I just got my copy today and am only a few chapters in, but want to comment on Han Solo making the Kessel Run "in under 12 parsecs".
In one of the books, I think it was the first book of the Jedi Academy trilogy, they reveal some details of the Kessel run. I am going to do my best to remember what it is, but it has been a long time since I read it so there may be other readers here who correct/clarify the story.
There story goes that there is a black hole cluster that you must navigate to get to Kessel (okay, I am sure the stabilty of a planet in a black hole cluster where they are spaced close enough to make it difficult to navigate is a whole other story!) Han was running spice and dumped it as he was about to be boarded. He went back to pick it up and the imperials followed him. He cut it darn close to the black holes, the imperials fell in and he blasted free into hyperspace.
The idea is that if you keep a safe distance from the black holes, the distance you must navigate through the cluster is substantially longer than 12 parsecs. So making the Kessel run in 12 parsecs means you ran through there without getting sucked into a black hole, taking a shortcut.
I seem to remember Han knew he was pretty darn lucky even though he bragged about it.
So, that is the story. I saw Phil's page on it and agree that is sounds like a fix of a astronomy boo boo.
As for them using a unit based on Earth's orbit, any planet can use that mesaure...with Jupiter's larger orbit, a parsec as measured by someone near Jupiter, using the same def, would be the same as a parsec from Earth.
The real question is why are they also using seconds as a measure of angle?
Okay, I am rambling now so I will stop [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]