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  1. § RobC Email said on :
    1) The Tauntaun could have died of exhaustion/heart attack, and actually be hyperthermic at death.

    2) The cooling curve assumes human physiology. Highly blubbery animals retain heat, and post-mortem metabolism keeps producing heat. There are reports of whales, seals, and reindeer having almost no change in body temperatures for hours after death. My guess is a TuanTuan is more like a reindeer than a person.

    IRVING, L., AND J. KROGH, 1954. Body temperatures of arctic and subarctic birds and mam
    mals. J. Appl. Physiol., 6 : 667-”680
  2. § JamesH Email said on :
    RobC, that’s true, however futher loss of body heat, even heat generated by post-mortem decomposition and retained by high concentrations of blubber and body fat, would be compromised by the large incision made by Han into the animal’s intestines. Unless he stitched the wound back up, the opening would allow for a much more rapid heat loss from the carcass.
  3. § Dave Email said on :
    I think there are other factors to consider like wind chill, the direction of the wind in position to Lukes body in the TuanTuan.

    Its also odd for a TuanTuan to be running and warmed up to die of hyperthermia when Han has been sitting on top and not doing anything and be perfectly fine. Its also odd it would freeze since its a native animal to Hoth? this is an assumption. So if it is its survival will be like a polar bear to the arctic climate.

    Just putting it out there.
  4. § Drake Email said on :
    in response to the origin of the Tauntaun, the starwars wiki claims they were indeed indigenous to Hoth…which still would not mean it would be able to survive exposed in a fierce God`s wrath type snow storm (like in Empire Strikes Back) for an indefinite period of time. Presumably, the tauntaun would be able to live in the frigid temperatures attributed with Hoth but, like creatures indigenous to various other extreme environments, it would seek cover when the weather turned from bad to the worst. I doubt there is really an issue that even the hardened creatures used to that type of planet could only take so much before they sought refuge or died.
  5. § Drake Email said on :
    Tauntaun families occupying an ice cave http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Tauntaun_Species.jpg
  6. § Lisslar Email said on :
    A more pertinent question might be what is the average internal body temperature of a Tauntaun, and how good is that fur coat? I’ve worn a few furs in my time and their warmth is indescribable.

    I’m also going to speculate that since Luke had been riding his Tauntaun rigorously in extreme conditions, the poor thing’s heart probably gave out much like a horse’s would when ridden to hard over time.

  7. § Wolfie G. Nards® Email said on :
    I had the same thought. how could a native Tauntaun die, yet Han is sitting pretty? Maybe, their jackets were better insulated than fur?

    And a couple reminders:
    Han was warned before leaving the rebel base that his TaunTaun wouldn’t survive the night.

    And it was Han’s TaunTaun that was cut open, Luke’s was eaten by the Wampa .
  8. § Moji Email said on :
    Best. discussion. ever.
  9. § DaveG said on :
    Considering the ginormous gap of technology at that time compared to what we have here on Earth even today, it stands to reason that Han would have been able to set up his shelter within seconds, since we here now have just recently created “pop-up” tents that are simply thrown to the ground, pop-up and only need to be staked to be ready for occupation. Does anyone have a link to what shelter Han had at his disposal on Hoth?
  10. § jedivet Email said on :
    I work on sled dogs in extremely cold environments, and I have to say that the hyperthermia theory is sound. Heat stroke is a problem in sled dogs. Hypothermia does occur, as well, but overexertion leading to thermal injury from too much heat is much more common. Also, there are issues with kidney function secondary to muscle damage in animals worked too hard. This also occurs in horses ridden too hard in endurance races, especially if they are allowed to become dehydrated. And while the cold is the obvious presumed cause of death for Han’s tauntaun, it doesn’t make sense for all the reasons stated above. Native environment, natural insulation, etc, make it unlikely that the tauntaun would freeze to death so quickly (it might still freeze in a tremendous storm without cover, but not so quickly) and hyperthermia or myoglobinuria or an underlying previously unknown medical condition, such as a cardiomyopathy, are far more likely to have killed the tauntaun. The last differential is probably most likely, as the death was sudden and occurred without any obvious seizures or other signs of increased body temperature. Just my nickel. Also? The fact that this conversation exists fills me with glee. Thanks!
  11. § Lord Bounty Email said on :
    I think it’s most likely that the Tauntaun ate some bad puffer-fish, or had some other underlying condition that was going to kill it. They did say it wouldn’t last the night.

