Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Things I Base Canon On

Until a couple months ago, I never even considered that Han Solo was bullshitting with his "Kessell Run in less than 12 parsecs" line from the first Star Wars. Part of that is probably because it's Harrison Ford. I expect that of course his character can do cool shit like, make a smuggling run in a shorter distance than anyone else. Well, it sounded cooler when he said it.

And there was the time Morgan Webb on X-Play explained that the "12 parsecs" works because the Kessell region is a star cluster with intense gravity which can disrupt hyperspace travel, but the Millenium Falcon was fast enough to fly closer than most ships without that happening. Like if you can run fast enough to run across a lake as opposed to having to go around. Anyway, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable (by comic book quasi-science standards) explanation to me.

Beyond that, the spaceships have always been the part of Star Wars I was most interested in. The same thing that made me interested in World War II aviation. Speed, maneuverability, freedom. The two pieces of Star Wars related things I own are Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the N64 and The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. The latter was an interesting window into the various books that made up the Expanded Universe, but more relevant to this, the book said the Millennium Falcon had a 0.5 hyperdrive rating, which was the best of anything they listed. So that meant it was the fastest, which meant Solo's claim was legit.

You think I'd have read the backs of enough superhero trading cards to know not to trust such things, but here we are.

As it turns out, the script for the film outright says Obi-Wan is unimpressed by this obvious and poor attempt at bragging. It's meant to be bullshit on Han's part, him trying to impress what he thinks are a couple of rubes. Which, it fits with Solo as not being nearly as cool or as clever as he thinks he is, but it's still a letdown. The Internet: Ruining Everything You Enjoy A Little More Each Day.

I guess I could tell myself the ship can manage it, Solo just never tried it, only considered. Or he did make it, but it was sheer luck or a complete accident rather than any great skill on his part or the ship's. And being Han Solo, he naturally tries to pass off a total fluke as going exactly as planned (while Chewbacca tries his best not to have terrible flashbacks nearly dying on that run).

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