From the new canonical novelization of Episode IV: A New Hope:

Han scoffed. “Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon ?”

Ben raised a white eyebrow. “Should I have?”

It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs!

The kid, like most people who heard the tale, looked impressed. The old man was not, however, “most people.”

“Anyway,” Han said, before he could be called out on his lie.
- Star Wars - New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

So the question is:

Did the Millennium Falcon make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, or was Han blowing smoke?

  • 2
    In the revised fourth draft of A New Hope in 1976, the description for "Kessel Run" is put as follows: 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. ?????
    – Himarm
    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:13
  • 2
    Since this novelization is for Disney canon, are you wanting an answer from that? I'm pretty sure it's well established that Han did make the run in Legends. Jan 24, 2016 at 7:08
  • 5
    It's like saying I drove from Washington to New York in 6 miles. It doesn't make sense.
    – user23614
    Jan 24, 2016 at 9:25
  • 6
    @user23614 As for the parces, before Disney scrapped EU, the explanation was that Kessel Run was very dangerous - bad pilots went around the area, taking a long route, while the best piltos in fastest ships went right through a black hole cluster, thus cutting the distance and time. Appereantly now Disney made Han Solo lie.
    – Petersaber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 12:56
  • 5
    Did Disney really? Quoting the below answer, I clearly remember that scene in TFA. The man who knows the truth wouldn't grumpily correct it under his breath if it's a lie - there would be nothing to correct to begin with. Jan 24, 2016 at 13:12

7 Answers 7


This is an interpretation of a scene in Episode VII, but when Rey is informed by Han that she is in the Millennium Falcon, she makes mention of the Kessel Run. She overstated it (as 14 parsecs from memory, sorry I don't have the novelisation of the movie), but clearly she was impressed by this figure. Han corrected her to 12 parsecs by muttering it under his breath.

Han's claim of 12 parsecs seems to be accepted as widely-known fact, at least in the Outer Rim, who would likely have a fair idea of whether it sounded like bantha pudu. Even his correcting Rey's mistake back to the same figure some 30 years later gives credibility to his claims rather than it being simply an off-hand comment to impress an old man and a farm boy.

If you read the quote again:

The kid, like most people who heard the tale, looked impressed. The old man was not, however, “most people.”

There is no mention in that passage that Obi-Wan didn't believe it, merely that he didn't wasn't particularly impressed by it. Nowhere does it state that the tale wasn't true.

  • 2
    And the following line, about Han moving the conversation along "before he could be caught out on his lie"? Does that count as "stating it wasn't true"? Jan 24, 2016 at 15:43
  • 5
    @JonKiparsky That line smacks of revisionism, like "Han didn't shoot first" and should be equally rejected as canon. I had the original novelization since 1978, and that line was not present. It just makes no sense in the context of the movies. (Lando in ESB - "She's the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.")
    – Jane S
    Jan 24, 2016 at 18:38
  • 4
    I'm with you - canon is what you choose to accept as canonical. (for me, it's the three real Star Wars movies, end of story) But for people who believe in the Infallibility of Walt, this book is apparently canon, so Han lied. Jan 24, 2016 at 18:41
  • I think 14 parsecs is the correct figure, and over the years Han had trimmed it by a couple of Parsecs. I thought the look Han gave Rey was 'how did she know that' rather than 'she is wrong' Apr 13, 2018 at 10:50

Legend answer:

Yes, Han Solo did the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. This event is told in the Rebel Dawn novel by A. C. Crispin.

This is the summary of the Kessel Run story as told in the novel (from Wookieepedia):

Desperate for money, Solo and Chewbacca took a spice smuggling run from Jabba (who had inherited his aunt's criminal empire) through the Kessel Run. However, the duo were met mid-Run by an Imperial patrol, and were forced to abandon their cargo in deep space while the Falcon was searched and escorted to a nearby world. When they came back to look for the cargo, however, the two discovered it had disappeared. The smuggler tried to explain what happened, but Jabba — in a drug-induced haze — turned his back on Solo and demanded compensation for the lost spice.

