CT What happens to people frozen in carbonite?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by vypernight, Dec 15, 2012.

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  1. vypernight Jedi Master

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    I guess you can chalk this up to morbid curiosity, but what happens to a person when they're frozen? It's called hybernation, which sounds like they're unconscious. However, I remember reading somewhere (I think the ROTJ novel a long time ago) where Han said he was conscious the entire time. Considering he was frozen for about a year, wouldn't that drive him insane? Minus the blindness, he seemed to recover pretty fast from it.

    Someone I talked to said it resembled a coma, while the Wikia makes it sound like suspended animation (where no time passes for the person).

    So is there any info on exactly what happens to someone when they become a living statue?
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  2. darthbarracuda Jedi Master

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    Nov 4, 2012
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    I'd assume it's like cryogenics, except you aren't dead. You just are in suspended animation, like you said.

    Now what bothers me is when Darth Vader freezes Han, he tells Lando and friends that it's an experiment to see it they will live. However, in the Clone Wars (I can't remember exactly who) but I think it was Rex and some other dudes that were frozen in carbonite to complete a mission or something. But if that happened, then why did Vader say it was basically an experiment if it's already happened?!?!
  3. vypernight Jedi Master

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    I remember hearing about that episode. Were they also frozen at Cloud City? If not, maybe the problem isn't with the freezing itself, but with CC. I mean, Vader did consider it, "Crude." Maybe they had never frozen a person with their equipment before.
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  4. Trask Ulgo Jedi Master

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    Maybe it isn't done often because in the past many have died doing so.
  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    In the sandstorm scene that was shot but ultimately cut from Jedi, Han describes it thusly:

  6. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Edited
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jan 15, 2014
  7. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    In a coma there's no awareness; this sounds like locked-in syndrome. Except maybe without any sensory information to feed the mind.
  8. vypernight Jedi Master

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    If that's the case, wouldn't the person go insane if they were in that for too long (like Han was for a year)?
  9. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    That sounds a little bit like what's often called 'lucid dreaming' (not the state where you can control dreams, but rather a state of paralysis in which the mind is awake, but the body is asleep) which I experience every so often, about once or twice every 2-3 years. Terrifying at first, until you find out what it is, then it's just irritating. I did reassure a co-worker once that she wasn't nuts - the 'terrifying man' at the foot of her bed who suddenly disappeared was the same as all the burglars, aliens & cats who used to torment me from time to time.
    The hallucinations stopped once I discovered what it was, but it still happens now & then, I'm just paralysed & want to get back to sleep. A friend of mine who has a mild, controlled form of epilepsy said what I described sounded exactly like having an epileptic fit. I mentioned it to a doctor once, he said it was very common, nothing to worry about unless it was happening all the time.

    (About 99.999% of supposed alien abductions are almost definitely lucid dreaming, the rest are just loonies.)

    Anyway, it does sound like what Han must have been experiencing in carbonite. Vague awareness of one's existence & surroundings, but no sensory control over or awareness of one's body - although I've found the best way to snap out of a lucid dream is to try as hard as you can to move a limb, then you wake up. Obviously Han didn't have that luxury.

    And yeah, you'd expect Han to go a bit nuts if he was like that for the 6-9 months he was in carbonite, but it's just a movie.

    Sick though it sounds, I'd love to be able to look into spending 6 months in an induced coma if it's like being asleep, just for a much-needed bit of relaxation. Let the rest of the world turn while I snooze.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Dec 16, 2012
  10. vypernight Jedi Master

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    I have the sleep paralysis from time to time. It terrifies me when it's just a few seconds.

    As for what Han said in the book, didn't Obi Wan in the book also mention that Owen was his brother? Maybe neither count as canon even if they're in the novel.
  11. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    No. Or at least, not necessarily. I've heard about one man who was misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state (no awareness) but in reality he was locked-in (he was aware but had no apparent control or way to communicate). It was on the order of 20 years before this was discovered, and the situation rectified, allowing him to communicate (I'm not sure how this was done - probably by using some tiny remnant of muscular control in a little finger or eyelid or something). He described it how you'd expect - impossibly frustrating. There probably aren't words to describe just how frustrating. While something like this would be damaging to a mind, I suspect people sometimes underestimate how resilient minds are.

    I believe the official stance is that if it's not contradicted by anything on a higher rung of the ladder (in this case, the films) then it counts. Of course, you can decide for yourself what you care about - but this is one of the (few, I'm assuming) descriptions of what it's like in carbon freeze, and is probably what was intended by Lucas et al, given that he, Kasdan, etc, signed off on it. Not to mention that because it's in an early and significant source, any other description of the phenomenon probably follows the model of this one.

    @Darth_Nub Your 'induced coma' reminds me of "deadheading" in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and how some people in Iain M. Banks's Culture operate (notably there's a ship in the novel Excession called the Sleeper Service; it carries a cargo of people in suspended animation and uses their bodies in dioramas of famous historical events).
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 16, 2012
  12. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Like I said, don't worry about it. Very common, usually brought on by stress (and can also occur due to certain 'other' factors, not that I'm suggesting you might indulge in them). But yeah, pretty unpleasant, particularly if you don't know what's going on.

    As Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn pointed out, nothing contradicts Han's description, while Obi-Wan referring to himself as Owen's brother was most definitively contradicted by AOTC. Both were even shot as parts of the film of ROTJ, so it's fair to say that they were potentially at the highest level of canon at one time, it's just that neither one attained that position due to not being included in the film of ROTJ, and one has been superceded by events in a later film.
    That's what canon debates come down to - if something ends up in one of the films, it's canon, and then it's up to GL & LFL to somehow work their way around any contradictions caused by future films. Everything else is fair game for dismissal at a later date, but most tend to accept shooting scripts & novelisations as canon until a contradiction occurs, in which case a finished film trumps everything else (including deleted scenes).
  13. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Yeah, you really have to go line by line when it comes to the movie novels. I mean-the ROTS novel was literally edited line by line by Lucas and even that doesn't wholly match what happens in the film. Plus there's also the fact that the OT novels at least are based on earlier versions of the scripts, hence the differences between what happens in the novel and what happens on screen (Blue Squadron in the ANH novel, blue Yoda in the TESB novel, and Owen & Obi-Wan in the ROTJ novel, to name a couple).
  14. vypernight Jedi Master

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    Oh I know, I just don't like the feeling of not being able to move. I usually end up throwing myself off the bed in an effort to move (I'm way too stubborn to just lay there and accept it).

    Now as for the frozen part, people suffering from sleep paralysis are usually aware of their own bodies and not being able to move. It sounds like Han wasn't aware of anything; where he was, what angle his body was. He might not even have been aware that he was a living statue. At least that's what a, 'wide awake nothing,' sounds like to me.

    Also, the wikia describes it as suspended animation, this the debate. Is it a state of awareness of nothingness or just a dreamless sleep where you don't even realize time passes by (Like a person trapped for decades believing only a second had passed by)?
  15. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    The instance of Han awakening and Han describing being frozen seem different. When Han wakes up, he has no idea of where he is, and is unaware of his surroundings until hearing Jabba's familiar laugh. The point here is that he is only able to hear this once he's released.

    Since the sandstorm is a deleted scene, I still consider it to be accurate, but it's still not clear how aware Han was.
  16. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I don't think that's how Han describes it though. "Wide awake nothing." Imagine floating in a sensory deprivation chamber, eyes closed, earplugs in, no sense of smell or taste. That's pretty much what it sounds like to me.
  17. STARKILLER365 Jedi Youngling

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    In the begin of Avatar the soldiers awake from a so called cryo-sleep, which is described as a bottle tequila and a beating. I think it's something like that.
  18. Felicia Jedi Knight

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    From what Ive read about Carbon Freezing it is a state of hibernation or a form of deep sleep. Solo once stated that he was awake at times while being in the Carbonite. What this leads me to believe it is like being asleep. Occasionally regaining consciousness and then falling asleep again.
  19. Frankakin skywalker Jedi Master

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    Dec 13, 2012
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    I think it would be like this: Imagine you closing your eyes and never opening them and you feel stone all around you. You cannot breath or talk to anyone and you stay there forever, no food, no drink, until Princess Liea rescues you, you open your eyes and the walls melt away. I wonder how he survived with no air, food, or drink though.
  20. vypernight Jedi Master

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    Imagine being like that for decades like Boba Fett's wife was!
  21. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    "It had been a grim sensation - as if for an eternity he'd been trying to draw breath, to move, to scream, every moment in conscious, painful asphyxiation - and now suddenly he was dumped in a loud, black, cold pit."

    Edit- the "memory overload" from all your memories coming back at once, is said in the novel to have driven people mad- but that Han's tougher than that.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Dec 22, 2012
  22. vypernight Jedi Master

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    I know it's been a while, but I just thought of something. According to the Wookipedia (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Suspended_animation) article, being frozen would slow all brain and heart functions. Now I'm no expert on Anatomy and Physiology, but I'm pretty sure heart rate and brain waves are affected by or affect emotions. Therefore, while he may be experiencing the complete nothing, there's little fear, just an awareness. This would explain how he recovered pretty fast emotionally, but just thinking of the experience would terrify him. Still I don't see how you could be so aware and suffer if your functions are nearly frozen themselves.

    Also, a different or related question. How exactly does the carbon freezing chamber even woek on people? This page shows what a carbonite slab would ordinarily look like: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Carbon_freezing It's basically a rectangular mold with the gas trapped within, somehow staring in the shape of the mold itself. This means the person would need to be inside this mold as well. However, in both ESB and The Clone Wars episode, the people are lowered into the pit with no mold around them. There's not even a mold around when they're sprayed with the gas. So how does it work?

    Once again, I think this is just morbid curiosity.
  23. Bazinga'd SWC/PT/ Spinoff Manager -Destroyer of Spam

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    I think the individual is lowered into the pit and the mold forms around the person or object while down in the pit.
  24. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    I bet there is...shrinkage.
  25. rumsmuggler Chosen One

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    As said before already, the facility in Cloud City was crude. I'm assuming the carbon freeze facility in that clone war episode wasn't crude.
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