As noted in this question, the concepts of heaven and hell appear to exist in the galaxy far, far away; Han even mentions the latter in The Empire Strikes Back:

RANDOM JERK REBEL GUY: Your Tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker!

HAN SOLO: Then I'll see you in HELL!

The modern concepts of heaven and hell have their origins in the so-called Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Therefore, since the galaxy far, far away has heaven and hell, it is logical to ask if the galaxy far, far away has some concept of the Abrahamic god.

Adding fuel to the fire, DVK's answer here notes that Han's freighter contains a compartment he hasn't been able to open. The ID number on the compartment is identical to the ID number on the crate in which the Ark of the Covenant is stored in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Surely, if a holy relic associated with the Abrahamic god of Judaism is referenced (and perhaps located) in the galaxy far, far away, it is sensible to ask if that same god is known to some of the galaxy's inhabitants in some form or another.

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Does the concept of the Abrahamic god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam exist (in any form, or to any degree) in the galaxy far, far away?

Note 1: I don't think this is addressed in the movies, and although I would prefer a canonical answer, Legends will do, if nothing else is available. However, the Star Wars Holiday Special is not an acceptable source.

Note 2: The substance of this question is fundamentally different from "Do Heaven and Hell exist in Star Wars", because that question and its answers don't address the Abrammic god in any way.

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    All religions are insignificant next to Jedi and Sith.
    – user931
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:11
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    @WadCheber - being an expert on Christianity in no way makes one an expert on Olympian and predecessor religions. The main point I'm making is, if you describe NT's "Hell" to an ancient Greek, he will say "Ah, Tartarus". I don't care how many fine theological points of distinction you can find between the two, the broad concept - on the level of Han Solo's understanding - is nearly identical. Jan 7, 2016 at 5:30
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    @Wad Cheber - What about the heaven and hell of Zoroastrianism? Weren't they reward for virtue and punishment for evil, and don't they predate any Jewish or Christian concepts of heaven and hell?
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:32
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    @WadCheber This is clearly a topic dear to you (and I say that as another academic). It's also clear that the very space that you point out that you would need to draw that distinction in meanings between the Abrahamic concepts of heaven and hell versus the afterlifes of various an sundry non-Abrahamic religions is not present in SW:TFA. So while, yes important ideas that you care deeply about, but per dvk also no, the concept of a dismal afterlife (which may or may not been common to all—"I'll see you in hell!" does not necessarily imply heaven) is broadly prevalent in human religions.
    – Lexible
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:41
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    It's also worth mentioning that the English words "heaven" and "hell" don't come from the Abrahamic religions, but instead are derived from proto-germanic roots.
    – user3069
    Jan 7, 2016 at 13:28

1 Answer 1

  • First, let's address the evidence presented in the form of Han using the word "HELL":

    1. First of all, Star Wars using a specific Earth word is not an indication that the thing it refers to has Earth origin. E.g. see "ducks".

    2. OP's out of universe statement that "HELL" is a "Abrahamic" thing is wrong on two levels. You managed to commit BOTH a Type 1 and Type 2 error.

      • Judaism, at least in its early form, had NO concept of Hell, at least in the form even remotely close to a Christian concept. This issue doesn't majorly impact the conclusion of the answer, but I feel is important to note as background.

      • Secondly, (and more important) Hell as a concept is in no way unique to Abrahamic religions - see Ancient Greek Tartarus (NOT Hades, but even Hades had special regions for punishment of the souls of deservingly bad people. For an uber-random example, recall Sisyphus and Tantalus).

    3. Moreover, we have "Seven Corellian Hells" mentioned in canon, which means Han was FAR more likely to refer to that than to a Christian "Hell". Occam's Razor demands it.

  • Canon analysis

    Outside of OP-excluded Christmas Special which had no "Christmas", or decidedly non-canon "Christmas in the Stars" :), I have never seen any canon (down to C-canon) mention of Earth Abrahamic faiths in TGFFA.

    This is confirmed by searching Wookieepedia for basic religious terms and finding nothing in-universe: Moses, Commandments, Torah, Judaism for Judaism. The closest you get is Aing-Tii monks' ship named "Sanhedrim", and they most assuredly were not theologically OR biologically Jewish.

    Similarly, Wookieepedia has no mention of "Jesus" or "Christian" or "Trinity" or "baptism" that's in-universe. Admittedly, I didn't check Islam, for lack of knowing which core terms to search for outside "Mohammed".

  • UPDATE: As per an Easter Egg, while Abrahamic faiths may not exist, their artifacts apparently might: Han Solo's freighter, Eravana, is strongly implied to carry The Ark of the Covenant that Indiana Jones was last seen storing in US Government warehouse.

    • While it's fair to ask if that implies that the belief in the contents of that religion also exists, the answer is "absolutely doesn't necessarily imply". If you recall Indiana Jones, the OTHER person who was interested in the Ark of the Covenant was none other than der Führer. Who most certainly can be assumed NOT to believe in the contents of Judaism - the religion which centers around the Covenant.

    • However, it does mean that possibly, some collector wanted the Ark as a powerful, or simply rare, artifact - which Han's freighter is choke full of, as per Visual Dictionary - which in turn means they MAY be familiar with the tenets of the religion involved, as that religion holds the explanation for why the artefact matters and has power. However, that isn't proven conclusively and remains a firm "maybe".

  • There was no mention of "Christmas" in the Star Wars Holiday Special. The story involved a Wookiee holiday known as "Life Day".
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:33
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    @Hypnosifl - true. But everyone knows it wasn't Chanukkah :) Jan 7, 2016 at 5:34
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    I don't think it's really implied to carry the Ark of the Covenant in-universe, just meant as a cute "coincidence" that a mystery box on Solo's freighter has the same number as the crate in Raiders (which did not after all have a 'Sadoxxian crypto-lock'), similar to the cute "coincidence" that in ANH Leia Hope's cell number, 1138, was the same as the second part of THX-1138's name.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 8, 2016 at 2:13
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    @WadCheber - ah, yes :) I even adjusted to "modern" to de-emphacize my (not really important) point of no Hell in pre-Talmudic Judaism Jan 8, 2016 at 3:11
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    @WadCheber - didn't you just use that SAT word in your answer which means "finding patterns where it's just random similarity"? This is clearly random similarity :) Jan 8, 2016 at 3:25

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