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View Full Version : Best Kessel Run is Distance not Speed. So Parsect is correct.



cplradar
2008-Jul-24, 09:26 PM
I just finished the book and this has been bugging me.

Han Solo was right. The "Kessel Run" refers to driving a ship through the "Maw Black Hole Cluster." Since the area is full of black holes, you have to steer well clear, increasing the distance. What Solo was refering to was the "shortest distance," which Lucas has stated on the DVD commentary, implies an extremely fast and powerful ship since he can run closer to black holes (hence a straighter, shorter path) without the risk of being caught in it's gravity.

The shortest distance through a Kessel Run means you've got a fast and powerful ship.

Or was that too much geek.

cplradar
2008-Jul-24, 09:32 PM
According to the screenplay, however, Obi-Wans reaction is because the Kessel run is a smugglers myth, a mine is bigger than yours scenario, to pull the wool over the average joe.

formulaterp
2008-Jul-24, 11:29 PM
It's not "too much geek", it's just too much love for Star Wars to admit a minor script error.

Solo claims the Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. What was the previous record? 13 parsecs? I'm not impressed. This doesn't imply that the MF was incredibly fast, but rather that the captain of the previous record holder was a complete wuss.

People seem to have the misconception that the gravitational forces around a black hole are ridiculously strong. This is simply not true. The gravitational pull from a BH with a mass of the Sun at a distance of 58 million km's (Mercury's avg distance) is exactly the same as that of a star with the same mass and distance. So how much closer did Solo get? Let's say he got within 8 milion km's (86% closer!!!), thus shaving an amazing 50 million km's per pass. He would have to do that over 600,000 times before he realized a savings of 1 parsec.

cplradar
2008-Jul-25, 03:03 AM
Hey man it's on the DVD commentary so it must be true. As far as too much Star Wars love it would have been by Lucas not I. I'm not a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, or any SciFi for that matter. I think the last movie I was impressed by was Anti-Terrorist Advanced Hostage Rescue by the LOTI group. While it was really just a plug for one of Dick Marcinko's schools, it did give enough face-time with Demo Dick himself to credit a second watching. I am fan of DVD commentary, though, it's really the only reason for the format-crappy resolution and compressed audio. Oh joy!

and It's 18 parsects.

grant hutchison
2008-Jul-25, 05:49 PM
and It's 18 parsects.And that's "parsecs" (parallax-seconds), unless we're talking about a unit of distance that Lucas has invented. Which we might be.
I heard the commentary, and even Lucas didn't sound convinced by his own argument.

Grant Hutchison

Gillianren
2008-Jul-25, 06:44 PM
I was going to say--"parsect" is never correct.

cplradar
2008-Jul-25, 06:48 PM
Parsec indeed, I just noticed that :o Now that makes my theory sound a little more naive. Perhaps someone can explain the phenomenon of glaring spelling errors looking correct to the writer-even after numerous viewings.

WaxRubiks
2008-Jul-25, 08:10 PM
what I want to know is; in a world(SW land) that probably has quite sophisticated nanotechnology, what on earth is there TO smuggle? except people I suppose.

formulaterp
2008-Jul-26, 01:25 AM
This is not the contraband you're looking for. Move along.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jul-26, 02:30 AM
what I want to know is; in a world(SW land) that probably has quite sophisticated nanotechnology, what on earth is there TO smuggle? except people I suppose.

Considering that droids can't even replace pilots, gunners or infantry in the Star Wars universe, their technology doesn't seem very sophisticated. Apart from anti-gravity, hyperdrive, talking asimovs, and weapons that never seem to need to be reloaded, they don't appear to have anything we don't.

sabianq
2008-Jul-26, 04:38 AM
And that's "parsecs" (parallax-seconds), unless we're talking about a unit of distance that Lucas has invented. Which we might be.
I heard the commentary, and even Lucas didn't sound convinced by his own argument.

Grant Hutchison

hi grant!

i understand that a "parsec" is a unit of distance.


A parsec is defined as the distance from the Sun which would result in a parallax of 1 second of arc as seen from Earth.
or 30 trillion kilometers, 3.3 light years or 3.08568025^16 meters

(lot of threes there... hmmm :think: )

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/Parsec.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec


The precise length of a parsec is 30.857 petametres, 3.26156 light-years or 1.9174×1013 miles

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jul-27, 02:57 PM
Perhaps someone can explain the phenomenon of glaring spelling errors looking correct to the writer-even after numerous viewings.
You already know what you wrote so don't really look at it.

grant hutchison
2008-Jul-27, 03:52 PM
hi grant!

i understand that a "parsec" is a unit of distance.Um.
Yes. So do I. So we're in complete agreement on that. :)

Grant Hutchison

Tog
2008-Jul-28, 10:42 AM
hi grant!

i understand that a "parsec" is a unit of distance.

Going out on a limb, here and assuming something. Grant's use of Parallax-second as the base for parsec isn't seconds of an hour, or seconds of an angle (well, it is, but read on). But seconds of an angle as used in parallax measurements.

