Kessel Run

Han Solo: “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”

The two issues here are:

  1. “Parsecs” are an earth-construct: the distance from the sun which would result in a parallax-second arc from earth’s orbit — about 3.26 light years. Such a term should be completely useless a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
  2. Han is using “parsecs” as though it were a measure of time rather than distance. The Star Wars Technical Commentary section on Units of Distance has this to say: “The Run involves travel through or past an unnavigable region; taking a route of shorter distance requires a good ship and skillful pilot.” Right.

There’s a lesson to be learned here: when writing science fiction, study your science before writing the fiction.