A life debt was a social custom which stated that if someone had saved a person's life, then that person owed the one who had saved them something in return.
- "Your gods demand that his life belongs to me now."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn
When Boss Nass was planning to punish Jar Jar Binks for his transgression in returning to Otoh Gunga after being banished, Qui-Gon Jinn claimed a life debt on Jar Jar in order to prevent him from being punished and retain his services as a guide on Naboo.
When Garazeb Orrelios complained of Ezra Bridger's constant reminders of how he had saved him from an Imperial agent, Ezra noted that in some cultures when someone saved someone's life, that person became the other's servant forever. Zeb was not impressed and told Ezra that he was in his place and to get out. Later, Ezra seemed to be trying to enforce the supposed life debt on Zeb, whining about being made by him to carry supplies when he had saved his life. Following this incident, as he swooped in to rescue Ezra from pursuing Imperials, he declared any perceived life debt null and void, as they were even.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance) (Jar Jar Binks/Qui-Gon Jinn)
- William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First (Non-canonical appearance) (Jar Jar Binks/Qui-Gon Jinn)
- Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Rebels – "Fighter Flight" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (Chewbacca/Han Solo)
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