- "Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force."
Death was the cessation of life functions in biological organisms, permanently rendering it unresponsive to any external factors. Once a life ended, its spirit would ascend to a different plane of existence and become one with the cosmic Force; however, some Jedi were able to maintain their conscious individuality beyond death by learning the secrets of the Living Force. Certain individuals who were not followers of the Jedi teachings often referred to the different plane where the dead reside as the "other side." Many individuals also sought a way to forestall death or even avoid it entirely. Darth Sidious was even able to return from the Netherworld through the power of the dark side of the Force.
When someone died, it was common for people affected by the loss to shed tears. Ceremonies to mark the end of the person's life were also common. Both Jedi and Sith believed that the spirit endured beyond the demise of its physical host.
Mass death created disturbances in the Force, perceivable galaxy-wide by Force-sensitive individuals. When the planet Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, Obi-Wan Kenobi was visibly distressed and revealed to Luke Skywalker that something terrible had just happened, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were then silenced. Nineteen years earlier, Jedi Master Yoda dropped his staff and became distressed as he sensed the death of many Jedi at the execution of Order 66.
Causes of death
- "Death is death, no matter the mechanism that is employed to beget it."
- ―Harter Kalonia
Death could be caused by combat or injuries sustained from combat. Combat-related causes of death could include the Force, lightsaber strikes, blaster fire, and being crushed under vehicles. Other causes of death included dehydration, starvation, untreated or untreatable physical damage to the body, exposure to certain chemical substances, and certain diseases.
Extinction was the mass death of an entire species. The deadly Blue Shadow Virus was purposely driven to extinction, though it was reintroduced to the galaxy by Separatist Doctor Nuvo Vindi. The Lasat species was driven to near-extinction by the forces of the Galactic Empire. The Galactic Empire drove the Geonosian species to extinction.
Genocide was the intentional mass-killing of a species or culture that led to that group's extinction. The Separatist attack on the planet Mahranee of 19 BBY was considered a genocide of the indigenous Mahran species.
Manipulation of death
Project Blackwing sought to find a way to conquer death but instead created a virus that would kill and then reanimate those it infected. The stormtroopers infected were referred to as Undead Troopers.
Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith whose knowledge of the midi-chlorians was said to be so powerful and wise that he had the ability to keep those he cared about from dying. Anakin Skywalker, desperately seeking a way to prevent what he had seen come to pass in his vision of the death of Padmé Amidala, was entranced when Darth Sidious told him a tale of this; Skywalker's inability to let go of Amidala led to his fall to the dark side of the Force.
The Nightsisters of Dathomir kept their dead close by, suspended in pods near their village, so that no sister ever truly left the clan. They believed that the dead could share in the emotions of the living, and with a magical chant could temporarily be reanimated in the form of undead warriors. The Nightsisters resurrected their dead to fight the Battle of Dathomir, but they were ultimately destroyed by General Grievous.
When the body of the Nightsister Asajj Ventress was laid to rest in the pools of the village, a green mist arose as the voices of her sisters welcomed her home. After death, the spirits of the Nightsisters were tethered to the altar in the Nightsister lair. Several years later during the Rise of the Empire, the Nightsister Merrin, the sole survivor of Grievous's attack, used the undead Nightsisters to attack the Jedi Knight, Cal Kestis. She believed that the Jedi had orchestrated the attack because of the lies of the former Jedi Master, Taron Malicos. Years later, the Nightsisters' spirits were awoken by Ezra Bridger and Maul. Two Nightsister spirits possessed two of Ezra's friends, Sabine Wren and Kanan Jarrus, in an effort to return to the physical world and rebuild their clan and as "price" for their aid to Maul and Bridger. However, Ezra destroyed the altar, and consequently, the spirits dissipated.
The death of Han Solo left his son, Kylo Ren, conflicted with his choice to serve the dark side of the Force, as he initially thought killing his father would relieve him of any emotional hindrance.
After killing Darth Sidious, Rey died, but she was resuscitated from death by a redeemed Ben Solo. This act was accomplished by him pouring his own life force into Rey. As a consequence, Solo's physical body disappeared into the Force. At the same time, the remains of Solo's mother, Leia Skywalker Organa Solo, also disappeared as she became one with the Force.
Things named after death
- Star Wars: Visions – "THE TWINS" (Ambiguous canonicity) (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Visions – "The Village Bride" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "The Ninth Jedi" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "T0-B1" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "The Elder" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- Star Wars: Visions – "Akakiri" (Ambiguous canonicity)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Fugitive"
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- War of the Bounty Hunters – IG-88 1
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization
- Battlefront: Twilight Company
- Rey's Survival Guide
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Murders"
- "Mercy Mission"—The Rise of the Empire
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Blue Shadow Virus"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Legends of the Lasat"
- Doctor Aphra: An Audiobook Original
- Dark Disciple
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "A Death on Utapau" and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith in 19 BBY. As Dark Disciple takes place between these two pieces of media according to , the events of the novel, which include the attack on Mahranee, must also take place in 19 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Dark Side
- Star Wars: Commander
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Massacre"
- Dark Disciple
- Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Altar of Mortis"
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi