- "Oh, they've encased him in carbonite. He should be quite well protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is."
Carbonite was a liquid substance that was made from carbon gas and could change into a solid through rapid freezing. Goods could be encased in carbonite for preservation, through a process known as carbon-freezing, and an example was condensed Tibanna gas because carbon-freezing was used as a way to condense it for transport.
Carbonite blocks could also be used to place people in hibernation. Before the invention of the hyperdrive, some early spacers would use carbonite to endure long voyages. That technique, however, had brutal side effects, collectively referred to as hibernation sickness. Droids such as the DLC-13 mining droid could be made out of heat-resistant carbonite.
The discovery of the peculiar stasis qualities of carbonite by the scientists from the planet Koros Major saw the end of generation ships and development of sleeper ships. Ushering a new age of exploration that expanded the pre-Republic borders, carbonite freezing was employed aboard ancient sleeper ships to keep crews alive in extended periods of hibernation as they traversed interstellar space.
Over time the use of carbon freezing dropped off as the advent of hyperdrives eliminated the need for such extended voyages, and bio-enthropic field generators became standard for medical stasis applications. Only industrial applications remained in common usage, typically for freezing coaxium, tibanna and other volatile cargoes for transport. However, with some modification industrial grade freezing chambers could be modified into a crude and indeed painful means of bio-stasis sometimes described as "a big wide-awake nothing". At various times the likes of Imperials, bounty hunters and some underworld gangsters had been known to use this cruel but effective method. The earliest known use of carbon freezing living victims to be displayed as trophies date back thousands of years to the ancient Krath and their conquest of the carbonite mines of the Empress Teta system.
During the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and the clone troopers under their command embarked on an extraction mission to the Citadel on Lola Sayu. They used a large facility housed in the Jedi Temple to freeze themselves in carbonite, as a means to smuggle their team past the prison facility's life-form scanners.
During the Galactic Civil War, Skywalker, now Darth Vader, intended to trap his son Luke in carbonite on Bespin. Having blackmailed Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian into letting him use Cloud City's crude industrial carbon-freezing facility, he tested the device out on Han Solo to ensure the chamber would be safe. Once Solo was confirmed to be in perfect hibernation, the carbonite block was turned over to Boba Fett for transport to Jabba's Palace, where Jabba would display it as a trophy in his main audience chamber.
A few days after Solo's capture, Leia Organa along with several inhabitants of Cloud City, was also frozen in carbonite, having returned to Bespin and been subsequently apprehended by the Empire, Leia and the prisoners were quickly rescued by Skywalker and Calrissian, who were able to free them before the Empire could transport them off-world. Although Lady Qi'ra had Crimson Dawn steal Solo to use the frozen smuggler as bait for a trap, Fett came to regain possession of Solo, giving the carbonite block to crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure. Eventually, Solo was freed by Organa as part of a rescue effort.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Lost Treasure of Cloud City"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Race on Tatooine"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Maker of Zoh" (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Return of the Kyber Saber"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Embersteel Blade"
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 5
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Citadel"
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 36 (Guide to the Galaxy: The Deep Core)
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars (2020) 3
- Star Wars (2020) 4
- War of the Bounty Hunters 1
- (slide 13)
- The events of The Mandalorian take place in or around 9 ABY, per the reasoning here.
- Chapter 1: The Mandalorian