And, from the Kessel Run Wookieepedia page:

The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si'Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel's mines.


he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs

I can't copy direct sources from the book - I read it in French and remember clearly Han being astonished by doing the Run so fast.

Canon answer:

There is no formal confirmation yet AFAIK but I strongly suspect this will be in the upcoming Solo movie.


If this passage is "canonical" then yes, it was a lie. Says so right there.

(I don't know or care what makes something canonical for you, but if you say it's canonical, then I accept that you hold it to be canon)

  • 1
    What makes something canonical? The fact that it is canonical. Disney now sets the canon, and this book is part of it. My personal preferences are irrelevant. But canon is complicated: in Star Wars canon, elements of the novelizations are canonical only insofar as they don't contradict the movies.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:50
  • In other words, if another canonical source describes Han making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, then canon is unclear as to whether he did it.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:51
  • Well, I don't think that's correct. This passage doesn't contradict the movie at all - it's not a contradiction to say that "Bill said he didn't have sex with Monica" and also that "Bill lied when he said that...". So by your rules, by not being contradictory to canon, this interpertation is canon. Jan 24, 2016 at 6:55
  • The issue is whether other canon sources say otherwise. Richard can explain canon rules better than I can.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:03

It certainly is plausible that Han was telling the truth, and that Ben simply did not care for Han's bragging.

Parsecs could actually represent how many jumps are made (and their distance), and not how long it took. Since FTL travel in Star Wars involves hyperspace, and they have to avoid the gravity wells of planets and stars and other bodies and perhaps even other large ships (all of which are in motion), it means they have to have a precise route to avoid colliding with something. Perhaps the challenge was using the least amount of jumps around a densely occupied solar system and the shortest route, rather than the actual time it took.

Saying he did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs is like saying I did the Milky Way Run in 3.11 billion miles, where the "Milky Way Run" means you fly by every single planet between Earth and Pluto. The trip is only 3.11 billion miles ONLY if all the planets are aligned, otherwise it will take a much longer distance to actually visit every planet on the way to Pluto since you'd have to zig zag more to hit them all.

So the challenge is to do it in the least amount of distance, which means precise calculations and timing. Think launch windows in our own space program, except with hyperspace and faster than light travel.


But in the Return Of The Jedi reimagined Novel "Beware The Power Of The Dark Side" Han says that "They have the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs".

  • 1
    Do you have a source (a quote) for that? Is that a canon source? Nov 30, 2016 at 15:53

Don't forget than Ben is a Jedi. The same Jedi who trained Anakin Skywalker, and who witnessed anakin win the pod races. I am willing to bet Ben felt he knew some people who could cut that run even closer than Han did.

I.e. I think Ben was simply not impressed by Hans posturing.

  • 2
    This doesn't address the question of whether Han was lying.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:05
  • I think I am implying that he did it and Ben simply wasn't impressed
    – Escoce
    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:08
  • 2
    Do you have evidence - quotes - or is this just your opinion?
    – Wad Cheber
    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:12
  • ... sometimes I swear that this entire site should be renamed to splitting hairs stack or some such. Today Mickey holds the rights and today it says that Han lied. End of story. If you dont like that go out, earn a few billion and force the accursed mickey to sell you the Star Wars franchise. Then you can make it to whatever you like. Why not Lucas has done it a gazzilion times, and now so has Mickey. Make love, not war!!
    – Cherubel
    Nov 30, 2016 at 14:49

The Kessel run involves passing through the Maw, a collection of black holes created by the Celestials to imprison Abeloth.

If the safest route took let's say 22 parsecs, so about 88 light years, then Han Solo with his 12 parsecs run was skirting dangerously close to some black holes, and likely insanely close.

It's like saying "I crossed the Nile jumping on top of only 12 crocodiles, with my eyes closed"

Han Solo is most probably lying and bragging about this run. Considering who he is, that Kessel run most likely involved running away from the Hutts( Jabba the Hutt was the main owner of the spice mines on Kessel) and jumping blindly through hyperspace.

  • 3
    This answer would be improved if you added sources to back up your claims. Also calling some people "the more simple minded readers" is offensive so I've edited it out.Please follow our be nice policy.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 13, 2018 at 8:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.