You both could be right. If the only thing you are afraid of hitting is a star or a nebula...something we can see...then chances are you can skate right through. While 400 billion stars is a lot, when you have to cover millions of light years of space, and the stars mass shadow only covers a tiny fraction of that, and while everything is in motion, so are you...all objects in the galaxy have an orbital motion, and while it may be faster toward the core and slower on the rim, the vast bulk would obey relative speeds in relation to their neighbors. The real challenge of such a journey would be from traveling straight through the core. Conversely, our modern understanding of dark matter, which has developed after Star War's tropes were established, could make the journey much more unlikely just because of the sheer scale of what is unknown. If there are masses out their the size of a star that are undetectable by nature, the danger there is perilous, and leads to the logic of the star lanes. Now Dark Matter, to this point, has played little role in Star Wars simply because the science is still new and I think it is a little more confusion then the writers want to introduce to the space opera at this point. But if they wanted to pull that card, it could easily make hyperspace travel far more dangerous. As is, the long used standby is star wars is simply "the unknown"...rogue plants, comets, debris from destroyed star systems, etc. And just because a nav computer gives you a green light on your course does not mean something unexpected couldn't pull you out. In fact, the sources are filled with instances of getting yanked from hyperspace. The one thing that leans this more toward the perils of travel through the galaxy is just what Tusken38 said: Pretty much all hyperspace travel is an effort to reach a destination (I could see myself doing an endurance run and seeing just how long I could stay in hyperspace...but then one wonders if a nav would allow you to enter hyperspace without assigning an "exit".) Since you are always trying to reach "something"...a planet, a solar system, a nebula, there is going to be something in the path, even if just at the very end. In truth, I often thought of hyperspace travel very similar to flying in our world, where the most terrifying part for any pilot is the landing...the likelihood of an issue in hyperspace is nearing the final destination. Example: Let's say you are in hyperspace on your way to Yavin 4. Now depending on how you approach the system, you may be able to come out of hyperspace right over Yavin 4 with no issue. But maybe your course would require you to flying through Yavin itself (the gas giant)...perhaps then you must alter course long before to approach the system from another angle...or, like the Falcon and DS in ANH, you drop out on the far side of Yavin and transit around the gas ball before reaching your destination. Even worse, you enter the system on the far side of the Yavin star from the gas giant and the moon! What about another planet in the system between you, the star, the gas giant, and the moon. As long as you want to get somewhere, there will likely be something in the way.