Bacta Tank

About this scene:

Luke has just been rescued and brought back to the medical center by Han Solo. He's been attacked by a Wampa ice creature, and his face was slashed by the creature's claws. He barely escaped with his life, and would have frozen to death had Han not appeared. The medical droid 2-1B has placed Luke in a tank of healing Bacta fluid to help him recover.

Most of this scene remains in the film, but the dialogue that happens while Luke is in the Bacta tank has been cut out. The scene remains in the comic book adaptation of the film, and the novel.

Some of these photos are from the LucasArts Behind The Magic CD ROM, others are from various sources.

To download and watch a clip of Luke thrashing in the Bacta tank, click here.
(Quicktime movie file, 142 KB with sound - from a trailer for The Empire Strikes Back)



Strange ROBOT SURGEONS adjust a mass of electronic equipment.

2-1B throws the switch. From the Star Wars Sourcebook.

A switch is thrown and a sudden blinding flash obscures Luke in a chamber filled with a thick, gelatinous red slime. Luke begins to thrash about, raving in his delirium.

Luke thrashing around in the Bacta tank. From a trailer for ESB.


Leia, Threepio, and Chewbacca are watching from a glassed-off room next door, where Han is resting on a cushioned medical table. They can hear the mechanical surgeons working and Luke's ravings on a speaker in the room.

Leia and Threepio watch Luke thrashing and raving.

Watch out ... snow creatures ... dangerous ... Yoda ... go to Yoda ... only hope ... must survive ....

Han raises himself on the table, listening to Luke. Chewbacca makes him lie back down, then BARKS a comment in reference to Luke.

Observing through the safety window. From the ESB storybook.

He doesn't make sense to me either, Chewie.

I do hope he's all there ... if you take my meaning. I would hate to see Master Luke develop a short circuit ...

The kid ran into something mean, and it wasn't the cold.

Those creatures he keeps talking about ... we'd better double the security ... Han, I don't know how ...

Forget it.

TOO-ONEBEE (2-1B), a surgeon droid, enters the room.

He had gone into dormo-shock, almost hibernation. But he's responding to the Bacta. We'll bring him through.

Leia breathes a sigh of relief. Chewie lets out a long GRUNT of approval.

Now all we've got to worry about is what attacked him.

No kidding. If this snowball's got nasty natives, they could be anywhere.

Chewie WHINES, looks around.

That's right, Chewie, inside the base.

Behind the UnScenes

Behind the scenes - Luke being lowered into the Bacta tank. From the 'Behind The Magic' CD ROM. Behind the scenes - going down. From the 'Behind The Magic' CD ROM.

Mark Hamill enters the dunk-tank.

Ralph McQuarrie's vision of the scene. The final result is very close to this.

A pre-production Ralph McQuarrie painting of the medical area.