Has ‘Star Wars’ Made Death Completely Meaningless?

The connective family strings in Star Wars are still worth examining more closely in giving the stark reminder how much history repeats itself. This may be the closest the Star Wars franchise comes to real-life, even if more of reality seems to be inspired from there lately.

On social media, many fans are starting to discuss the art of sacrifice in the Skywalker family and how it really became a recurring theme. Looking at this a little more carefully can lead to some interesting conclusions about how Rey fit into the picture.

A deeper layer within the entire saga brings up questions about whether or not it’s necessary to die to save someone you love.

Ben Solo died just like Han Solo and Darth Vader

Adam Driver on 'Saturday Night Live'
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren | Rosalind O’Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Everyone knows now why The Rise of Skywalker was so-titled, despite having some double meanings. The overarching theme no one really expected was Ben Solo ultimately sacrificing himself to prevent Rey from permanent death and never being able to free herself from her heritage.

No matter if opinion is split down the middle on the ending and Rey making herself an honorary Skywalker, no one can deny the circular ending on Tatooine where A New Hope began.

To sum this all up, a Reddit user above noted: “And it’s because of Ben Solo that he saved Rey from being forced to give up her own identity dooming herself to her bloodline and the dark side, and even did what his grandfather couldn’t by saving his loved one from death by sacrificing himself.”

The problem is, not everyone is happy about Ben Solo dying so that Rey Skywalker could live.

Did all the sacrifices in ‘Star Wars’ mean something?

In a time when death in many franchise films means far too much relativity (see MCU films), at least Star Wars makes death more akin to reality. No one is magically brought back to life via technology, other than seeing them as Force ghosts. Maybe some will say this is still in the same wheelhouse, if giving a sense of death and connection to something spiritual.

Fans on Reddit are also noting something else interesting: All the main Star Wars characters from the original trilogies all died with a sense of sacrifice to save others or the galaxy.

But many argue that the ending to the Skywalker saga would have been more impactful if Ben had lived instead of died, breaking the cycle of “dying to save another” that left him without a family (since his father, mother, uncle, and grandfather all died to save someone or something else).

Is there a long line of Skywalker sacrifice?

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In the above Reddit thread, a fan noted the chain of events in Skywalker sacrifice starting with Darth Vader sacrificing himself to prevent his own son from death. However, all of this kicked into overdrive through an unexpected connection: Han Solo having a romance with Princess Leia.

Said one Reddit user: “And Rey sacrificed herself to vanquish the Sith…It’s family tradition. If you are a Skywalker, you basically have to die for the galaxy. Poor Han had no idea what he was getting into when he married Leia.”

Once the new sequels began, fans were able to see Ben Solo/Kylo Ren kill Han Solo to raise doubts about the dark side, Luke sacrifice himself to bring hope for the galaxy, and Leia sacrificing to save her son.

But if everyone dies … does it really mean anything at the end of it all?