For starters, Luke probably would have still frozen to death before Han had time to build a shelter. We have no way of knowing for sure without knowing the exact cause of the Tauntaun's death. It seems like it dies from a mixture of hypothermia and exhaustion. If the Tauntaun died of hypothermia itself, Luke is immediately screwed, because the animal's body would be as cold as his, and only getting colder thanks to the sweet embrace of death. Even if that weren't the case, if Han allowed just one bit of the Tauntaun's innards to remain exposed after tucking Luke in there, then whatever body part is left hanging out will start cooling down the rest of Luke's body, still putting him at risk of hypothermia. Barring all of that, Han still has only one hour to build that shelter before Luke succumbs to the already-extreme exposure he's suffering from and dies.
Lucasfilm "And I thought they were freezing ... on the outside!"
Say Solo did manage to get Luke fully stashed away in a Tauntaun gut cocoon, and the creature was at a suitable temperature, and Han managed to construct a warm, insulated shelter in time. He still would've had to have been surgically careful of how he packed Luke into the lifesaving animal carcass in the first place. If the Tauntaun resembles an Earth creature even the slightest bit, it's going to have a bunch of gooey innards floating around inside its freshly-opened stomach. Should any part of that get all over Luke's face while he's riding around inside, which it very likely would, his mouth and nose would be frozen shut, suffocating him to death.
Lucasfilm Feet first it is.
So Han could've built a fucking Mariott and still unpacked his Tauntaun burrito to find a thoroughly dead Luke. At which point we imagine he would've returned to Echo Base and merely told everyone that he never found him.
Carolyn chronicles her own horrifying existence on Twitter.
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