Star Wars: Shards
The Tapani Sector is a fairly young segment of space, filled with nebulae, gas clouds, and coalescing systems. The many fiery red and ice blue tendrils of intergalactic vapor and gas clouds are beautiful and majestic, but they also make the sector a difficult one to navigate through. In many other sectors a dense network of hyperlanes links every world with just about every other world. The Tapani sector has only a few drifting space lanes linking its various parts. This is because most of the hyperlanes are unstable, and establishing multiple routes is not feasible.
Millennia ago, traveling through hyperspace was extremely perilous everywhere, because interstellar space is clogged with dangerous debris and a rather dense population of gravitaional fields. Such hazards and obstructions could be discovered only through trial and error and mistakes were usually fatal. Over time, certain routes between planets were found to be fairly safe, and the Republic Spacelane Bureau established a network of hyperspace buoys linking them together. Eventually, powerful navicomputers were developed to store and process all the possible hyperspace jumps deemed safe, and spaceship captains gained the freedom to travel the stars without slavishly following the buoys.
However, some areas of space are so choked with galactic debris and celestial objects that safe hyperspace travel is all but impossible without hyperspace buoys, even in the modern Imperial era. The Tapani sector is so cluttered with debris that a hyperspace buoy must monitor just about every system. The only truly stable route through the sector is the Shapani Bypass. Travelers can safely shunt up and down the Bypass without dropping out of hyperspace year in and year out.
The other spacelanes of the sector are less stable, and are maintained by hyperspace buoys guarding each system. Interstellar drift causes dangerous obstructions to enter hyperspace routes on a regular basis, and the buoys monitor the situation and recalibrate routes on the fly. Ships passing through a cluttered area must drop out of hyperspace at a buoy juncture and load the new data before continuing. Such interruptions to one’s trip are annoying, and in some pirate infested regions, highly dangerous. (But not as dangerous as blowing by the buoy and entering an unclear hyperlane.)
The Shapani Bypass and Giju Run are the only known exits to the sector. There may well be a few secret routes leading out of the sector, but if there are, those in the know aren’t telling. Certainly, such a route would be worth trillions of credits to some government.
As is the nature of hyperspace lane travel, gravitational shifts – especially when it happens in conjunction with the various nebula or interstellar gas clouds that litter the sector – creates what can only be termed as a “stellar quake” or a disruption in the hyperspace lane. Quite dangerous in general, it can make a lane risky to travel or completely shut off a lane.
To repair these lanes, the hyperspace buoys are subsequently equipped with gravitational distortion fields that try and lessen the disruption which has made the lane dangerous to travel. In very rare and extreme cases, entire routes have vanished entirely due to a particularly strong disruption.