    And if it was already sick and dying, it might have had a fever, giving Luke a few more minutes.

    That might also explain the smell.
  12. § Angry Sam Email said on :
    Wouldn’t the Tauntaun’s body still provide shelter and keep Luke warm even after it had frozen solid? As I understand it, igloos work quite well.
  13. § djs Email said on :
    You nimrods, Han was taking emergency steps to keep Luke alive until he could build a shelter.

  14. § Drake Email said on :
    thank you for acting like you are calling attention to a groundbreaking rebuttal when in fact the entire discussion has been about how long Luke could survive while Han built the camp. Nice try.
  15. § TK-2243 Email said on :
    I wish they both would have died. The secon Death Star was almost to completion before these “rebel” idiots ruined everything!

    For Vader,
  16. § Destructor Email said on :
    There is another point not being considered: the rate at which Luke’s body loses heat given the nature of the Tauntaun’s insides. Cold water can cool a human body 20 to 30 times faster than cold air. Given the water-based nature of bodies, if the Tauntaun’s body were to cool to any temperature below Luke’s body temperature, Luke’s body temperature would likely drop nearly in sync with the Tauntaun’s.

    I agree that the Tauntaun’s body would not cool as quickly as a human’s, but I think it would cool much quicker than a whale’s or seal’s body (whales, seals, and walruses are all aquatic animals that can thrive in waters of near freezing temperature). I doubt any land animal would carry even remotely as much protective blubber, and one can clearly see that Tauntauns are not even built as solidly as Musk Oxen!

    Also, let us not forget that mild hypothermia is defined as having a core body temperature below 95 degrees F (severe below 82 degrees), so Luke’s body temperature really didn’t have to fall far for him to be in serious danger.
  17. § Destructor Email said on :
    ALSO: Han’s clothing (and all the clothing of all the rebels) could have integrated some sort of light-weight body temperature regulation mechanism to help up- or down-regulate core body temperature as weather conditions and exertion warranted. This might allow the Tauntaun to die of hypothermia while Han remained warm enoughm, though I do think the idea of Tauntaun death by exhaustion or some underlying cardiovascular issue certainly has merit.
  18. § kevin Email said on :
    *Has anyone here seen a human vagina?
  19. § DrGern Email said on :
    While the temperature of the belly would be dropping rapidly, the point is that it would be substantially warmer than the surrounding air. That differential is the important point. Luke didn’t have to be in an environment that was warmer than his body to be safer, just warmer than the air. It was the wind that was the problem. Also, he was wearing the same suit as Han, so he had that protection as well, which appeared to be enough to serve Han pretty well in that he was fine up to that point just sitting on the back of the Tauntaun.
  20. § annony Email said on :
    Long enough for Solo to get the shelter built.
  21. § r0b1n Email said on :
    Just how far in was Luke anyway ? This reconstruction shows him dangerously exposed to more than just hypothermia…

  22. § r0b1n Email said on :
    Copy and paste URL:

  23. § Han Solo Email said on :
    Do you people understand that these are fictional creatures and your are having a conversation and speculation as if you are using real facts. The planet’s temperature and the animal’s average body temperature are made up in the mind of Lucas – they arent real. duh.
  24. § Wolfie G. Nards® Email said on :
    Awesome cake, r0b1n. It demonstrates that even though Luke Skywalker would be in serious medical danger, his crotch would be protected and toasty warm. And edible.

    I like that Han Solo just gave everyone a lecture on not knowing the difference between fantasy and reality.
  25. § jedivet Email said on :
    Wolfie-excellent point on our dear Han!

    Oh, and Kevin? I have one (and always have). Does that count?

