# New Fan Theory about the Kessel Run Sets Everything Straight

Monday, 18 January 2016 - 10:37AM
Monday, 18 January 2016 - 10:37AM
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Han Solo repeats his famous boast that he can complete the Kessel Run in "under 12 parsecs." Now, a new fan theory on Tumblr may finally, at long last, explain what that means:

User "Mechanicusdeus" posted his take on the issue after seeing The Force Awakens. He claims that while it sounds like Han is boasting about the Millennium Falcon completing the Kessel Run in a short amount of time, "what Han is actually boasting about is the Falcon's ability to safely navigate the dangerous Kessel Run by the shortest possible route."

His claim hinges on two very important points:

1) As explained by Official Science Boss Neil deGrasse Tyson, a Parsec is a unit of distance equivalent to roughly 3.26 light-years. A common misconception is that a "light-year" has something to do with time, but Tyson makes it very clear that neither the light year, nor the parsec have anything to do with time. They're purely distance-related.

2) The Kessel Run itself is a smuggling route, used for running illicit spice from the Kessel mines to its destination worlds. It is fraught with dangerous obstacles, most notably "The Maw," a cluster of black holes.

He then goes on to explain that "the main mistake people seem to make when discussing this issue is believing that Han is boasting about the Falcon's speed... As such, they think that Han is purporting that '12 Parsecs' is a quantification of the Falcon's immense velocity."

But, as we now know, it's not.

Traveling at hyperspace is much more complicated than just pressing a button and going directly from point A to point B. A ship's computer has to be programmed with a route to avoid the known obstacles along that route. Most starships usually give these obstacles a wide birth, just to be safe, but knowing Han Solo, he programmed the Falcon's system to fly as close to them as possible without being destroyed. Because of this, its route is straighter than any other ship's, meaning that it completes the Kessel Run in the shortest distance possible - 12 Kessels.

Well, as the famous Nicki Minaj says:

And Han Solo is clearly the best pilot around, whether you measure him in time or distance.