The reach of Star Wars is tremendous, bleeding into the zeitgeist for over 40 years and becoming a part of everyday language, but even George Lucas could never have imagined that Star Wars would reach 50 million light years away to a destination known as the Darth Vader galaxy far, far, FAR away.
Darth Vader’s Galaxy, also known as NGC 936, is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Cetus, the Whale. It lies at an approximate distance of 50 million light years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 10.2.
NGC 936 occupies an area of 4.7 by 4.1 arcminutes of apparent sky. It was nicknamed after the Twin Ion Engine (TIE) starfighters, which were part of the Imperial fleet in the Star Wars universe. Lord Vader himself used one of these fighters in Episode IV.
The galaxy has a bright bulge and a prominent bar structure crossing it. Together with the bright ring of stars around the galaxy’s core, these resemble the cockpit and wings of the TIE fighters. The structure is visible in amateur telescopes.