In honor of National Star Wars Day today, we thought we’d take a look at one of the most famous (and confusing) “business trips” in Star Wars history—The Kessel Run.
According to Wookieepedia, 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…” However, in a confusing bit of Star Wars history, Han Solo famously claimed to have done the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. This is problematic because a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. More on this later…
One could argue that smuggling glitterstim spice is not technically a legitimate business expense that would be eligible for a mileage deduction and it’s probably safe to assume that the Galactic Empire’s mileage rate wouldn’t be quite as generous as the IRS’ 2018 mileage rate of 54.5 cents per mile — but exactly how much would the Kessel Run deduction be if it followed today’s IRS guidelines?
First, we need to figure out exactly how many miles the Kessel Run is since I’m pretty sure submitting your mileage expenses to the IRS in parsecs would lead to an audit. Unfortunately, Han Solo nor anyone else in the Empire had a mileage tracking app like MileIQ, so we need to figure this one out manually.
Since one parsec is equal to about 19 trillion miles, that makes the 18 parsec Kessel Run 342 trillion miles. And you thought you had a lot of business miles!
At 54.5 cents per mile, this means that the deduction for the entire Kessel Run would be a whopping $186 trillion (give or take a few hundred billion). To put this in perspective, that’s more than 10 times the current US national debt of $18.628 trillion.
Ah, but remember Han Solo’s famous line, “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?…It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”
So how is this possible? Well, there are a number of theories about this: Lucas made a mistake, Han Solo was simply lying to test how ignorant his potential customers were about space travel or that due to his skill and daring as a pilot, Han Solo was able to shave nearly a third off the journey by flying dangerously close to black holes.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that Han wasn’t just blowing smoke, that George Lucas would never make a mistake and the Millenium Falcon really did make the trip in only 12 parsecs (228 trillion miles). That would still be a mileage deduction of $124 trillion.
The moral of the story? Even if you’re not making 228 trillion mile business drives, your business miles add up fast so don’t forget to track those drives!
Happy National Star Wars Day from all of us at MileIQ, and May the Fourth Be With You.
MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.