- "What I mean to say is that I think this belongs to Vader, and that Vader was able to follow us to Fial, then Galidraan, by tracking his property."
Darth Vader's meditation chamber was a life support pod that allowed the Sith Lord to survive for extended periods without the helmet and mask of his suit. The injuries Vader sustained during his duel against Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar normally made this impossible.
Some three meters in diameter, the meditation chamber was flattened on the bottom, designed to nestle in a hexagonal dais. It had neither a proper hatch nor a control panel; and had two longitudinal seams which allowed the device to open into two hemispheres.
Five years after the Proclamation of the New Order, Darth Vader was in possession of a mobile meditation chamber which he ordered to be transferred from a Victory-class Star Destroyer to Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's Carrion Spike for their mission to Murkhana. During the transferral, Vader selected a dozen stormtroopers to accompany him and had them load the chamber onto Tarkin's corvette; during the maneuver, the sphere collided briefly with the edge of the ship's cargo hold hatch, for which Vader grew angry at Sergeant Crest, the one controlling the repulsorlift crane.
When the Carrion Spike was stolen by Berch Teller's rebel cell on Murkhana, Vader used the meditation chamber as a homing beacon of sorts, allowing him to track and pinpoint the rebels' exact location despite the corvette's stealth system. Thanks to it, the Sith Lord and Tarkin pursued the ship from Murkhana to the Fial and Galidraan systems. During the Imperial attack on Galidraan Station, Teller and Artoz decided to jettison the device just as they made their escape to Lucazec.
Vader acquired a new meditation chamber, which he kept on his flagship, the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor. In the prelude to the Battle of Hoth, Vader was using the chamber when General Maximilian Veers informed him that Admiral Kendal Ozzel had emerged from lightspeed too close to Hoth, alerting the Alliance's Echo Base, for which Vader Force choked Ozzel to death for his incompetence, and then appointed Captain Firmus Piett as the new Admiral on the spot, while sitting in the open chamber.
Piett later entered before Vader had finished putting on his mask, and informed him that the Millennium Falcon had entered a asteroid field. Vader then ordered the entirety of Death Squadron to begin sweeping the field so as to find Han Solo's freighter.
Behind the scenes
- "When the first scene with the meditation chamber played, I thought it was a wonderfully graphic shape and the contrast between the black outside and brightly lit inside could look nice on a poster. I quickly scribbled a thumbnail and I knew right away that was the way to go."
- ―Matt Ferguson, on creating his Empire at 40 poster
Vader's meditation chamber scenes for The Empire Strikes Back were filmed at Elstree Studios outside of London. An unused take from Empire was going to be used for a scene early on in Return of the Jedi, where Vader telepathically attempts to communicate with Luke Skywalker, though this sequence was cut from the film prior to release. It lasted long enough in the cut to be fully scored by John Williams.[source?]
The meditation chamber was used as the key design feature for Matt Ferguson's official Empire at 40 film poster.
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