Cremation was one of the procedures used throughout most of the galaxy to dispose of the remains of sentient creatures. Speculatively, this was done due to the incredible population (both past and present) of the galaxy and the resulting lack of space available for burials. There may also have been cultural and religious reasons that sentient beings chose cremation. For example, the Naboo thought that a corpse had to be cremated within two days time in order to return the deceased's spirit to the planet.
Cremation usually took the form of a solemn funeral pyre, with the deceased individual's friends and family observing the process. On battlefields and similar locations where large numbers of sentients died, the bodies were often piled and burnt en masse for expediency, but the process was still done solemnly and with as much respect as possible.
During the Galactic Civil War, Imperial control of Corellia made it difficult to return the bodies of Corellians who died away from their homeworld. Deceased Corellian exiles were often cremated, and the carbon residue was compressed into synthetic diamonds. These diamonds were then taken to the Corellian Sanctuary which was established after the New Republic took possession of the world. But during the Second Galactic Civil War the Sanctuary was vandalized by Alliance supporters.
A popular alternative to cremation was burial. The Jedi Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi left no corpses when they died, instead becoming "one with the Force". Anakin Skywalker may also have become one with the Force, but sources are unclear. When Mara Jade died, she left her body behind. One week later during her funeral her remains were set on a cremation pyre, with the intention that they would be cremated at the conclusion of the service - however Mara chose to return her body to the Force during the ceremony, as a means to hint at the identity of the person who murdered her.
Behind the scenesEdit
Examples of cremation in the Star Wars films:
- In Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn's body is cremated on Naboo, with many members of the Jedi Council in attendance.
- In Episode IV, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Obi-Wan Kenobi cremate the bodies of a Jawa clan that have been slaughtered by Imperial stormtroopers.
- In Episode VI, Luke Skywalker erects a funeral pyre for his father Anakin Skywalker on the Forest Moon of Endor. It used to be a matter of some debate whether Luke cremated his father's body, or just his armor, but it has been stated that Anakin's body disappeared and that it was just the armor that Luke cremated.
Examples of cremation in the Expanded Universe:
- After the body of Anakin Solo was recovered by his sister, Luke Skywalker cremated Anakin's body following a memorial service on Hapes in The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey.
- In The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, the Yuuzhan Vong appear to cremate their dead.
- In Rogue Planet, when Ke Daiv died, his body was later hit by Laser Cannon fire directed at Obi-Wan, cremating his body.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Rogue Planet
- Star Wars: Zam Wesell
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Deception" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars radio drama
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Return of the Jedi radio drama
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Prophets of the Dark Side
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction
- Star Wars: Legacy 12: Ghosts, Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Legacy—War 6
Notes and referencesEdit
- Cremation on Wikipedia