Why Did Han Solo Say He Made the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs?
May 30, · So how did Han manage to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? As he says in Solo: "Take a shortcut." Although the shortest distance between two . Mar 15, · In Star Wars A New Hope, Han Solo brags that the Millennium Falcon can do the Kessel Run in only 12 Parsecs. Naturally everyone assumed a Parsec was a measur.
The Kessel Run pxrsecs a hyperspace route  within the Akkadese Maelstrom used by smugglers and unscrupulous freighter captains to move spice from the spice mines of Kessel at the behest of the Pyke Syndicatewho relied on the foolhardy Kessel Runs to deliver the illicit substance to their customers.
In a commentary track how to air dry hair quickly the Star Wars Blu-ray release, George Lucas stated that ships in the Star Wars universe can't travel in straight lines while in hyperspace due to collisions with celestial objects.
Thus, distance is an important factor in how quickly a ship can get from point A to point B. The Millennium Falcon ' s superior navigation computer allowed it to travel shorter distances between points and arrive faster. Canon sources tl on the veracity of Solo's claim of the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy describes the claim as a "lie" that the inexperienced Luke Skywalker is impressed with, but which the seasoned Obi-Wan Kenobi recognizes as nothing more than a boast. This wiki. This wiki All wikis. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Do you like this video? Play Sound.
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A Parsec by Any Other Name
May 27, · In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Han Solo and his team make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs (but they're rounding down, of course, because it's more impressive), despite Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) saying that it can't be done in less than 20 parsecs. But, in order to make up for lost time and get to Savareen before the coaxium explodes, not to mention avoid being captured by an Imperial Author: Mansoor Mithaiwala. Because the shortened Kessel Run spans 12 parsecs ( light-years), a ship traveling nearly light-speed would take a little more than years to get there. Factoring in time dilation, anyone. May 31, · There's an infamous line in Star Wars: A New Hope where Han Solo brags that the Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs." And for 41 years, Star Wars fans have been quick to Occupation: Culture Editor.
A parsec is a unit of distance, not time, so why would Solo use it to explain how quickly his ship could travel? There are two stories going on here. The first is that Solo's famous line of dialog was simply a mistake of terminology.
The second — the one I choose believe — is far more interesting, because it means that when Obi-Wan sat down across from the wryly smiling Han Solo in that cramped cantina, he met a time-traveling smuggler born at least 40 years before the events of The Phantom Menace ever took place.
What this awesome-to-say description really means is that if you were to draw a straight line between an object and the Earth, and a straight line between the object and the Sun, if the angle between the lines is one-arcsecond, then the object is one parsec away — or 3. So why would Solo describe how quickly he traveled it using a word that described distance?
It turns out that the expanded universe of the Star Wars franchise — the additional books and content created within the Star Wars universe but outside of the films — contains an answer to that question. To cut down on the distance traveled, pilots could dangerously skirt the edges of the black holes, while trying to avoid spaghettification. If Solo was a skilled enough — or crazy enough — pilot to deviate from the typical route and fly close enough to the black holes to cut nearly 20 light-years off his space odometer, then his ship was fast indeed — the power required to stay out of the gape of an event horizon is something worth bragging about.
So by being able to dance around singularities, the Millennium Falcon establishes itself as a fast ship — and Solo's famous brag makes sense.
But this brings up a bigger, more inherent problem: The Kessel Run that Solo completed covered nearly 40 light-years of cosmos. So for the purposes of calculating the Kessel Run, let's say the Millennium Falcon is the fastest ship ever.
Somehow able to withstand the forces involved perhaps it has something to do with that sweet tractor-beam tech , we can calculate what happens when Han and his baby go Because of special relativity, time dilates or expands outward as the moving observer travels faster and faster.
The faster Han goes, the less time he experiences — even if we see him traveling over light years. This is what Han Solo experiences in the Millennuum Falcon. At these ludicrous speeds, time itself contracts.
A clock running on a ship moving Not only do clocks obey this contraction, but biology does too. Anyone on a hypervelocity ship will age more slowly than those not on the ship.
For example, if we transport a super-accurate atomic clock across the globe by plane , we have to correct for the discrepancy between it and another clock on the ground. After six months in the International Space Station, orbiting astronauts have aged 0. Unfortunately for Han Solo — and the larger hope of long-distance, high-speed travel — time only contracts for the person who's moving. It marches on the same for everyone else. Experiencing just one hour on the Falcon, Han returns to find everyone three years older.
Because the shortened Kessel Run spans 12 parsecs Factoring in time dilation, anyone watching the Kessel Run would see Solo speeding along for almost 40 years, but Solo himself would experience only a little more than half a day. Lastly, we're told that Han is around 29 years old at 0BBY.
A year Kessel Run would mean that Han is chronologically much older than his physical appearance would indicate. In order to appear 29 years old during A New Hope , Han would have to be 29 years old 40 years before the events of the film. Of course, Solo would literally not age a day from when he started the run, but the rest of the galaxy would age without him. Taking the Kessel Run would mean that Solo was entering his teens long before Anakin Skywalker was born, trained, and turned to the Dark Side.
Once they are both around 30, they bet the Millennium Falcon in a card game, which Lando loses if Han did make a Kessel Run with the Falcon, he would have to have won it long before 2BBY.
Han then takes Lando and his prize out for a spin and sets a record by navigating a shorter route close to the black holes of The Maw on a journey to Kessel. When they return, they remain around 30 years old, but almost four decades have passed, and the Empire is amassing its forces.
Of course, there is the warp drive loophole. If you can traverse less distance by folding space itself, there is no time dilation problem. The Kessel Run was one of the most trafficked smuggling routes in the galaxy according to additional Star Wars canon. And Han was a seasoned smuggler at the time of A New Hope, already indebted to some unsavory slugs and charmingly shooting his way through Chia Pet-looking aliens.
And a slower ship would only move his birth further into the past. Extending the adventure in pedantry, we can graph the rapidly increasing age of Han Solo as a function of how many Kessel Runs he has been on.
If we put his age at 29 in A New Hope , then each Kessel Run would cause his birthday to move further back into history. With only two runs under his belt, Han would be older, chronologically, than Emperor Palpatine.
One wonders how a smuggling run with such consequences could even work. And imagine how it would work for the smuggler. Off he goes on a Kessel Run, and barely 16 hours later — from his perspective — he returns to find a world changed: the remnants of a galactic clone war, the fall of one Jedi order and the rise of another, and the floating remnants of two Death Stars.
Topics Movies physics Star Wars time travel.