justin Hesser on December 29, 2014

Since the first film hit the big screen in 1977, the Star Wars universe has expanded through sequels, prequels, books, video games and all manner of additional merchandise, making it likely the most extensive universe in fiction. Among passionate fans, a continuity error between two different episodes can lead to “Han shot first” levels of controversy. In order to avoid such contradictions, since 2000 Lucasfilm has maintained a vast database of characters, languages, planets, races, vehicles and weapons since the turn of the century.

The Holocron, named after a Force-powered repository of Jedi knowledge, is in fact a FileMaker database operated by Lucasfilm employee Leland Chee. Its full contents are strictly private, since it includes information on works that are in development. It goes into astounding levels of detail, such as providing names to characters who were never named and had but a single line in the films.

“A lot of that information, like naming of background characters, especially from the films, came from that Decipher collectible card game,” said Chee to NPR. “Most of their card sets were pre-Episode I, so it was mostly classic trilogy material, and they were naming every single background character. They were also pulling from the Star Wars Holiday Special as well, because they had image reference for that. But yeah, if someone wasn’t named, they would name them.”

Every character and location in the extended Star Wars universe are accounted for in the Holocron.

Chee points out that the database is “not that complex,” just extremely comprehensive. Indeed, FileMaker development can provide businesses with similarly detailed looks into their operations. Whether the subject is intergalactic warfare or something more mundane, a relational database can help keep track of essential information.