Here is a post (http://www.bautforum.com/685711-post33.html) I wrote a while ago about how to use parallax. A parsec is just the distance at which the near object is seen to shift 1 second of arc.

grant hutchison
2008-Jul-28, 01:24 PM
Going out on a limb, here and assuming something. Grant's use of Parallax-second as the base for parsec isn't seconds of an hour, or seconds of an angle (well, it is, but read on). But seconds of an angle as used in parallax measurements.That's right: the distance at which one arc-second of parallax occurs (with a baseline of 1AU). And the name of the unit comes from the contraction of "parallax second".

Grant Hutchison

George
2008-Jul-28, 02:35 PM
That's right: the distance at which one arc-second of parallax occurs (with a baseline of 1AU). And the name of the unit comes from the contraction of "parallax second".
Playing with this a little (as it is slightly counterintuitive), there are not 60 parsecs in a would-be parmin. A parmin would be, instead, 1/60th the distance of a parsec, which is why, perhaps, there is no parmin (or parhour). :) A pardeg would be worse since the postion of the Earth in its orbit will alter this distance by ~ 1/60th. :)

Tuckerfan
2008-Jul-29, 11:26 AM
According to the screenplay, however, Obi-Wans reaction is because the Kessel run is a smugglers myth, a mine is bigger than yours scenario, to pull the wool over the average joe.

I recently rewatched the film and it seems obvious (to me, at any rate) that Han's clearly trying to ** Obi Wan. When Han says, "You ever heard of the Millenium Falcon?" Obi Wan's blase, "Should I have?" says to me that ol' Kenobi knows a con job when he sees one. There's also a very sarcastic tone to Greedo when he meets up with Han a few moments later, which implies that Han's not quite the smuggler he brags he is.

Of course, Lucas could always admit that he just screwed up, but getting Lucas to do that is on par with Greedo shooting first. ;) (i.e. Never happen.)

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-29, 11:34 AM
That would be like Lucas admitting he's an inept director.

ineluki
2008-Jul-30, 12:45 PM
I just finished the book and this has been bugging me.
Or was that too much geek.

Or to less, you missed
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/kessel.html

There is also
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kessel_Run
[quote] * In the A New Hope novelization, Han says "standard time units" rather than "parsecs". Therefore, the reduced distance of Solo's Kessel Run is most likely a retcon to explain George Lucas's confusion of time and distance units.

* In the original draft of A New Hope in 1976, the description for "Kessel Run" is put as follows:
HAN: It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs!
Ben reacts to Solo's stupid attempt to impress them with obvious misinformation.

So it implies that the puzzling speech of Han Solo is a "misinformation" and not truth, and it has nothing to do with the nature of the Kessel Run in any respect. Han means nothing other than impressing Obi-Wan and Luke with a pure boasting. Indeed, even in the final version of the script, the parenthesis attached to Han's line states that he is "obviously lying." [/QUOTE

Granted I don't have any of the novelization or scripts, but if anyone has the former, it would be enough to show that we really are dealing with a retcon.

tnjrp
2008-Jul-31, 10:19 AM
I've got a very old novelisation of Star Wars from the time when it was still called just that, credited to George himself. Unfortunately, it's a Finnish translation... I think I'll dig it up just the same and have a look at what it says on the Kessel run.

At the very least, it gives an odd impression about Palpatine's role as well as a bit of a kinky one about Leia and Luke (different from the "I always knew [you were my brother]" bit from The Return of the Jedi). I assume both may have been retconned in later editions...

Abelian Grape
2008-Jul-31, 06:21 PM
hi grant!

i understand that a "parsec" is a unit of distance.

or 30 trillion kilometers, 3.3 light years or 3.08568025^16 meters

(lot of threes there... hmmm :think: )


Why is it that necessarily so in SW? My big problem with the Han Solo quote is not that (1) he is obviously full of it, or (2) he doesn't know time from distance. Rather it is that the term "parsec" is so tightly bound to Earth, rather than to a galaxy far, far away. The parallax part assumes an orbital diameter. Of what? The SW far, far away galaxy has what? thousands, maybe billions of star systems with occupied planets. Do all orbit at the same distance? Even if you assume that some special planet is the standard, you still have the problem of "seconds."

A second of arc here on Earth is a 60th of a 60th of a 360th of a circle. Huh? The only reason we have such a weird division is that we also had Babylonians, who used a base-60 arithmetic system. When's the last time you saw that used? Also, the fact that there are approximately 360 Earth days in an Earth year must have factored [pun alert] into that choice. At least now there are. Go back a ways in time -- remember: long, long ago -- and there were quite a few more days in an Earth year.

In short, we haven't a clue how far a SW parsec is supposed to be. For all we know, in their universe "parsecs" is a slang term for something like kiloseconds, and is a time measure.

Amber Robot
2008-Jul-31, 08:55 PM
Rather it is that the term "parsec" is so tightly bound to Earth, rather than to a galaxy far, far away.

