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!
BUT HERE'S THE PROBLEM WITH THIS THEORY!
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.