Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Background

Okay, so dig this. This has been bugging me for a long time, and since I am a [Doctor] I thought I'd put my [degree] to the test and figure out the scientific answer to this fucker.

First off, here's the Millennium Falcon:

Next, a little background. In Star Wars: A New Hope this exchange happens:

Han Solo: I'm captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you're lookin' for passage to the Alderaan system?
Obi-Wan: Yes indeed, if it's a fast ship.
Han Solo: Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?
Obi-Wan: Should I have?
Han Solo: It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. I've outrun Imperial starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships now. She's fast enough for you old man.
Now, here's the problem... a parsec isn't a unit of time, in fact it's a unit of distance. 1 Parsec is equal to 3.262 light years, another distance. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "But wait? Parsec sounds like a unit of time... so does lightyears..." Well, you're wrong. Cause those motherfuckers are units of distance. A lightyear is the distance covered by something going the speed of light for a year, and a parsec is a the motherfucking distance from the Earth to a star that has a parallax angle of one arc-second.

Let me boil that down: a parsec is a fucking ridiculous huge distance.

So essentially Han Solo is looking at the old man and saying: "The ship is fast enough for you! It went a really long way!" Which when you think about it makes absolutely zero sense.

There are a lot of theories as to how this poorly written piece of dialogue could make sense... and I've done a shit ton of research and we're going to figure out once and for all what the shit George Lucas meant.


[Dr.] Dru Johnston, the only astronomer who earned his doctorate from the school of hard knocks.


  1. Ok so I know the secret to the kessel run. The usual distance a ship takes to complete the kessel run is 18 parsecs. The Malllinium Folcan has on board one of the most advanced navigational computers of the time period. This Solo won in a bet with his old pal, I forget his name but he now runs the mining city. The Folcon it's self is a hunk of junk, however the computer on board gives it the ability to calculate the absolute shortest distances from point a to b in space safely. Therefore the ship making the kessel run in just 12 parsecs instead of the usual 18 is an incredible feat. No human could calculate a rout that well. It is the advanced computer on board that does the work, which still gives the ship credit and not the pilot.