So is the rest of the English language, but that doesn't stop them from speaking it, now does it? :eh:

Neverfly
2008-Jul-31, 09:32 PM
So is the rest of the English language, but that doesn't stop them from speaking it, now does it? :eh:

I really get a kick out of movies that do that.
Using Nuances that are only found in English, slang that is purely modern, etc, in movies that take place in different languages, Alien worlds, or way back in History.

Picture Julius Caesar saying something like, "Loddy doddy everybody... Hey! I'm talkin' atCHOO! You don't think I'm Emperor? Do you see the pieces of a tree on toppa my head?! Get outta Here!"
In a New York Accent.

Abelian Grape
2008-Jul-31, 09:52 PM
So is the rest of the English language, but that doesn't stop them from speaking it, now does it? :eh:
True enough. But it's hard to avoid the convention of using some human language most of the time, in any movie, if we want the audience to understand what's going on. There are a few subtitles and ad hoc translations in SW just to show that we are in a foreign domain, but few authors are brave (or foolish) enough to extend that bit of pseudo reality to an entire movie.

Nevertheless, there are terms that are, or can be, more universal. Such terms are much more likely to end up in use in a galactic civilization. For us, the second is no longer tied to the rotation of the earth, and the meter is defined in terms of the second and speed of light. In principle, anyone anywhere in the universe could measure both without reference to earth, or an earth equivalent in their own part of the universe.

A "year" in their speech could be a suitably large unit of time, and so they could as we do, measure largish distances in light-years without being too parochial. That's true even if the distant origin of the word year was in the period of revolution of the planet of one of their early civilizations. By the time the whole galaxy was involved, it would have become as neutral as second is to us. But to use an arc-second, defined as 1/1296000 of a circle, much less the parallax measured from a forgotten planet? They would have been as likely to measure speeds in furlongs per fortnight.

Abelian Grape
2008-Jul-31, 10:00 PM
IPicture Julius Caesar saying something like, "Loddy doddy everybody... Hey! I'm talkin' atCHOO! You don't think I'm Emperor? Do you see the pieces of a tree on toppa my head?! Get outta Here!"
In a New York Accent.

Sounds like a Mel Brooks movie.

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-01, 09:32 AM
True enough. But it's hard to avoid the convention of using some human language most of the time, in any movie, if we want the audience to understand what's going on. There are a few subtitles and ad hoc translations in SW just to show that we are in a foreign domain, but few authors are brave (or foolish) enough to extend that bit of pseudo reality to an entire movie.Mel Gibson had pretty good luck with two movies that were in non-English, and at least one of them was a "pseudo reality" movie. I'd say with the right script, one could do it. (Getting the "suits" to leave the script alone, and not turning it into a giant pile of suck is another matter.)

Amber Robot
2008-Aug-01, 03:51 PM
True enough. But it's hard to avoid the convention of using some human language most of the time, in any movie, if we want the audience to understand what's going on.

But if every other word they speak is supposed to mean what it means in English, why make an exception for "parsec"?

I know what you are getting at, but still... I don't see why people need to explain this away as anything other than an error on the screenwriter's part. It happens.

tnjrp
2008-Aug-01, 06:02 PM
But if every other word they speak is supposed to mean what it means in English, why make an exception for "parsec"?There is the term "apologetics" of course... I suppose it woud fit with Star Wars, being as it is often used in religious discourse.

Anyway.

My version of Tähtien sota (the novel) is copyrighted by The Star Wars Corporation 1976 and credited to George Lucas. The original title is given as Star Wars -- From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker.

The Kessel run in this version is done "under 12 standard time units". Kenobi doesn't react to the claim in any way.

That said... It's fairly obvious that Solo shoots first, Jabba is a human (as he was in the original deleted scene of the movie), Palpatine is pretty much a puppet ruler and Luke and Leia fairly clearly got hots for each other. So there's plenty of stuff there that's later become apocryphic even tho the novelisation skirts the awkward word "parsec".

LotusExcelle
2008-Aug-01, 06:14 PM
tnjrp - I love revisionist changes like that. Good info to have!

publiusr
2008-Aug-01, 08:44 PM
The .5 past light speed makes the Falcon seem slower than Enterprise--but it is supposed to have hyperdrive, so....I've started it now.

Siguy
2008-Aug-08, 05:34 PM
I'm sorry, but every time I hear the "avoiding The Maw" explanation for "less than 12 parsecs" I somehow boil with rage. I'm not even a huge Star Wars fan, either. But I simply do not get why fans cannot just accept that Han Solo is mindlessly bragging. It even says so in versions of the script. It doesn't need a complicated explanation- it's that simple: Han Solo wants to make his ship sound fast so he throws meaningless words up into the air.

darkprose
2008-Dec-04, 06:14 PM
I think we are missing the obvious here: it's a MacGuffin. That's why, for me, it doesn't matter what it means, so long as I know it means something in that world.