Happy Easter! Here is a short mobile video I made about the many Easter stories in Star Wars. Enjoy!
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We love resurrection stories. Think of Gandalf coming back to life after defeating the Balrog. Or the return of half of mankind in Avengers: End Game. The return to life of our favorite Vulcan in The Search for Spock.
And of course: the story of Easter: the resurrection of Jesus.
There is comfort in at least imagining that death is not the end, but that there is life at the end of the tunnel.
Did you realize that this is also a very important theme in Star Wars? But there is something special about the ways in which Star Wars talks about life beyond death. Let me explain.
I’m Fr. Roderick, I’m a priest and a geek, and I love to share with you the deeper layers and hidden meaning of the stories we like.
There are three different ways in which Star Wars brings certain people back from the dead:
As a vision or dream-like appearance. Like Han Solo appearing to Kylo Ren in Rise of Skywalker. It’s more of a memory than a real apparition, but we can relate to it: when you lose a loved one, you can experience these vivid dreams or memories of the person you lost. You can still hear their voice.
Number two: Force Ghosts. After dying at the hands of Vader, Obi-Wan speaks and later appears to Luke to guide him on his path to becoming a jedi. We discover that other Jedi can do this too after dying, and we see appearances of Yoda, Anakin, Luke and Leia, and Rey hears the voices of many deceased Jedi when she faces the Emperor. These moments are more than memories, these Force Ghosts seem to be apparitions of the spirit or souls of the deceased.
And number three: Physical resurrection. The return of someone, not just as a memory, or as a ghost, but body AND soul.
And I’m not just talking about the controversial way in which Palpatine was brought back to life in episode 9, but each trilogy contains a resurrection story:
The prequel movies end with the spiritual death of Anakin, once a redeemer-like archetype, and a kind of resurrection: Even though he didn’t fully die, his rise as Darth Vader does evoke a bodily resurrection.
In the Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo’s life seems to end in a carbonite coffin, but in the Return of the Jedi, Leia enters the tomb-like caverns of Jabba the Hutt to bring Han back from the grave. Maybe subconsciously evoking the women visiting Jesus’ tomb and witnessing his resurrection on Easter morning.
And in the sequels, we have two resurrection moments: emperor Palpatine returns to life using ‘unnatural’ ways; but when Rey and Ben try to defeat him, Rey sacrifices herself and loses her life. But Ben completes his own redemption by giving his own life-force to bring her back to life. Thereby truly becoming the Vader he so desperately tried to emulate: not by following the dark path of his grandfather, but by sacrificing his life to save someone else. Just like Vader did for his son.
The reason that I think Easter is so important is not that I’m a priest and its part of my job. It’s because what happens to Jesus fills me with hope. That there is life after death. Not just in the form of a memory or a disembodied soul, a ghost, not as a manipulated clone or zombie who steals other people’s life-force to live, but as a living, breathing, loving human being, body and soul. Who, like Rey, can live again because someone gave his life to save me.
Hope this helped, happy Easter, follow for more!