Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, here I am again with more analysis of the convoluted mess that is Star Wars hyperspace travel times.
In the recently released Fly Casual book we find a small chart listing Hyperspace Travel Times (in days) for a Class 1 Hyperdrive.
There is some preamble and the usual hand waving as to whether the established galactic "Trade Routes" are safer, or easier to travel, or whatever. I will save that old debate for a later post (later this week, perhaps).
I won't reprint the entire chart here, but I will use a few relative measurements in comparison to my previously published Star Wars Gazetteer.
Suffice it to say, taking Taanab as an example, the average difference in travel times (in hours) between my Gazetteer and the Fly Casual chart is a 20 times multiplier (minimum of x13, maximum of x25 for the sample I tested). That is, if I say it takes 1 hour to get somewhere, Fly Casual says it takes 20 hours. Another thing to factor in is that I used straight line distances on the galactic map. They might be actually following the trade routes through space. I will try to estimate what difference that would make to these numbers later tonight.
There are numerous canon sources (including the OT movies themselves) that contradict FFG (and WotC before that, and WEG before that) in terms of travel time charts of this kind. The worst offenders, in my opinion, are the variable charts that suggest crossing the galaxy takes a random amount of time.
I have heard it all before: Star Wars ships in hyperspace "...move at the speed of plot." That same bland, facile comment could be applied to all aspects of this Sci Fi setting, in such a way that nothing matters and there are no "truths" anymore.
So that leaves us with evaluating either tea leaves or gut feelings.
How long should it take to travel from point A to point B via hyperspace?
I will look at this question in the following ways, and keep my thoughts in the comments section of this post.
A. Canon sources. A few tidbits from OT movies and some quotes from The Clone Wars. Whatever you thought of that cartoon series, it is one of the only "non-Legend" sources still in existence.
B. Starship Consumables Ratings. I don't get the feeling from Star Wars that the ships we see flitting about, here and there, are arriving at the starport in desperate need of anything, in particular. taking stock of the consumables info might help us to see what the number of trips between re-stocks would be, and whether those numbers seem to make sense.
C. Gut Feeling. I guess, in the end, we need to figure out what feels right for these travel times. I guess I lean toward saying my Gazetteer might have travel times that are too short. Almost all of them (if not all of them) are less than 20 hours. Many are in the single-digit numbers of hours for the Class 1 hyperdrive. On the other hand, the Fly Casual chart lists a minimum of 12 hours and has most of the trip times hovering around the 1 week mark, with a high water mark of something like 11.5 days. That's a looooong time for a crew to be stuck in hyperspace playing Dejarik or wrestling in the cargo hold. It feels too long for a quick paced story to me. Learn this new clue! Pick up the chase! Run to your ship! ...Wait a week....What were we doing, again?