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Luke's Not Dead (or, Force Ghost Theory 101)

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by Jaxxon, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Green Space Rabbit

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    To speculate on Luke's role in IX, I think we need to re-frame our view of Force ghosts.

    We tend to think of Force ghosts as, well, ghosts. Something less-than-living. Somethng not quite substantial. We scratch our heads when Obi-Wan's ghost sits on a log. We think of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Yoda--and now Luke--as dead.

    But that's not what the movies tell us.

    Start with Revenge of the Sith. The ultimate irony is that Anakin becomes Vader and still fails to defeat death, whereas Qui-Gon, a Jedi, discovers the secret to immortality. And Yoda uses that word "Immortality." He says that Qui-Gon has "returned from the netherworld of the Force." If Qui-Gon was still fundamentally dead, still something less-than-alive, this whole twist would make no sense. Or at least, it would lose all power.

    Go back to Yoda's word in Empire: "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." In Star Wars, it seems that people are fundamentally spiritual, and physical forms are a crude limitation (I don't agree with this view in the real world, but this seems to be the way things work in Star Wars).

    And finally, combine this with the fact that Force ghosts do interact with the physical world. Even before Obi-Wan sat on a log, he was able to stand on the ground--I don't know why more fans don't point this out.

    My conclusion: Force "ghosts" are fully alive and could, if they wanted to, become fully physical as if they had never died. But I don't think they want to. Because, in the language of Star Wars, "crude matter" is a limitation. It could be said that Force ghosts, far from being insubstantial, are more alive than anyone else.

    So I think the fan-coined "force ghost" term is a misnomer. I don't think they are ghosts at all. I think characters like Obi-Wan and Luke are just as alive as ever, if not more so. And if necessary--if it serves the plot--any of these characters could become as physical as needed.

    Do you agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
     
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  2. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Totally agreed!

    Even Kenobi references that, in death, he'll be more powerful. A true jedi understands that death is just one step in the journey of life.

    Just curious- does the phrase "force ghost" ever actually pop up in canon?

    edit: Just wanted to add something interesting. On wookiepedia, the article for Legends refers to this as "Force Ghosts" (and provides at least one in canon example of the term being used) while canon actually refers to this as "Force Spirits"...

    Very interesting indeed.
     
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  3. Pawek_13

    Pawek_13 Jedi General

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    I view Force Ghosts as a SW counterpart to angels - emissaries of the Force, sent to the physical world to cause the denizens of the galaxy to act a certain way. They are beings of immense power, as presented by Yoda in TLJ, but like with everything, with great power comes great responsibility and the powers of Force Ghosts should never be used for anything more than guidance. They are not the key ccharacters of their stories and they should remain as such. I would definitely not want to see a bunch bluishly-glowing old dudes fighting Kylo Ren or something. This is Rey's role.
     
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  4. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    What does it really matter though? Dead, alive. Luke can still do the same things either way. He's even stronger and much better used as a dead force ghost. Now he can haunt Kylo and train Rey. He couldn't have done that as a living person.

    JJ said to Mark Hamill "Nope, you're dead. " End of story, I guess. :p
     
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  5. Andrew Waples

    Andrew Waples Jedi General

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Green Space Rabbit

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    Eh, notional death of the author.
     
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  7. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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  8. Kestrel

    Kestrel Rebelscum

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    The question remains why they only appear when they do, though. If they were "more alive" so to speak, why do they so often disappear.
     
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  9. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Qui Gon mentions a level of pain or stress caused by manifesting in one of the books.
     
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  10. Pomojema

    Pomojema Ayatollah Of Rock-&-Rolla
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    A good distinction to make, and one that better represents what they actually are. Calling them "ghosts" seems very un-Lucas-y to me.
     
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  11. Jedi MD

    Jedi MD Jedi Commander

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    This was in one of the short stories in A Certain Point of View when Qui Gon comes back to Obi Wan
     
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  12. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    Yup, "Master and Apprentice". That's also the story that informed us that Force Ghosts continue learning after death as Qui-Gon learned for years how to go from only the voice to visible manifestation.
     
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  13. p03

    p03 Human/Cyborg Relations

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    He's passed into the force. Exactly like Yoda, no body, he was absorbed just like Luke and Luke was absorbed just like Ben Kenobi. Sighs.
     
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  14. Pomojema

    Pomojema Ayatollah Of Rock-&-Rolla
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    Bear in mind that not every story in that book is treated as canon. But this doesn't seem to be one of the not-canon ones based on what we see Yoda doing in TLJ compared to a last-minute cameo in ROTJ.
     
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  15. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Green Space Rabbit

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    That's what I was trying to say. In Star Wars, the spiritual is more freer and more pure than the physical. For "force ghosts," to manifest is actually to become LESS alive, in some sense.

    So my theory is, sure, they could make themselves as physical as they want. But in terms of Jedi philosophy, they would never do that, because as pure spirit they are not bound by "crude matter."
     
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  16. Bluemilk

    Bluemilk I AM the Senate

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    He died. You know why? Because he wanted to die and foreshadowed it. He was miserable because he felt like a failure. Now he will be happy again and do things he couldn't do before.
     
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  17. Kestrel

    Kestrel Rebelscum

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    Did you read OP's post? I think you're missing their point.
     
  18. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Green Space Rabbit

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    Agreed: he is happier now and can do more than before. That's the point of my OP.
    Disagreed: He did not want to die because he was a failure. He ran away to Ahch-To because he was a failure. He passed into the force because he finally fulfilled his purpose and found peace, and possibly due to the sheer exertion required to manifest on Crait
     
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  19. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    My preferred nomenclature so far would be Force "Vergence" or "manifestation".
    Terminology simultaneously clear and ambiguous just like their appearance!
     
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  20. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Force *mumbles indistinctly* is what Lucas told me to call them
     
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