    Seriously, this conversation is just plain made of win and anyone who doesn’t get that, well, doesn’t get that. They also probably think only guys like sci-fi and all that rot. This isn’t the talk they’re looking for. They should move along.
  26. § Spacey Email said on :
    This discussion makes me smile 🙂
  27. § Thranta Email said on :
    Just discovered this site. I’m in awe. In bliss. This thread is made of cool! Gonna dig around some more.

    P.S. – you have just re-awaken my (first) love for SW 🙂
  28. § Fett-Secura Email said on :
    Seems to me that while yes, the Tauntaun’s protection would have been significantly better than laying in the snow, ice and wind with your face in the snow, the point remains, how quickly would Han have to put up the shelter in order for Luke to survive?

    I think the first variable that needs to be disregarded is post-incident injuries… For example, if your finger freezes through, then Han puts up the shelter, having the shelter there won’t fix the finger problem… However, they have bacta and for the sake of simplicity, I’d like to assume that that’s not a factor.

    It seems like the primary concern is the exposed areas, even if you’re completely bundled up everywhere except your head, a lot of heat is going to escape from your head, this applies to just about any body part. It seems like the primary reason for Luke’s issues was his exposed areas.

    If the Tauntaun did die of hyperexhaustion (seems pretty likely to me) then his core temperature would have been MUCH higher… Now, it looks as if Han is highly underdressed for the kind of cold he’s in and the kind of comfort he’s in. Therefore I think it’s pretty safe to assume that in addition to some very warm fur and down and whatnot, they likely have a heating system within the fabric… I always thought of it being like an electric blanket. Therefore while the cold might have been decreasing the tauntaun’s core temperature, the tauntaun’s temp would have been higher than Luke’s (hyperexhaustion compared to hyperthermia) compared with Luke’s “electric blanket” Luke’s temperature should have been rising for a decent amount of time.

    Now, the tauntaun appears to have no blubbler whatsoever when he’s sliced open, so in order to solve the problem I think it’d be necessary to know just exactly what’s keeping this creature alive even in normal conditions… Food was obviously not incredibly available, so I think an ultra-high metabolism is out, then it would have been substantial regardless.

    As for the shelters being put up in seconds, I doubt that Han had ideal equipment with him, still, I think one hour is a highly reasonable time.
  29. § Any moose Email said on :
    I really doubt that a grown man could fit inside of a human vagina. Even if we overlook that problem, I believe that the insides of a tauntaun would offer superior heat retention.
  30. § Dante Email said on :
    Any moose, you’re my hero. This conversation is made of win.
  31. § Casper Email said on :
    Does a light saber generate heat? Looks like it, which helps.

    If you were traveling on Hoth at all, wouldn’t you have some sort of awesome insta-shelter with you? Seems like an easy precaution to take.

    Sorry I’m thinking like a gadget geek and not a science geek.
  32. § Mike Email said on :
    I actually did this exact problem for my heat transfer class in school. Obviously there are a lot of assumptions that had to be made about the various layer thickness and coefficients of conduction. Using very reasonable assumptions we built a computer model to calculate the transient heat loss during a blizzard scenario and we found that he could easily survive up to 8 hrs. Longer if a snow drift were to build up on the taun taun.
  33. § Unterdosis Email said on :
    @ Any Moose

    Depends. Maybe not totally, but…
  34. § Anselm Email said on :
    If Han’s jacket has any sort of heating elements, then I’d assume Luke’s does too, since they’re the same (they are, right? It’s been almost ten years since I’ve seen this). If Luke’s jacket has a heating element, I’d assume Han would just turn that up. Note that he doesn’t even check.

