Worried that Finn's injuries near the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opens in new tab) will keep him laid up for most of Star Wars 8 (opens in new tab)? Sounds like you don't need to be, thanks to the healing magic of bacta. MakingStarWars.net (opens in new tab) reported earlier this week that the untitled sequel will include a scene of Finn being removed from a "bacta suit" - a bubbly frame that keeps the fluid circulating over his wounds - and finding himself in great conidition. Then he's ready to set out on a new adventure.
But what is this miraculous substance that can knit Finn's nasty lightsaber wounds like darning a sock? If you're not deep into Star Wars, you may not have noticed its previous appearances. But fear not, here's a brief history of bacta and how it saves your favorite characters from wasting months on the mend.
Luke gets submerged in a bacta tank
The best known use of bacta in Star Wars is when Luke gets dunked in a great big vat of the stuff in The Empire Strikes Back. The bacta's healing properties are strong enough to help Luke quickly recover from the mauling and exposure he suffered at the hands of an angry wampa. No word on whether it can get that awful stench of tauntaun innards off of him, though. Aroma aside, the bacta tank gets Luke back on his feet in time to help evacuate Echo Base and blast off to Dagobah.
Captain Rex gets healed with a bacta bandage
Miraculous recoveries are great, but lugging a person-sized bacta tank around with you everywhere is a little bit impractical. Fortunately, you can take some of the wound-mending goodness with you on the go: in "The Deserter" episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Clone trooper Captain Rex's battle wounds are treated with a bacta bandage. It sounds like the "bubble suit" that the Resistance uses to treat Finn's wounds falls somewhere between this and the good old bacta tank.
Battlefront turns bacta into grenades
But why worry about applying a bandage when you can just toss a healing grenade at your buddy's feet? Star Wars Battlefront (opens in new tab) added a new piece of equipment to the Star Wars arsenal: bacta bombs. They're exactly what they sound like: little canisters full of bacta that burst after being thrown, dispersing a healing mist to keep you and your comrades up and fighting. It's just the latest in a long line of nominally-bacta-infused healing items in Star Wars video games, but most of them aren't accepted parts of the greater Star Wars canon any more.
At least one (non-canonical) war was fought over the stuff
I won't spend too much time on this, since it's definitely not part of the modern Star Wars story, but there's a whole book about Rogue Squadron starting a war to wrest control of the galaxy's biggest bacta-producing planet from the Empire. Turns out a semi-magical goo that can rapidly heal even the gravest of injuries is kind of a big deal. The book's called, appropriately, X-Wing: The Bacta War.
Directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Benicio del Toro, Star Wars 8 opens in cinemas on December 15, 2017.
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