Thursday, April 8, 2010


I'm still waiting for George Lucas' apology.

I'll accept it whenever he's willing to admit he made a mistake.

But that will be never.

And if he says, "it's just a story, [Dr.] Dru." Then I'll respond with a simple: Then stop dressing up like an Ewok, weirdo.

Solution #3: Einstein's Special Relativity

Okay... let's bring it into the real world here. We've heard a lot of hyperspace and stable black hole clusters, but why not look at some proper theories involving real physics. Let's look at Einstein's Theory of mother-f'ing Special Relativity. That's our third option. We'll assume that Star Wars takes place in our Universe, since they only specified a GALAXY far far away, thereby still in our universe, and therefore subject to our laws, since the universe is isotropic and homogenous. BUT OF COURSE THIS IS SOMETHING WE ALL KNOW?! Sorry, preaching to the choir.

Okay, so for those of you who have never heard of it, let me give you some background. Newton was 100% wrong. That's part 1. That apple falling his head turned out to really be a lump on his head for nothing. What Einstein has said is that time and distance are connected at the hip. Like that irritating couple in middle school. And also that everything is completely relative, hence the clever title.

So, as theory has it, if you travel really fast... like really fast (think Apollo Ohno variety)... then your time and distance you travel will be different than someone who's standing still. And the faster you go the shorter the distance is to you... there are plenty of jokes about how according to special relatively a bus going really fast will turn into the short bus. Get it. Special relativity?! RIGHT?! It kinda works like this (from this site):

Anyway, this theory is that if the Millennium Falcon actually travels fast enough it can theoretically shorten the distance, thus making the parsec line make perfect sense. "Fast enough for you, Old man. It's only the ship that traveled so fast that to me the distance was shortened by 6 parsecs, of course to you the distance was the same, because it's all relative... you know how it is."

So, according to Special Relativity Han Solo wasn't lying and George Lucas wasn't an idiot writing that sentence!


If we're going to believe this, then we have to believe that the Star Wars definitely existed in our universe, thus following our physical laws. So if that's the case, then dig this: 12 parsecs is about 39 lightyears. So if Han Solo was traveling at the speed of light this run would take him about 40 years, and Harrison Ford is not that old in the movie.

BUT WAIT! Han says that the ship can travel .5 past light speed. Okay. EVEN if we are to accept that the Millennium Falcon could travel 1.5 times the speed of light (not possible) through the concept of hyperspace (not plausible) then it's still 26 years.

And sure, he won't age that much because he's following the laws of special relativity, but he'll still age... and if he travels this fucking much and claims to do the Kessel Run so much than he has done it numerous times... and really, if he were that old than the love story wouldn't work. So I'm not buying this either.

Also, I have reason to believe when he says .5 past the speed of light it actually means that he's going .75 the speed of light because of time dilation numbers... but I won't go into this here.


Solution #2: The Maw Black Hole Cluster

Yep. The Maw Black Hole Cluster. That stable black hole mother is the good ol' Solution number 2 for the Millennium Falcon dilemma.

Okay, so this is a solution that was created by Star Wars enthusiast, fan fiction author and probable virgin* Kevin Anderson. The dude wrote the Jedi Academy Trilogy in 1994, and in it he describes the Kessel Run in vivid detail.

According to Anderson the Kessel Run is a route from Kessel to the area south (let's say Space South) of the Si'Klaata Cluster. He claims that the run, normally around 18 parsecs, is a dangerous one because of numerous imperial star destroyers and this nefarious being known as the Maw: a Black Hole Cluster.

Now, the Maw is supposedly a relatively stable cluster of black holes built by an alien race to harness energy, but they're still fucking black holes, so if you get too close to those buggers you're going to get sucked in and spit out probably in a J.J. Abrams movie... SO a ship that can fly close to the black hole cluster but still have the speed to escape the event horizon is going to be a much faster ship. And considering that the closer you fly to the cluster the faster you have to go, it makes sense that Han Solo would boast "It's fast enough for you old man." The Millennium Falcon had to have been going like Mach 40 or some other speed that would make a ridiculously dangerous gillette razor for it to escape. It solves Han Solo's seemingly odd speed claim about a measurable distance, and also takes into a count the speed of the ship.

Well... seems like everything is wrapped up all nice and...