    Tauntaun: As someone noted above, it doesn’t seem to have any major blubber layer, but it might well have organ fat to keep the organs warm, and a highly saline blood that resists freezing and just copes with being cold (or whatever). That would make it much cooler; on the other hand, it might have a very high metabolism with a highly efficient vascular system to pump the blood around. The problem with both of these things is that a low metabolism would lead to sluggishness in the cold, while a high metabolism would require enormous amounts of food. I’m guessing it’s just very well insulated with that there fur stuff.
  35. § Granulor Email said on :
    The big chunk missing from the equation is the heat continuing to be generated by Luke himself. His tauntaun suit will continue to insulate him well after it has cooled to point of freezing on the outside. Animal tissue is a pretty good insulator (heat cap. 3.5J/gK). Ever seen a fat guy sweat on a cool day? I’d say you could safely double or triple that 56 minute figure.
  36. § Chasm said on :
    According to the Star Wars database, “As a result, a lightsaber only expends power when its blade cuts through something. So efficient is the blade, that it does not radiate heat unless it comes into contact with something.” which implies that the act of cutting open the Tauntaun seared its’ flesh creating a warmer cocoon. Luke’s light saber could thus be a source of heat at any time. Also.
  37. § Thorvindr Email said on :
    Regarding lightsabers: Whoever wrote the Star Wars database article is a fluff writer and knows nothing of the “actual” science behind the weapon. A lightsaber requires enormous amounts of power, which is why Jedi in the era of the first Sith War (five thousand years before the battle of Yavin) had to plug them into their belts.

    A lightsaber is not an LED. An LED, while it emits both light and heat, has almost zero electrical resistance. A lightsaber is a free-formed beam of light. Anything that generates light generates heat. An LED generates heat because it basically sets fire to the electrons (is that the right word?). An LCD television or computer monitor generates heat as well, and all it does is display colored light.

    How can a weapon (or device of any sort, for that matter) that generates a length-controlled beam of coherent (tangible, physical, visible, etc) light not generate heat? Light is hot. If I shine my LED flashlight on my wooden desk long enough, the area on which the light falls will heat up.

    A lightsaber is essentially a very powerful laser. It absolutely generates heat whenever it is turned on. Saying that it only generates heat when it comes in contact with an object is utterly ridiculous. An electric knife blade only generates heat when it contacts an object, because that’s the only time it produces friction (the motor generates heat all the time, but I mean the blade itself).

    Anything that is as small as a lightsaber, and has the power output of a lightsaber, generates heat whenever it is turned on. Running wires from one end of a battery, through resistors and then back into the battery generates heat, and that’s not producing anything but electrical resistance.

    The databank article mis-represents the lightsaber to avoid answering this question: “How can you fight, for any extended period of time, with a giant heat-producing, coherent laser beam two inches from your hand and not smell burnt meat?”

    Getting back on topic: Yes, the lightsaber could have made a viable heat source. But what was Han to have done with it? Stick in in the snow? It would melt a hole through snow, ice and bedrock all the way to the planet’s core, or at least until it hit something hard enough to stop it, or hot enough to fry it’s electronics. Hang it from the ceiling of “the shelter?” Better hope the wind doesn’t blow too hard.

    I think that the amount of heat the lightsaber passed to the tauntaun corpse, while perhaps measurable, is negligible. It certainly wouldn’t have had any notable effect on how long Luke could have survived.

    This debate is entirely academic, at any rate, because Luke DID survive, so really the question becomes: how long did it take Han to build the shelter?

    I have to go with “several seconds, perhaps an entire minute.” To re-iterate a previous comment: I can go to Wal-Mart and buy a tent that unfolds itself in just a few seconds. Then all I have to do is nail it down.

    That argument does beg the question: If it only took Han a few seconds to setup the shelter, why bother cutting open the tauntaun? Answer: “Shit happens.” Yes, under ideal conditions, it only takes a minute to setup the shelter. But Luke is delirious, probably dehydrated, and all-in-all, in bad shape. If something goes wrong, and it takes longer than planned to build the shelter, Luke will be okay for the few extra minutes Han needs to fix it. If everything does go according to plan, no harm done. Luke is no worse off than he would have been had Han not stuck him in the tauntaun.

    “Plan for the worst, hope for the best,” my dad always said.

    So: How long could Luke survive in a Tauntaun? Who cares? At most, it should have taken Han five or ten minutes to pitch a tent and setup a space heater, even in the middle of a blizzard. If he was doing anything more than pitching a heated tent, he needs to be shot for unnecessarily endangering his friend’s life.

