During his private scuba training, Mark Hamill may have been prepping for a shoot (rather than filming the scene itself), but it turns out that he had an audience the whole time, anyway. “I remember, at one point,” he explains, “looking up and on the second floor balcony there were, I don’t know, 50 girls all up there giggling and pointing and laughing. So that was interesting.”
Once he was ready, the actor was brought back to the studio, where he was hooked up and installed into the dunk-tank alternative seen on film. His training came through, and the experience ended up being quite relaxing. The actor explained, “It was wonderful because the water was warm enough to be comforting and it was very much like being in an isolation tank. [Luke Skywalker is] supposed to be unconscious so you’re just floating there … It was surreal because you could look out and see the outlines of Harrison and Carrie and [the director] Irvin Kershner and the crew. It was a unique experience to me. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like that since.”
The odd scene wasn’t the last time the liquid health plan would be front and center in the Star Wars universe. The Bacta tank has made an appearance in several locations in the four decades since its native on-screen voyage. It popped up, among other places, in “The Book of Boba Fett,” where the titular character consistently uses a portable version of the contraption to heal from his wounds. Darth Vader also inhabits a Bacta tank on multiple occasions, including in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series.