When Hans first enters the carbon-freeze chamber, his hands are tied by the Ugnauts.

Han Entering Carbon Freeze

However, when he is encased in carbonite, his hands had clearly been freed at some point, and were free at the time of freezing.



My questions are: (even though i know it's probably yet another Star Wars plot inconsitency, I want to know if there's some kind of canonical answer.)

  1. At what point were Han's hands freed
  2. How did he do it- if he did it himself
  3. If it wasn't him who did it and why (why not just free him)

Yes, I know I'm overthinking it.

But it's time I learned the truth about Han-Houdini.


1 Answer 1


The film's junior novel indicates that the Ugnaught guards removed them:

Two Ugnaughts approached Han, removed the manacles from his wrists, then stepped away from him. Leia watched the lift descend, carrying Han down into the central pit. From where Leia stood, only Han’s head was visible. His gaze never strayed from her.

Which you can see in this scene just before Han is placed into the carbonite chamber.

enter image description here

Interestingly, both the script and the official novelisation disagree, stating that he was firmly bound before being placed into the chamber.

As to the bindings on his upper arms, those were already made of carbonite and hence melted away when Leia unfroze him, according to Steve Sansweet, former Head of Content/Head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm.

Q. When Han Solo is being put into carbon freeze (The Empire Strikes Back), his hands are cuffed. When he comes out of the chamber his hands are up in the air and spread apart. Also, when he is thawed in Jedi, the bindings are gone. How does this happen?

A. The Ugnaughts remove the bindings on Han's hands before he is lowered into the chamber. If you watch carefully you should be able to catch it. The bindings that are on his upper arms are made of carbonite, and thus melt away when Leia releases Han from his carbonite coffin.

Ask the Lucasfilm Jedi Council - Starwars.com

  • 3
    Well, he's still got those things on his upper arms. So in that sense, he is "firmly bound". Apr 1, 2016 at 22:06
  • 1
    @JohnSensebe - They don't seem especially robust. Presumably he broke free of them.
    – Valorum
    Apr 1, 2016 at 22:37
  • 14
    Having just watched the scene where he's freed, carbonite also tucks your shirt in better for you.
    – Mazura
    Apr 2, 2016 at 5:15
  • 6
    @Mazura It really would be quite useless if it didn't to that as a minimum of courtesy. Least you can expect, really. Apr 3, 2016 at 12:07
  • @JohnSensebe - See edit.
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2017 at 11:11

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