    If anyone has, in fact, pitched a tent during a blizzard, I will of course defer to their experience, but you can be damn sure I’ll be trying it during the next convenient blizzard.
  38. § G & G’s Mum said on :
    Luke should listen to his mother, and wear long johns, and double layers of everything else.
  39. § ryleyg Email said on :
    A factor here (given the fantastical nature of the conversation) could be that the Wampa damaged Luke’s imagined internal heating apparatus.

    That would explain Luke’s dire need and Han’s relative comfort.

    Yay for off camera exposition!
  40. § pinguino Email said on :
    I just camped outside in a tauntaun for about an hour in 30 degree weather, til my boyfriend felt sorry for me and traded sleeping bags. I didn’t listen to Luke’s mom and was not wearing long johns, but I had two hoodies on.
  41. § Big John Email said on :
    Really? Who gives a crap. Go get laid or something.
  42. § Michæl Atchison Email said on :
    While re-watching Empire Strikes Back last week, it occurred to me that Luke really shouldn’t have left the wampa’s shelter in the first place. Although the furry beast stood about eight feet tall, it clearly was no match for Luke’s lightsaber. If I were a Jedi-in-training and had managed to free my feet from the ceiling of the ice cave (admittedly no difficult feat), I wouldn’t have stopped with just the wampa’s arm. I would have chopped him up, cooked him, and settled in for the night. The cave obviously offered protection from the icy winds far superior to any tent Han could set up. He could have even used his position to radio Han and let him know to wait until sunrise to come rescue him (assuming his communications equipment wasn’t damaged when he was dragged through the snow unconscious).

    I assume Obi-Wan could still have appeared to him in ghost-mode inside the safety of the cave. But maybe Luke needed to get close to death in order to unlock his mind and channel the Force.
  43. § Elizabeth J Email said on :
    Perhaps the Tauntaun died of a mysterious illness that in fact gave it a fever (like someone else has said here). I put to you that the tauntaun would have an average body temp closer to a buffalo or a lama, both of which have temp closer to 100 degrees farhenheit. And if it was running a fever and stressed (poor little mite) that would be what, 104-107 degrees? Factor that in, my little nerd-ulos!
  44. § jCole said on :
    And I thought I was a Star Wars nerd…. Jesus Christ people… go outside.
  45. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    you know jCole, I checked the starwars weather site today, and it’s COLDER than hoth. I’m not going outside.
  46. § jCole Email said on :
    Touche’… I got nothin’

  47. § jCole Email said on :
    O I know… serious question.

    Has anyone here, actually ever had a woman touch their penis?

    (a cardboard cut out of Princess Leia in the gold bikini does not count)
  48. § baggett Email said on :
    my mom touched it once. when i got a tick on it. she burned it with a match. now my poor kram looks like yoda’s would.
  49. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    well, no, but have you seen how much shrinkage there is when your naked in the hoth???? can’t even put a finger tip on it
  50. § jCole Email said on :
    Well, you could always jump in the Tauntaun with Luke and have a battle it out with your mini lightsabers.
  51. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    pssh, my light saber has two tips, lukes has one, no contest, although tauntaun guts do get me goin’
  52. § jCole Email said on :
    It puts the lotion on the skin…
  53. § Darth Chandler Email said on :
    All of your Tauntauns R Belong to the empire now. One should use AT-AT moar on hoth to avoid hypothermia.
  54. § gretsky Email said on :
    it’s not the size or tips of your saber that matter…more like whether or not they retract early.
  55. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    very true gretsky, saber control in this day and age, whether you’re on hoth or tattoine, is really the important issue.

    fact: vader can never go to hoth, as it will fog up the inside of his helmet.
  56. § DJ Wesley Wayne Email said on :
    I played a party on Hoth once and bitches got so wet their Vagaygays froze to their TaunTauns
  57. § baggett Email said on :
    i would also postulate that vader cant go to degobah systems either, due to the humidity. this would also fog up his helmet.

    on the other hand,

    Vader: “Princess Leah! Kneel before me!”

    Leah : “Never!”

