Originally Posted by TJJones
The explanation doesn't really say anything about cutting across actual event horizons. It only says that most ships require an 18-parsec route to pass through the Maw without being overwhelmed by a gravity well ("gravity well" is implied in the quote, since we're talkinga bout black holes). The reach of a black hole isn't infinite, so there must be point where ships can pass by without being captured by the black hole's gravity well.
The Falcon's claim to fame is that she has so much relative engine power/thrust/velocity/hyperspace bubble field strength/whatever compared to other Star Wars universe ships, she can skirt deeper into each black hole's gravity well, enough to shorten her journey by one-third.
Now, would that satisfy a hard-core physicist in a real-world situation? Not likely. Is it good enough to satisfy the "light science" of a space fantasy using concepts that most people have a basic grasp of (black holes pull everything, even light, toward them, but gravity can be overcome with enough power and when you're far enough away from a celestial body)? Works for me.
Well, true enough. The explanation doesn't explicitly say the ship has to cut through the event horizon; however, the explanation does mention the event horizon (even if in a way that indicates misunderstanding), and that at least suggests that the event horizon must be involved.
But that particular point doesn't matter so much, because we're talking about ships that are capable of traveling faster than light speed. Outside
the event horizon, anything
traveling at the speed of light, or faster, will be able to escape the gravity well with no trouble, no matter how close it gets. A ship that's only going the exact speed of light can get just as close to the event horizon as a ship that's going twice, or four times (etc) the speed of light; there is no danger until the event horizon itself is crossed (at which point....."farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies....").
Well, I take that back - there is a danger. It's called an "accretion disk", and I suppose there's a chance it can be traversed...but if so, speed is exactly everything that you do NOT want, unless your life's dream is to become a kind of red paste.