Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
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24-02-2015, 11:26 AM
Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
Hello all,

I was just catching up on some of the podcasts I've missed in the last few weeks and in the 2-4-15 installment, Seth read aloud a chapter of his latest book 'Sacred Cows'.

In an excerpt, he discussed the Jedi... ehem, 'religion' and made mention of Han's claim that the Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs". Being as a parsec is a measure of astronomical distance, many have posited that such a statement is fallacious.

This is, however, untrue, and if you're a Star Wars geek like me you'll understand exactly what Han was referring to when making this claim. Now I've read much of the EU (expanded universe) and don't quite recall from what installment this information derives, but I would implore all other SW fanatics to chime in with what they may know.

Here's the explanation... as I remember it:

The Kessel run is an illegal smuggler route used by the seedier of the Star Wars denizens to transport spice and other unlawful goods from Kessel to the core worlds. The route lies far from Imperial patrol, but is is relatively adjacent to a collapsed star acting as a black hole. This is a dangerous area and many have perished attempting this pass.

When Han boasts of making this run in less than 12 parsecs, he is in fact referring to the distance to the black hole. The faster the ship travels, the closer it can get to the black hole without being obliterated by its immense force. So in essence, he is in fact bragging about the ship's speed. 12 parsecs is about 39 light years in distance. Being as Earth is approx. 27,000 light years from our black hole at the galactic center of the milky way, I guess a mere 39 is pretty dang close.

Now in fairness, this may not be canonical, and may have simply been an attempt of the author to make sense of the seemingly nonsensical statement, but I remember reading it and being relieved at such a concise clarification, as it always puzzled me.

If anyone can remind me which EU book I got this from please do so. Feel free to expand on this also.

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24-02-2015, 11:51 AM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 11:26 AM)JhaeL Wrote:  Hello all,

I was just catching up on some of the podcasts I've missed in the last few weeks and in the 2-4-15 installment, Seth read aloud a chapter of his latest book 'Sacred Cows'.

In an excerpt, he discussed the Jedi... ehem, 'religion' and made mention of Han's claim that the Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs". Being as a parsec is a measure of astronomical distance, many have posited that such a statement is fallacious.

This is, however, untrue, and if you're a Star Wars geek like me you'll understand exactly what Han was referring to when making this claim. Now I've read much of the EU (expanded universe) and don't quite recall from what installment this information derives, but I would implore all other SW fanatics to chime in with what they may know.

Here's the explanation... as I remember it:

The Kessel run is an illegal smuggler route used by the seedier of the Star Wars denizens to transport spice and other unlawful goods from Kessel to the core worlds. The route lies far from Imperial patrol, but is is relatively adjacent to a collapsed star acting as a black hole. This is a dangerous area and many have perished attempting this pass.

When Han boasts of making this run in less than 12 parsecs, he is in fact referring to the distance to the black hole. The faster the ship travels, the closer it can get to the black hole without being obliterated by its immense force. So in essence, he is in fact bragging about the ship's speed. 12 parsecs is about 39 light years in distance. Being as Earth is approx. 27,000 light years from our black hole at the galactic center of the milky way, I guess a mere 39 is pretty dang close.

Now in fairness, this may not be canonical, and may have simply been an attempt of the author to make sense of the seemingly nonsensical statement, but I remember reading it and being relieved at such a concise clarification, as it always puzzled me.

If anyone can remind me which EU book I got this from please do so. Feel free to expand on this also.

That sounds as twisted as Christian apologetics.

It was simply a mistake. Get over it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-02-2015, 11:56 AM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 11:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-02-2015 11:26 AM)JhaeL Wrote:  Hello all,

I was just catching up on some of the podcasts I've missed in the last few weeks and in the 2-4-15 installment, Seth read aloud a chapter of his latest book 'Sacred Cows'.

In an excerpt, he discussed the Jedi... ehem, 'religion' and made mention of Han's claim that the Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs". Being as a parsec is a measure of astronomical distance, many have posited that such a statement is fallacious.

This is, however, untrue, and if you're a Star Wars geek like me you'll understand exactly what Han was referring to when making this claim. Now I've read much of the EU (expanded universe) and don't quite recall from what installment this information derives, but I would implore all other SW fanatics to chime in with what they may know.

Here's the explanation... as I remember it:

The Kessel run is an illegal smuggler route used by the seedier of the Star Wars denizens to transport spice and other unlawful goods from Kessel to the core worlds. The route lies far from Imperial patrol, but is is relatively adjacent to a collapsed star acting as a black hole. This is a dangerous area and many have perished attempting this pass.

When Han boasts of making this run in less than 12 parsecs, he is in fact referring to the distance to the black hole. The faster the ship travels, the closer it can get to the black hole without being obliterated by its immense force. So in essence, he is in fact bragging about the ship's speed. 12 parsecs is about 39 light years in distance. Being as Earth is approx. 27,000 light years from our black hole at the galactic center of the milky way, I guess a mere 39 is pretty dang close.

Now in fairness, this may not be canonical, and may have simply been an attempt of the author to make sense of the seemingly nonsensical statement, but I remember reading it and being relieved at such a concise clarification, as it always puzzled me.