    Vader: “C’mon..why dontcha just um…fog up my helmet real quick and maybe I won’t blow up Aldeberan!

    Leah : “what?…fog up your helmet..what the?”

    Vader: “Ahem…you know..uh…cough cough…my helmet? ( points to codpiece)

    Leah: “Well, as long as it doesn’t taste like a nerfhurder.”

    (gargle gargle)
  58. § DJ Wesley Wayne Email said on :
    Vader has hired me to go with him. My shit is so hot its used as climate control.
  59. § Yoda Email said on :
    Get a life you must.
  60. § Vader Email said on :
    Leah, you promised you wouldn’t tell anyone about our helmet experiment.

    Next time, I’m sticking with the tauntaun. It’s vag is so hot it reminds me of DJ Wesley Wayne.

    I said it.
  61. § DJ Wesley Wayne Email said on :
    Yeah I have Get A Life by Lil Wayne. I mix it with Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry and the panties drop faster than I do when given a suckable wang
  62. § Yoda Email said on :
    Embarrassing yourself you are.

    The sales in PBR are strong with this one.
  63. § Hooper Email said on :
    Always some white boy gotta invoke the holy trilogy. Bust this: Those movies are about how the white man keeps the brother man down, even in a galaxy far, far away. Check this shit: You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!
  64. § Banky Edwards Email said on :
    What’s a Nubian?
  65. § Hooper Email said on :
    Shut the fuck up! Now… Vader, he’s a spiritual brother, y’know, down with the force and all that good shit. Then this cracker, Skywalker, gets his hands on a light saber and the boy decides he’s gonna run the fuckin’ universe; gets a whole clan of whites together. And they go and bust up Vader’s hood, the Death Star. Now what the fuck do you call that?
  66. § Banky Edwards Email said on :
    Intergalactic civil war?
  67. § Hooper Email said on :
    Gentrification! They gon’ drive out the black element to make the galaxy quote, unquote, safe for white folks. And Jedi’s the most insulting installment! Because Vader’s beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin’ to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!
  68. § Banky Edwards Email said on :
    Well, isn’t that true?
  69. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    han solo and luke would still be safe on hoth considering vader would never go to a place as cold as hoth given his beautiful black visage!

    wait, hooper, are you saying vader is really michael jackson?
  70. § Hooper Email said on :
    For years in this industry, whenever an African American character, hero or villain, was introduced – usually by *white* artists and writers – they got slapped with racist names that singled them out as Negroes. Now, my book, “White-Hatin’ Coon,” don’t have none of that bullshit. The hero’s name is Maleekwa, and he’s a descendant from the black tribe that established the first society on the planet, while all you European motherfuckers were still hiding in caves and shit, all terrified of the sun. He’s a strong role model that a young black reader can look up to. ‘Cause I’m here to tell you, the chickens is coming home to roost, y’all. The black man’s no longer gonna play the minstrel in the medium of comics and sci-fi fantasy. We keepin’ it real, and we gonna get respect by any means necessary.
  71. § Holden Email said on :
    Ah, come on, that’s a bunch of horse shit! Lando Calrissian was a black guy. You know. He got to fly the Millennium Falcon, what’s the matter with you?
  72. § Holden Email said on :
    Lando Calrissian is a positive role-model in the realm of science-fiction/fantasy.
  73. § Hooper Email said on :
    Fuck Lando Calrissian! Uncle Tom nigga!
  74. § Michael Jackson Email said on :
    That’s ignorant
  75. § rolfmonster Email said on :
    Put your helmet back on vader
  76. § Michael Jackson Email said on :
    I like Luke. He makes my pee pee go boing.
  77. § Yoda Email said on :
    White boy Anakin was.
  78. § Yoda Email said on :
    The real Uncle Tom Jar-Jar Binks is.
  79. § Vader Email said on :
    Michael Jackson’s scared of his roots. Mike, I am your father.

    Wesley Wayne is my father, and Yoda is my love child.

    Yoda likes jesus juice, and everyone likes a lil prostitot once in a while.

    Can you feel the love?

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