In Star Wars, Han Solo brags about the Millenium Falcon being fast. By way of explanation, he claims that “it’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.” Of course, since a parsec is a unit of distance not time, this doesn’t make any sense at all. I’ve read a number of explanations that try to make this not sound as dumb as it sounds. The most convoluted explanation goes like this:
1) Every ship in hyperdrive travels at exactly the same speed.
2) Everything from giant stars down to asteroids are navigational hazards while in hyperspace. They must be avoided.
3) Travel in hyperspace in in straight lines only.
4) Long distance travel is not a straight line, but a series of line segments at slight angles as the ships computer adjusts the course to avoid navigational hazards
5) The Kessel Run is a mess of black holes in tight orbit around each other. Travel through requires a lot of course corrections to avoid hazards.
Thus, the Falcon is fast not because it travels faster than other ships, but because it has a snazzier navigational computer. It can project better courses with fewer turns; thus, a shorter total distance. This, however, seems a very unsatisfying explanation.
There is a better one. One that fits in well with Han Solos personality and business model.