If anyone can remind me which EU book I got this from please do so. Feel free to expand on this also.

That sounds as twisted as Christian apologetics.

It was simply a mistake. Get over it.

I've never been under it, relax. It's fiction. I'm just offering an explanation to anyone that might be interested. If you're not interested, you can always go read something else.

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24-02-2015, 11:57 AM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 11:56 AM)JhaeL Wrote:  
(24-02-2015 11:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  That sounds as twisted as Christian apologetics.

It was simply a mistake. Get over it.

I've never been under it, relax. It's fiction. I'm just offering an explanation to anyone that might be interested. If you're not interested, you can always go read something else.

I'm interested in accuracy, not excuses.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-02-2015, 12:12 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
I'm sure you're right that it was a simple mistake when written in the 70s. He probably didn't know, or didn't expect the movie to be so popular to incite such scientific scrutiny.

Yes, the explanation is an 'excuse' in an attempt to make sense of the mistake. I for one, as a fan of the franchise appreciate that.

It's all fiction, so accuracy is not at all applicable. It's a vague explanation to resolve a vague conceptual error. There's no need to usurp a thread and if you're so disinterested in the topic.

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24-02-2015, 12:40 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
They have warp drive, right? Why not go with the easier explanation of shrinking the distance between start and finish down to under 12 parsecs?
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24-02-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 11:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-02-2015 11:26 AM)JhaeL Wrote:  Hello all,

I was just catching up on some of the podcasts I've missed in the last few weeks and in the 2-4-15 installment, Seth read aloud a chapter of his latest book 'Sacred Cows'.

In an excerpt, he discussed the Jedi... ehem, 'religion' and made mention of Han's claim that the Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs". Being as a parsec is a measure of astronomical distance, many have posited that such a statement is fallacious.

This is, however, untrue, and if you're a Star Wars geek like me you'll understand exactly what Han was referring to when making this claim. Now I've read much of the EU (expanded universe) and don't quite recall from what installment this information derives, but I would implore all other SW fanatics to chime in with what they may know.

Here's the explanation... as I remember it:

The Kessel run is an illegal smuggler route used by the seedier of the Star Wars denizens to transport spice and other unlawful goods from Kessel to the core worlds. The route lies far from Imperial patrol, but is is relatively adjacent to a collapsed star acting as a black hole. This is a dangerous area and many have perished attempting this pass.

When Han boasts of making this run in less than 12 parsecs, he is in fact referring to the distance to the black hole. The faster the ship travels, the closer it can get to the black hole without being obliterated by its immense force. So in essence, he is in fact bragging about the ship's speed. 12 parsecs is about 39 light years in distance. Being as Earth is approx. 27,000 light years from our black hole at the galactic center of the milky way, I guess a mere 39 is pretty dang close.

Now in fairness, this may not be canonical, and may have simply been an attempt of the author to make sense of the seemingly nonsensical statement, but I remember reading it and being relieved at such a concise clarification, as it always puzzled me.

If anyone can remind me which EU book I got this from please do so. Feel free to expand on this also.

That sounds as twisted as Christian apologetics.

It was simply a mistake. Get over it.

I heard a theory that Han was just testing them with BS jargon to see how much they knew so he could possibly rip them off.

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24-02-2015, 12:50 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 12:40 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  They have warp drive, right? Why not go with the easier explanation of shrinking the distance between start and finish down to under 12 parsecs?

I would definitely agree with that. That would've been a much more satisfying explanation.

... but I don't think "warp drive" was ever referenced in Star Wars... I think that was a Trek thing if I'm not mistaken.

'Light speed' was the Star Wars thing and it was likely the simple rate of travel as we would think of 'speed'. That seems to be how it's described. When they exceeded it they would enter hyperspace, which looks like a blue swirly wormhole, but I don't know exactly what that meant.

Good idea though I wish they went with that.

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24-02-2015, 01:02 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
(24-02-2015 12:43 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(24-02-2015 11:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  That sounds as twisted as Christian apologetics.

It was simply a mistake. Get over it.

I heard a theory that Han was just testing them with BS jargon to see how much they knew so he could possibly rip them off.

I heard that theory as well but I'm inclined to disagree with it simply because of the way Han delivered the line.

He said "It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs"... as if surely they would've heard of the Falcon and this legendary achievement. It seemed to me that he fully expected them to have heard of it... which would suggest that it's either true, or a commonly known lie that's been propagated for some time.

Wow, I really read too deep into this stuff lol.

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24-02-2015, 01:07 PM
RE: Kessel Run and "Parsecs"
Hello! Big Grin

Star Strek creates a 'bubble' of warped space around the ship and the ship then 'bends' physics around that idea to go FTL.

Star Wars the ships literally jump 'into' another reality/dimension where they can then ignore the 'speed' limit back in their own reality to travel places faster than light, hence speeding up the process of going from one place to another.

Both intriguing ideas but they both work subtly different ways.

Babylon 5 also used an 'alternate reality' travel to cheat past the speed of light, so making it more Star Wars like in its FTL.

Much cheers to all.
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