With the release of the new Solo movie underway, let’s take a minute to examine what we know about Han Solo’s iconic ship, The Millennium Falcon.
The Star Wars universe is massive. There are planets, stars, and even galaxies contained within. With a giant galactic war being waged almost constantly, you can imagine the need for quick, convenient transportation from one planet to another. Thanks to George Lucas, the characters in the Star Wars franchise have already figured out how to travel faster than the speed of light. Now, we can’t pretend to understand how they managed to pull that off, but we can do some digging based off of what we do know. It’s been stated that the Falcon can travel at “point five past light speed” so we can assume that means 1.5 times the speed of light. This number creates some problems for our curious minds, however. It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to travel all the way to planet Earth. So if we divide that number by 1.5, we get about 5 minutes. That’s still pretty long, considering the distance being traveled.
If we go ahead and make the assumption that the planet systems in Star Wars are a bit farther away from each other than Earth is from the star at the center of its own solar system, when we calculate how long it would take to travel to Pluto at its closest position, it would take almost 3 hours! Now, if you can’t escape from your own solar system in a reasonable amount of time, something needs to change. By our calculations, traveling only 1.5 times the speed of light doesn’t seem like a very feasible speed to travel at when the fate of the galaxy is at hand. However, since Star Wars is based in an alternate universe, there is always a chance that the constant for the speed of light there is greater than the one that we have here on Earth.