The Kessel Run

Kessel RunSciFi Question of the Day: Could You Make the Kessel Run in Less Than Twelve Parecs?

Facebook Answers:

  MissKat Orta I went around the Maw black hole cluster to save distance.  
  Melissa Conway No, I could not because a true parsec is a measurement of distance not time…big boo boo Mr. Lucas…  
  MissKat Orta The Kessel Run was one of the most heavily used smuggling routes in the Galactic Empire. Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs”. A parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship’s speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs. The smuggler BoShek actually beat Solo’s record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down. A few months later, Han Solo beat both his own and BoShek’s records in a run he made with Luke Skywalker.  
  Booboo Wilde I can’t find the pic right now (I have it at home somewhere) of the cantina scene where Han says that, and the next picture is back to Obi-Wan and the caption reads, “That’s cool. I once ran a marathon in 18.6 miles.”  
  AmyBeth Fredricksen The distance between planets is variable. For example, sometimes Earth and Mars are on the same side of the sun, relatively close. Other times they’re on opposite sides of the sun.  
And what Kat said!  
  Melissa Conway Aha! I see what you did now. Very clever…  
  Booboo Wilde This is why I love Science Fiction in general. It’s easier to come up with a huge explaination than to say, “I used the word because it sounded all science-y.”  
  DeAnna Knippling Yes. Also, I have a great bridge in Alderaan that I can sell you, cheap.  
  AmyBeth Fredricksen I’m still burning from that timeshare you sold me Alderaan…  
  DeAnna Knippling Sheesh. I *told* you the time machine was not included.  
  AmyBeth Fredricksen Which I totally agreed with! But I thought you meant the Alderaan RESORT on New Vegas… not Alderaan the PLANET!  
  DeAnna Knippling [Shrugs] The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away, toots.  
  AmyBeth Fredricksen …and the pictures were totally misleading.  
  DeAnna Knippling No they weren’t! The place in Aldebraan had THOSE EXACT PICTURES on the wall!  
  Dale Thelander No because I can’t help stopping at the Waffle House near Sullest.  
  William J. Teegarden Two words: multiphasic shields.  
  Sergio G. Molina Only you can if you are Chewie. Really, Han don´t know a shortest route. It was Chewie who made the calculations for an alternative Kessel Run.  

Google Plus Answers, Public Post

I’m just not getting into this.

  AmyBeth Inverness  I’ve always wondered if the distance was variable, like the distance between Earth and Mars…  

yes well there are various explanations … no, no, no. I’m just not getting into this 🙂
  Mince Walsh  The only way to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs is to take a shortcut through belugian space which I suspect they frown on given all the Posted No Trespassing beacons I found when I did it. Got shot at too.  

AmyBeth Inverness

If you cut through Belugian space you could pick up some caviar. I’ve heard it goes great with spice from Kessel…
  Kevin Murray  No, I couldn’t.  My clunky old freighter can’t handle the gravity of that black hole cluster, so I have to take the long way around.

  Dalt Wisney  I wouldn’t try it without some Romulan ale.

  Samuel Falvo II  For those wondering how one could win a race based on distance traveled or lack thereof, google “Traveling Salesman Problem.”  Compute the ideal, shortest possible path between points, and then gauge your spacecraft’s agility against that shortest possible path.  The spacecraft with the closest number … wins.

BTW, a real-world sport that is remarkably similar to this is auto-cross racing (where you drive between road cones).  The laps are measured in time still, but time is directly proportional to total distance covered during the lap (and assuming you don’t knock any cones down; cones cost 5 seconds each, usually).  So, the smaller your number, the more agile your car and driver combination is.

Problem solved, 12 parsecs explained, and we now have a reasonably objective measure of how agile the Falcon is (I’m assuming other stories have provided figures for other ships).

So, yeah, I went there.

Google Plus Answers, Science Fiction Community:

  Joshua Stricker  Millenium Falcon

  John Fitzmaurice  If I use a worm hole, I could be there yesterday.

  Andy Hainline  Well, technically, no one could.  Because the parsec is a unit of distance, not time.  This would be analogous to me asking you, “Can you run a mile in twelve kilometers?”  Doesn’t make any sense.  😛

  AmyBeth Inverness  The distance between Earth and Mars is variable…

…and making the Kessel run involves going either through or around some dangerous areas in space.

  Tobias Moon  1) Fictional universe full of made up words, why does paesec have to hold the same meaning? Force doesn’t.  2) Maybe the Kessel Run is always under 12 parsecs and Han was seeing if they picked up on that before deciding what to charge.

  Gustavo Campanelli  If the distance traveled by other is greater than 12 parsecs, then they are making big detours. What he’s saying then is that he can go through areas other’s don’t dare enter. In other words, a bad response to a question about the speed of the ship.

Google Plus Answers, Speculative Fiction Writers Community:

  Matthew Graybosch  I wouldn’t need half a parsec, as long as my ship’s experimental AT (Atziluth Transfer) drive doesn’t fuck up. The last time AT tech was tried, it inspired a movie called Event Horizon.

  Gerri Lynn Baxter  warms up the tesseract I can do it in zero parsecs by merely folding space-time…

  Y.I. Washington  Well, considering a parsec is a measure of distance and not time, yes, because I know a few short cuts.

  Zachary Besterfield  Make a vessel of rum with twelve parsnips? I don’t know…I’ll give it a try…may take awhile.

  AmyBeth Inverness  Start with a potato clock, and work your way up.

SciFi Q of the Day 2013

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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