Less than 12 parsecs

So, if you're a true nerd, you no doubt are aware of the long running controversy regarding Han Solo's claim to have done the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. If you're a normal person, or even someone with just a "touch of nerd", you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. But this post is not for you, cool dude!

First, there's the whole debate about measuring things in parsecs. A parsec is a unit of spatial measurement (1 Parsec =3.08568025 x 10 to the 16th meters), not time, so how does the phrase "Made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs" even make sense?

Glad you asked! When we get to distances in space, things are so big that our normal units of spatial measure become unwieldy - too many numbers! So other, far bigger units are used. You've heard of a "light year", right? For example, its about 4 light years from our Sun to the nearest star. But think about what this term actually is saying - the distance light travels in one year. So, in essence, it's a measurement of time, not space. But Space and Time are the same, according to general relativity (spacetime!), and thus, a light year.

A parsec has nothing to do with any of that, but I thought it would be fun to mention. In the Star Wars universe, they travel faster than light by a sci fi term called "hyperspace", which is just like "warp" in Star Trek.  Each involves an actual folding of space. And so, Han's boast of making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs implies it's usually longer (like 18 parsecs), but due to his daring, he took a shorter, more dangerous route. In Star Wars, they have "Hyperspace Lanes" that most ships travel, in order to avoid dangers like black holes or massive stars. And thus, Han's claim is founded in Star Wars logic.

And now you know. Go forth, and spread this knowledge.

Also too:
Oh yeah! Your hyperspace throttle is jammed into the deflector array. That's gonna cost ya.

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