This article original started as “Things I wish I never knew about Star Wars” but quickly turned into a drunken rant about Han Solo’s 12 parsec Kessel run. Maybe someday I will revisit my original article, but until then, enjoy my UN-edited rant.
After watching Star Wars I in 3D, I went a bit nuts and watched the rest of the series after returning home from the theater. It has been a while since I have watched the complete series, and I decided to look some things up as I watched. The things I learned were disturbing, and I wish I could un-learn them. But since I can’t, I am going to ruin it for every other casual Star Wars fan (like myself)!
Exactly what is a Parsec?
“ You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? … It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.”
I’m sure you remember Han Solo spouting this off to Skywalker trying to express the speed of his ship. Sounds fast right? I’m sure that you are now wondering “how fast is a parsec” but instead you should be asking yourself, “WHAT is a parsec.” Well guess what, Mr. Solo has deceived you. Don’t feel bad, that bastard got me too. This is the quote that got me started researching the Star Wars shenanigans. I was hoping to find out exactly, how fast is 1 parsec? What I learned was disturbing. Apparently, a parsec doesn’t measure time at all, rather it measures distance!
Now I’m thinking, “Wait a second, how the fuck did he make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs if a parsec doesn’t even measure time! Shouldn’t the Kessel run be a set number of parsecs?!?”
According to Wookipedia, the Kessel run is 18 parsecs:
The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si’Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel’s mines.
So how did Han shorten an 18 Parsec trip to 12? He cheated, that’s how! So not only is he a liar, he is a cheater!
Ok, so he isn’t really either. Wookipedia goes onto explain exactly how it is all possible. Apparently, the Kessel run borders a black hole that *most* ships can’t fly very close to. However, the speedy Millennium Falcon, is able to fly closer than any other ship and make the run in only 12 parsecs.
So technically Solo didn’t lie about the speed of his craft, nor did he cheat on the Kessel run. But personally I think that it was an after thought. I have no clue where Wookipedia got this information, nor do I care, but a Parsec should just be what it claims, a measure of SPEED!
Final thoughts on the Parsec
While Han Solo is technically not a liar, I still feel that he has deceived me all of these years. He could have just told it like it was “Screw you kid, this ship is fast as hell.” There, see how easy that was? No questions as to how fast the Falcon is.
Now to address the Hardcore fans that are probably going to tear this post apart. I don’t care. This is how I see it. I didn’t read the books. I haven’t played the games. I don’t belong to any Star Wars porn sites. This was written strait from my interpretation of the films.