Bacta Mask

About this scene:

Luke has now emerged from the Bacta tank, and is beginning recovery. First, a protective healing mask is removed from his face by 2-1B, and then he is able to converse with his friends. This leads to a rather awkward scene between himself and Leia.

Part of this scene was left intact at the point where Han enters the room, but the rest of this scene involving the mask removal and Luke's conversation with Leia ended up being removed. It remains in the novel and the comic book adaptation.

Some photos are from the LucasArts Behind The Magic CD ROM, the rest from various other sources.

To download and watch Luke and Leia begin to kiss from this scene, click here.
(Quicktime movie file, 140 KB with sound - from a trailer for The Empire Strikes Back)



Luke relaxes, waiting for 2-1B to remove his healing mask.  From the Star Wars Insider #49. Luke wearing the bacta mask. From the 'Behind The Magic' CD ROM. 2-1B reaches for the healing mask. Image courtesy of T-Bone Fender.

2-1B lifts the healing mask off. From the 'Behind The Magic' CD ROM. The mask removed.  From the Star Wars Insider #49. The mask removed, 2-1B scanning. From an ESB coloring book, image courtesy of T-Bone Fender.

Luke is out of the chamber, lying on the bed previously occupied by Han. Leia is at his side. She brushes the hair out of his eyes and runs her fingers along the scar on his face.

Leia enters the recovery room, concerned for Luke.

The Bacta are growing well. The scars should be gone in a day or so. Does it still hurt?

Luke thinks about his ordeal.

I'm fine. Really. Leia ... when I was out there and it looked pretty bad ... well, it made me think about things.

Me too. I was afraid.

Their eyes meet. Luke touches her cheek with his hand.

I don't really know how to say this ... I never have before ... Leia, you know how I feel about you ...

She does and it's confusing. Their lips are very close. About to kiss.

Luke and Leia about to kiss. From an early trailer for ESB. Luke and Leia, nearly kissing. From an ESB coloring book, image courtesy of T-Bone Fender.

The door opens noisily and Threepio enters with Artoo. Leia pulls back, startled. Luke realizes the moment has been lost. His mind races for a way to regain it as Leia takes on her more formal manner. The droids are a bothersome distraction; Luke's concentration is on Leia. Artoo beeps a cheerful greeting.

Threepio enters the recovery room, interrupting. From the ESB storybook.

Master Luke, it's so good to see you functional again.

Thanks, Threepio. Leia ...

Artoo beeps and whistles.

Artoo expresses his relief also.

Good. Thanks, Artoo.

LEIA (about to leave)
You rest now.

So much has happened during the period of your indisposition, sir.

I'll be back later.

(anxious to keep her) Leia ... What would you think if I went away for a while?

What did you say?!

Leia's reaction is so much bigger and more vociferous than Luke expected, it starts what is to become a growing snowball of confusion for him.

Where are you going?

I have this ... feeling. I'm not sure, really ...

LEIA That's just great. Why doesn't everyone just take off?

What are you talking about?


First Han, now you. When am I going to learn not to count on anyone but myself? ...

Han's leaving?

... I was getting along just fine before I met you two moon jockeys.

Calm down, will ya? Tell me about Han.

He wants to pay off that criminal he's in hock to.

Jabba the Hutt?

LEIA (back to her tirade)
I could get more loyalty if I went down the hall and recruited some of those snow creatures.

Snow creatures ... they're here?!

Yes, sir. But they're being trapped quite cleverly. Artoo beeps and whistles proudly.

THREEPIO (to Artoo)
What do you mean, you took care of that? I would hardly call your part in that matter great ...

Luke's head is spinning as Han and Chewie make a vigorous entrance. The Wookiee GROWLS a greeting.

Behind the UnScenes

Behind the scenes - note George Lucas and Gary Kurtz observing.

George Lucas and Gary Kurtz observe as the 2-1B hand is manipulated to lift the mask.

Another behind the scenes shot showing 2-1B's arm being manipulated. Courtesy of T-Bone Fender.

Crewmembers delicately remove the mask from Mark Hamill's face.