What the fuck is a stable Black Hole Cluster? There's only one black hole cluster ever reported in space and that thing is more volatile than Rip Torn after he's had a few and as dangerous as hoping your audience will get a joke about a piece of celebrity gossip that pretty much died down last month. It's also highly radioactive and is found at the center of a galaxy. I don't buy that there's an area where dozens of black holes (that can potentially rip the shit out of space ships) just hang out and their gravitational pulls and radiation are all nice and in harmony. NOT BUYING IT KEVIN ANDERSON!

Also, the Kessel Run is a trip from Kessel to the area south of Si'Klaata? Space south? Like... space South? That doesn't make any freaking sense. Luckily for them if they get there slightly Space North they can take Space 1-95 down a few Space States.

Also, okay I buy a ship getting ridiculously close to a black hole and not breaking apart. Metal is fucking metal, I can't break it. But I can cut a son-of-a-bitch. And man can only handle like 10 times the gravitational pull of the Earth IF HE'S LUCKY! So there are several limitations to how close Han could really get. Wookies I have no primary documents for.

Long story short, this is a silly theory. It is for people who don't want to believe in science.


*I know what you're thinking... but I'm just a [virgin].

Solution #1: Hyperspace

Okay. Solution number one for the Millennium Falcon dilemma. Hyperspace. I'm sure you kids have heard that term before, it's the way the Star Wars ships travel really fast, by going into hyperspace.

But here's some weird detail they rarely if ever mention: Hyperspace means more than just going incredibly freakin' fast. It also is a testament of the pilot by judging his navigation skills and seeing how short he can make a journey by picking the most reliable path. Like, someone who is good at hyperspace would just get on 1-90 when traveling East to West, and some chump pilot would take a bunch of awful side roads in Wyoming. That's a metaphor I just made.

So if we believe this, then Han Solo wasn't spoutin' a bunch of shit. If in the Star Wars Galaxy the fastest ship is the one that takes the most direct path, then there you go. Case solved.

AND GET THIS! George Lucas supports it. In A New Hope audio commentary he says the following:

"Traveling any distance through hyperspace requires careful navigation to avoid stars, planets, asteroids or any such obstacles. Since no long-distance journey can be made in a straight line, the 'fastest' ship is the ship that can plot the most direct course through space, thereby traveling the least distance."

Well. Doesn't that tie it up in a nice little bow!


Kenobi and Solo were talking about the SHIP. They weren't talking about him as a navigator. Kenobi didn't look at him and say, "Are you a good navigator?" Cause that would be shitty shitty dialogue. And he has to fly the ship, the ship can't fly itself... so when he says that it's only the ship that made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs he's clearly talking about the ship's qualifications. Not his own qualifications.

So I'm sorry, Mr. Lucas. But this theory holds no water.


The Background

Okay, so dig this. This has been bugging me for a long time, and since I am a [Doctor] I thought I'd put my [degree] to the test and figure out the scientific answer to this fucker.

First off, here's the Millennium Falcon:

Next, a little background. In Star Wars: A New Hope this exchange happens:

Han Solo: I'm captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you're lookin' for passage to the Alderaan system?
Obi-Wan: Yes indeed, if it's a fast ship.
Han Solo: Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?
Obi-Wan: Should I have?
Han Solo: It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. I've outrun Imperial starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships now. She's fast enough for you old man.
Now, here's the problem... a parsec isn't a unit of time, in fact it's a unit of distance. 1 Parsec is equal to 3.262 light years, another distance. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "But wait? Parsec sounds like a unit of time... so does lightyears..." Well, you're wrong. Cause those motherfuckers are units of distance. A lightyear is the distance covered by something going the speed of light for a year, and a parsec is a the motherfucking distance from the Earth to a star that has a parallax angle of one arc-second.

Let me boil that down: a parsec is a fucking ridiculous huge distance.

So essentially Han Solo is looking at the old man and saying: "The ship is fast enough for you! It went a really long way!" Which when you think about it makes absolutely zero sense.

There are a lot of theories as to how this poorly written piece of dialogue could make sense... and I've done a shit ton of research and we're going to figure out once and for all what the shit George Lucas meant.


[Dr.] Dru Johnston, the only astronomer who earned his doctorate from the school of hard knocks.