Did Darth Vader Go To Hell?

Did Darth Vader go to Hell when he died, Star Wars, Darth Vader, short story, flash fiction, The Devil, humor, writing, Modern PhilosopherI’m used to having a sporting event on in the background on Sunday afternoons, but with the late start of today’s NFL playoff games, there was nothing to watch.

As a result, we read in silence.  I had a World War II mystery from the library, while my guest in the impeccably tailored suit read the Sunday Bangor Daily News.

The silence could not block out the voices in my head like televised sports did, so I eventually had to give in to one of those voices and ask the question it posed…

“If Darth Vader were an actual person, would he have gone to Hell when he died?”

Now that it was out there, the voices finally shut up so they could hear the answer.

The Devil slowly put down the newspaper and flashed me a devilish grin.  “First of all, you get a gold star for acknowledging that your Star Wars characters aren’t real.  That’s major progress for you, and I’m sure your therapist will be pleased.”

I gave him the middle finger while I reached for my Snapple with my free hand.

“Secondly, I know those Nuns really messed with your head in grammar school, but I thought the Jesuits set you straight in high school,” Lucifer commented.

I shrugged and sipped my iced tea.  “The Jesuits taught me to question everything and not take what’s in The Bible so literally.  That’s why I’m able to hang out with you every Sunday, and it’s also why I’m wondering if Vader’s act of redemption was enough to save his immortal soul.”

Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, The Devil, Hell, short story, flash fiction, Star Wars, life after death, philosophy, Modern Philosopher“You think that killing the Emperor and saving his son’s life in the process erased decades of war crimes?” The Prince of Darkness asked with clear contempt in his voice.  “Darth Vader was responsible for a genocide that led to the death of billions.  He made his daughter watch the Death Star wipe out the entire population of Alderaan.”

“But didn’t he redeem himself in the end?” I pressed.  “By killing Emperor Palpatine and saving Luke, he ended the Empire, the war, and the tyranny.  And the prequels showed that Anakin was just this sweet kid, who fell in with the wrong crowd.”

Satan laughed hysterically as he adjusted the knot on his silk tie.

“You mean Anakin gave in to temptation,” he corrected me.  “I seem to remember such an action getting Adam and Eve kicked out of Paradise, and dooming mankind to a life more ordinary than originally planned.”

I put down my Snapple and tried to think this one through.  I knew Vader had done really horrible things, turned on his friends, and annihilated entire worlds, but didn’t the Nuns say something about our sins being forgiven if we earned that forgiveness?

“I guess he didn’t wipe his slate clean with that one unselfish and heroic act?” I asked.

“Far too much blood had soaked through that slate for it to ever be clean again, I’m afraid,” The Devil informed me curtly.  “That’s like saying Hitler gets a free pass because he threw Mussolini into an Italian volcano right before he died.”

Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi Wan, short story, Star Wars, The Devil, life after death, Hell, humor, Modern Philosopher“Then how come at the end of Jedi, we see Anakin’s ghost hanging out with the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda?”  I persisted.

I wasn’t sure why it was so important to me that Darth Vader be redeemed, but for some reason, I was suddenly his chief crusader.

“Because George Lucas wanted to give you a happy ending,” Lucifer guessed.  “Maybe Jedi Heaven is different than our version.   Perhaps Lucas was working out his own Daddy issues and became a billionaire in the process.  We’ll never know.”

I sat back and reflected on it all.  Did I want to accept that Darth Vader’s redemption would have meant nothing in the eyes of the supposedly forgiving and understanding God I had been raised to worship?

“Maybe the original title of Return of the Jedi was All Jedi Go To Heaven,” The Prince of Darkness mocked.  “I can tell you this, though, I would’ve welcomed Darth Vader with open arms, and given him a position of power in my organization.  Imagine the terror I could rain down on the Damned with Vader as my right hand man!”

I checked the time.  Thankfully, the game was about to start.  Small talk with Satan had a way of getting a little too heavy for me…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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4 Responses to Did Darth Vader Go To Hell?

  1. AthenaC says:

    First of all, I wouldn’t take everything the Devil tells you quite so seriously. One of his titles is the Father of Lies, after all.

    If you remember at least a couple things from the nuns and the Jesuits:

    1) The grace of Jesus … errr … the Force for the sake of this discussion … is sufficient for all the wrongdoing of all the souls in the entire universe in the entire past, present, and future. On that scale, any one person’s crimes are just a drop in the ocean.
    2) A perfect disciple of the Force would truly desire the salvation of everyone. We’re not perfect, and this is a big thing that many Jedi struggle with.
    3) On a scale of time that reaches to infinity, any one person’s actions or experiences during their finite life are yet another small drop in the ocean.

    The Force is infinite, and accepts all who truly come to it. Understanding that, it’s not such a wild idea that Darth Vader would have gone to Heaven.

    After a long slog through Purgatory, of course. He has a LOT of sanctification work to do before he’s ready to look upon the face of the Force and live. 😉

  2. The Hook says:

    He went to Earth Prime – where he was reincarnated as Donald Trump.

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