If the Millennium Falcon went into light-speed, it'll be on the other side of the galaxy by now. ~ Admiral Piett

As far as I know, it takes a couple of days to cross the galaxy at light-speed. It's unlikely so much time has passed.

Is this a classic screw-up by a scriptwriter having no clue how space travel works, should this be considered a major exaggeration or has more time passed than I realized?

  • 2
    I think it is a combination of him using exaggeration as a rhetorical device and pointing out that since they don't know exactly where they went, by the time they find them (Vader then says "Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory.") they could be long gone.
    – Phyneas
    Aug 28, 2015 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


First of all, when Admiral Piett says "went into light-speed", he likely means "went to a speed faster than light". It is well known that the hyperdrives appearing in Star Wars are faster-than-light drives.

From the Star Wars Wikia:

In numbers, the hyperdrive allowed travelers to traverse a galaxy spanning over 120,000 light years in only a few hours or days, the exact travel time depending on a number of factors including destination, point of origin, route, and class of hyperdrive.

Even at faster-than-light speeds, the Millennium Falcon would not be on the "other side" of the galaxy so quickly, as you point out, but I suspect that Piett is simply frustrated and using hyperbole to express that frustration.

  • I'm aware light-speed is faster than light. But it isn't that fast. Your answer confirms my suspicion.
    – Mast
    Aug 28, 2015 at 16:21
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    @Mast : I just wanted to be clear and complete. :-)
    – Praxis
    Aug 28, 2015 at 16:29
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    Speed of travel seems to fluctuate wildly in Star Wars. Several of the books/movies/tv episodes seem to make it seem like it takes several weeks (or even months) for even fast ships to get from the center of the galaxy (i.e. Coruscant) to the outer rim territories. Other times it takes but hours or days. But hey, if anything in Star Wars is consistent, it's the inconsistency.
    – BBlake
    Aug 28, 2015 at 19:58
  • 1
    Hyperspace travel is very fast in the films. Some of the now-decanonized EU books presented a much slower travel time similar to average Star Trek speeds, but none of the films indicated that a trip from Coruscant to the outer rim would take weeks or months. In Episode IV it takes less than a day to get from Tatooine to Alderaan, while the trip from the Death Star to Yavin also takes less than a day; in AOTC the Jedi get from Coruscant to Geonosis very quickly; and in ROTS Palpatine gets from Coruscant to Mustafar extremely quickly, in what seems to be a matter of hours at most. Aug 28, 2015 at 22:24
  • @Praxis I usually give it a while to make sure everyone has voiced his opinion and wait for possible answers. I doubt a better answer will come around, so have a check-mark :)
    – Mast
    Aug 31, 2015 at 22:24

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