The Jedi and Death Part II

Many of the great Jedi including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker, were able to exist beyond their physical “death” as force ghosts. This skill with the force gave them the powerful ability to interact with those still living, guiding them and advising their former friends and students. This ability helped to add an incomparable amount of important content to films we would otherwise not have seen. So this ability and its application in the Star Wars cinematic universe should be considered a cornerstone of the Jedi faith. Without it, many stories would have been impossible to tell in the film medium.

This post is part of a small blog series about the Jedi, Sith, and their views on death and how each side of the force relates to death in the cinematic universe. You can read part I about the Sith and death here.

So the Jedi not only embrace death as part of the “whole” or the bigger picture of one’s own existence in the universe, but their teachings go beyond the realm of physical “death”. The physical death of a person is the closing of one door and the opening of another. Assuming that as a Jedi, you learned how to move beyond becoming “one” with the force. Becoming a “force ghost” was something that only a handful of Jedi were able to do and it required a specific type of teaching.

Hayden Christensen Force Ghost

This is very different to the Sith’s views of death. As mentioned in my previous post, death to the Sith is something to be avoided at all costs. In their teachings, death is not only avoidable but can in some ways be controlled if the force user is powerful enough. This is the concept that Darth Sidious (as Palpatine) was trying to sell to Anakin. He wanted Anakin to believe that the dark side of the force could empower him to cheat death, so he could always be with the person he loved the most.

This was partially an untruth because Darth Sidious was trying to trick Anakin into falling to the dark side so he could manipulate him even more. Darth Sidious saw in Anakin what nobody else could – that he would become one of the greatest Sith in the known universe and a powerful ally. By giving Anakin the idea that he could cheat death and stop those he loved from dying, he set Anakin on a path of destruction, killing everything he had hoped to save.

But was there any truth to what Darth Sidious said about Darth Plagueis? It’s possible that Darth Plagueis could have learned how to cheat death. But Darth Sidious put this into practice in The Rise of Skywalker when he reappeared after his death in Return of the Jedi. It is said that Darth Sidious cloned himself and transferred his consciousness to his cloned body. That is how we can see him rise again in The Rise of Skywalker.

If you’re interested, this article on Time Magazine’s website includes every death in the Star Wars cinematic universe.

What are your thoughts on the Sith and Jedi and their views of death? Agree with my points or disagree? Please let me know in the comments!

Until tomorrow’s post, stay safe out there friends and as always, keep creating!

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