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Kessel Run: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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This article is about the hyperlane. You may be looking for the phrase Kessel Run in Deal-slang.
The map of the Kessel Run.
Kessel Run

Outer Rim Territories[1]


Kessel sector[1]

Stellar bodies

The Pit[1] - The Maw[1]

Start point


End point



Formos[1] - Kessel[1]


Pabol Sleheyron[1] - Kessel Trade Corridor[1]

"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?…It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs."
Han Solo

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. Worlds along the Kessel Run included Fwillsving, Randa, Rion, and possibly Zerm.

It took travelers in real space around The Maw leading them to an uninhabitable—but far easier to navigate—area of space called The Pit, which was an asteroid cluster encased in a nebula arm making sensors as well as pilots go virtually blind. Thus there was a high chance that pilots, weary from the long flight through real space, would crash into an asteroid.



An Imperial-class Star Destroyer pursuing a YT-1250 on the Kessel Run.

Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs". A parsec was a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, 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. The smuggler, BoShek, actually beat Solo's record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down.

A few months later, Han Solo beat both his own and BoShek's records in a run he made with Luke Skywalker.

Behind the scenes

"Kessel" means "kettle" or "cauldron" in German, and is used to describe a "pocket of encircled military units". The Kessel Run most likely gets its name from the real "Kessel runs" that took place in World War II, during the Soviet counter-offensive in the Battle of Stalingrad. During Operation Uranus, the Soviet army managed to encircle about 250 000 soldiers, primarily Germans and Romanians. To aid the units trapped inside this pocket, the Luftwaffe tried to create an "air-bridge" to supply the besieged army. However, the relief effort met with disaster, as a lack of available aircraft, heavy Soviet anti-aircraft fire and Soviet interceptors made the "Kessel runs" unsuccessful.

In A.C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy, the Maw cluster of black holes distorts space and time, so the distance of the run is shortened by flying close to it. Han and Chewie make the time (and distance) while racing Salla Zend.

In the A New Hope novelization, Han says "standard time units" rather than "parsecs" and in the radio drama he says, "less than twelve time parts."

In the original 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.

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."

In the commentary for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope DVD, George Lucas mentions that the parsecs are due to the Millennium Falcon's advanced navigational computer rather than its engines, so the navicomputer would calculate much faster routes than other ships could.



Notes and references

This article uses material from the "Kessel Run" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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