Every good theory needs refinement. Every good boy deserves fudge, too, but that’s a topic for another time.*

A couple of comments (and thank you for comments!) asked for clarification on the impact to body processes. One of those centered on the explusion of biological waste/excrement and “where it would go,” which I answered with the idea that his physical processes are so slowed/suspended as to remove the need for such a function. Basically, my thought was that he was trapped in a mental expanse without need for menial body functions.

I mean, obviously, he doesn’t need to breathe. He wouldn’t need to poop.

Han Solo Needed to Poop on Endor
That thing I couldn’t do while I was in carbonite? I need to do that. NOW.

This apparently backed me into a corner, though. Someone then asked how Solo could, in fact, retain consciousness while expending no energy. The brain, after all, needs to expend energy to function.

It’s a good question, given the other detail considered. I started explaining in a comment and realized that it would be far better to let it breathe and be a follow-up post.

The easiest dodge would be to point out that midichlorians are in all living things, and so even Han would continue to have some sort of mental awareness by extension as they would still function within him. Remember, even though the Jedi became over-reliant on measuring midichlorians, all beings had them and so the Force would speak to, through, and with everyone regardless. But again, that seems like an easy – and potentially very contentious! – way out here.

The Solution

The solution here seems to be emphasizing that Lando state Han is in “perfect hibernation” in The Empire Strikes Back, not “suspended animation.” By examining those words — words carefully chosen by those producing the film — I think it’s fair to say that Han is perfectly capable of consciousness. Hibernation indicates a slowed process, not a suspended one.

However, since he’s not in “suspended animation,” his body is still functioning. It’s just functioning at a very, very slow pace.

I really like this, as it could add an even greater sense of urgency to Han’s rescue. While he’s not going to die in the immediate term as his processes are slowed to a crawl, he is going through an elongated starvation/dehydration process. His awareness of that is actually irrelevant as he’d still be experiencing a panoply of mental reactions that would keep him from focusing on things.

Another horrific thought is that while things are slowed, it would be a race against not just starvation and dehydration, but some form of sepsis from being unable to vent waste. While his slowed functions would make the timeline of any death a matter of (many?) years, it could still be a race to see which horrible death he slowly suffers first.

Gratned, I think that suffocation would be the first on the roster of death unless – unless! – there were some way to feed him oxygen while in there.

The Sarlacc's Sweet Embrace Takes In Yet Another of Jabba's Contract Authors
Like carbonite, only stinkier.

Closing Points

This all ties also into an old debate among fans – namely, how the Sarlacc can feed on you for a thousand years. I’ve always been of the position that it functions like a symbiont, where it keeps the “food” alive and in some sort of stasis so that it can slowly devour every succulent molecule.

This refinement continues to allow for some really fascinating opportunities for fiction that I doubt would ever be explored, and I’m out of the business of offering ideas people can pick up for free and exploit unless they’re listening to my podcast, Aggressive Negotiations, on The Nerd Party.

Maybe I’d write the fan fiction for it, but I am completely too lazy.

Or am I? (I am.)

* This is an old saying, and I just want to clarify that good girls deserve fudge, too. I advocate that any person who exhibits good behavior deserves fudge. **

** If the person in question has some sort of food allergy, I would of course not advocate giving them something that could trigger a reaction. Please check all appropriate records before giving anyone any treats. ***

*** As a final note, as someone who has struggled with weight issues in the past, I also advocate a healthy lifestyle and not to bestow or consume treats/desserts/sugary foods too frequently, though of course how you judge “frequently” is entirely up to you.

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