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In the Empire Strikes Back as Han Solo leaves to look for Luke Skywalker a rebel worker says

Your tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker.

Han replies

Then I'll see you in hell!

Is there a concept of heaven and hell in the Star Wars mythology? If not, to what is he referring?

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    Han Solo was channeling his inner Harrison Ford, who does know about hell. – Xantec Jan 24 '12 at 21:43
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    It's the place where ideas like midichlorians come from. The head demon is called Mr. Binks. – Wikis Jan 24 '12 at 21:48
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    @Wikis and Jar-Jar Binks. – Jack B Nimble Jan 24 '12 at 21:51
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    There are really two questions here, whether inhabitants of the SW universe believe in heaven and hell (apparently some do), and whether they actually exist in the SW universe. – Keith Thompson Jan 25 '12 at 0:29
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    I remember in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, one of the clones shouts "What the hell was that?!" when a giant worm springs out of the ground. I don't think the Kaminoans breed Clones with a particular religion in mind, so it could just be a common word in Basic, borrowed from some other beliefs. There are plenty of people that say stuff like "Oh, God!" without believing in any diety. – Kimberly W May 30 '15 at 23:58
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A quick search in the Wookiepedia with the word "religion" produces at least seven results that are labelled as religion. In other words, seven articles in the Wookiepedia that specify a particular religion. The first seven are:

Also, in the article on Corellian Religion, it starts with the sentence:

Like many worlds, Corellia had its own religious traditions, associated almost solely with those from the planet.

So the first part of the answer would be, "Which religion are you referring to?"

Since you are referring to the comment from Han, and he's a Corellian, we'll look at that one. There are, according to the Wookiepedia, three comments made, including in the Extended Universe, that relate to Corellian beliefs and hell:

  • The well known "I'll see you in hell," from Han Solo (In Episode V.)
  • One from bounty hunter Garris Shrike who damned Solo to "all the hells there ever were."
  • In Wild Space, Bail Organa frequently mentions "all nine Corellian Hells."

One aspect of Corellian hell is Chaos. This is a special region of the Nether World of the Force where the souls of darklings (you know -- Dark Jedi, Sith - bad people like that) go when they die. It's worth noting that, in the Star Wars universe, there's support for this, since Force Ghosts talk about this (the Netherworld of the Force, that is) and Qui-Gon has been there and back.

So Corellians believe in different hells. Heaven is a different topic.

The Jedi believe that the souls those who aren't Force sensitive and die will lose their individual identities as they merge with the Force. (Similar to the Buddhist concept of Nirvana.)

There's no reference to an actual heaven that I could find, other than Force sensitives being able to exist as Force ghosts and eventually merging with the Force in the Force Netherworld. No mention is made of just how Force-sensitive one must be to be able to become a Force ghost or to not just merge with the Force on death.

So there's no direct indication of a heaven in Corellian religion that we know of, but since some of their beliefs tend to coincide with the Jedi, they may believe more in souls merging with the Force than a heaven where we keep our self-awareness.

(So I guess if the midichlorians don't like you enough to multiply and give you a high midichlorian count, you're just S.O.L. when you deep six it.)

  • Strictly speaking, Shrike wasn't a bounty hunter anymore, but a crime boss, by the time Solo entered the picture. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 25 '12 at 2:52
  • @DVK: I just went with what the Wookiepedia suggested. Feel free to edit my question and/or the Wookiepedia as needed! – Tango Jan 25 '12 at 2:58
  • it's kinda mentioned on Shrike's Wookiepedia entry, but my comment was from the Solo trilogy :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 25 '12 at 3:11
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Yes, Hell does. It's also known as Chaos.

It's a place "inhabited by the spirits of deceased Dark Lords of the Sith, Dark Jedi, and the spirits of all evil sentient beings who had died."

As for Heaven, apart from a brief mention in the name of a drink, I don't think so.

2

Tango's answer says "There's no reference to an actual heaven that I could find", so I just wanted to add that when I googled "afterlife" with the search restricted to site:starwars.wikia.com I did find a few references to heaven-like afterlives in Legends canon, though I haven't found any in the new Disney canon.

For example, the Legends entry for the human Peccati Syn says:

The male Human Peccati Syn was born on the planet Taris into a deeply religious family, who devoutly followed the pacifist, karmic religion known as the Sacred Way, and its Holy-Book. His parents instilled in him the belief that, should he adhere to his religion's tenets, he would reach a glorious, idyllic afterlife, and Syn lived a happy, devoted childhood.

And the Legends entry for Xi Char says:

They thought that all life was a shadow of the paradise of the afterlife, believing that creating machines was a way to glimpse the afterlife.

The Gungans seem to have had a kind of Valhalla-like happy afterlife for warriors, called Otoh-D'in:

Otoh-D'in was a location in Gungan mythology. According to legend, it was a heavenly garden hidden in the middle of the Nabooian swamps. It was thought that the god of war Balam had built Otoh-D'in to be the final resting places of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous soldiers. In Otoh-D'in, the souls of the braves would live a blessed and happy afterlife, playing strategy games and organizing mock battles.

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Well, it's been argued that the entire Star Wars concept is a heaven/hell issue - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_and_religion_in_Star_Wars - so I would say that yes, heaven/hell exists conceptually but that we are talking about different species, cultures, etc. across the galaxy which would indicate a likelihood of differing religions/belief systems.

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There's a hundred religions on Earth, past and present, that believe in hell in one form or another. It's not a great leap of imagination that other religions would have this notion as well, although who knows what alien minds are really like?

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    I agree with what you've said, but this is still better suited as a comment rather than an answer. – Valorum Feb 5 '14 at 22:03

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