Most of the planet Earth uses the Metric System of units (grams, metres, seconds, litres and many others) to quantify the dimensions of time and space. Do we have any definitive evidence as to the units of measure used by the characters throughout the Star Wars Universe?

I recognise that there's a whole lot of reference material within the whole universe of Star Wars. I'd prefer canon sources, but if that's not conclusive, other sources are fine.

  • Also, I'm relatively new here, and I'm not sure exactly what other tags to use. I tried looking through the first 5 pages of tags, but I didn't see any that made a lot of sense to me. If I've missed some, feel free to help me out and edit them in.
    – user45266
    Nov 17, 2019 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


Ignoring all books and Extended Universe stuff, which isn't canon anymore anyways, and possibly the few other canon things like comics, and sticking solely with the movies.

Han Solo famously said 'parsec' at some point in his life.

Which is defined in this galaxy as:

One parsec is the distance at which one astronomical unit subtends an angle of one arcsecond. A parsec is equivalent to 3.26 light years, and since a light year is the distance light travels in 1 year 9.4 trillion km, 1 parsec equals 30.8 trillion km.

So assuming that Han is one with the great and mighty metric system and the rest of the galaxy is too and their definition of a parsec is the same as our own and doesn't use average gerbil penis' as a base unit of measurement.

On top of this, there is from the script of Star Wars: A New Hope the description of the exhaust port for the Death Star and wamp rats being described by Dodonna and Luke:


The approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.



It's not impossible. I used to bull's- eye womp rats in my T-sixteen back home. They're not much bigger than two meters.

Then we can say that metric the definitive measurement system, unless there is a another quote of measurement of a different unit system from the films, I am aware of no other character specifically mentioning any other SI base unit or any other, other system.

  • 1
    First, a parsec is not a SI metric unit. Second, Han Solo said this to show how fast the Millennium Falcon was: "It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.", using the word as if it were a unit of time, not distance. So obviously the "parsec" in the Star Wars universe is simply a similar word to the one we use on Earth, but totally unrelated, not SI and not a unit of distance. Nov 17, 2019 at 15:04
  • First, parsecs are described in radians (unitless) divided by AUs which i’ve described in kilometers making it inherently a derived metric unit, otherwise you’re right at most it is a unitless thing of trig, Second, I clearly put a lot of assumptions in my post, which apparently need to be bolded, it’s obvious Lucas wanted to use a space word for a time unit of some kind, and I agree and nobody should care . However, unless you can find actual evidence of another use of ( maybe imperial ;)?) unit within canon, i’ll stick to my guns here and answer the question that was asked. Nov 17, 2019 at 15:23
  • According to Parsec - Wikipedia, a parsec is "19 trillion miles (1.9×1013 mi)", "making it inherently a derived" imperial unit. Further evidence that Star Wars used imperial units is that it was an "Empire", so of course their units would be "imperial". Nov 17, 2019 at 16:00
  • Glad you’re finally in on the fun :) Nov 17, 2019 at 16:02
  • This seems kind of like half an answer, with all due respect. First of all, you already acknowledged that there'a a lot of assumptions and room for differing interpretations with the parsec example. Second, this only addresses length/distance. What about other kinds of quantities, like speed/velocity, time, volume, mass, et cetera?
    – user45266
    Nov 17, 2019 at 20:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .