At the end of
Who can become a Force ghost?
To become a Force spirit, you must be a believer in the light side. Only that kind of relationship with the Force, wielding it from a selfless and peaceful place, will allow one to make the transition. We first saw the concept in
Qui-Gon was the first Jedi to unlock the path to becoming one with the Force. He was killed by Darth Maul before his studies were complete, so for a time, he could only return as a disembodied voice. But after Anakin’s fall to the dark side, Qui-Gon pushed himself to become corporeal, which took most of a decade (mentioned in
In addition to Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Yoda, Anakin Skywalker (not Darth Vader) also became a Force spirit. Since he turned back to the light side before his death, he was eligible.
The role of the living and cosmic Force
The Force can be broken down into two aspects: the living Force and the cosmic Force. They’re pretty much what they sound like. The living Force is the energy that comes from all living things: humanoids and aliens, creatures, plants. The cosmic Force is what Yoda and Obi-Wan talk about, the energy that surrounds and exists between everything. The cosmic Force binds together the energy from the living Force. Both are important to becoming a Force spirit. Qui-Gon described his existence after his death to Yoda thusly, “I am a manifestation of the Force, a Force that consists of two parts. Living beings generate the living Force, which in turn powers the wellspring that is the cosmic Force.”
Since the living Force flows into the cosmic Force, it makes it possible to transition from one into the other upon death. Qui-Gon learned about the mystery from the Force Priestesses. These beings appeared in the final episodes of
How Yoda became a Force ghost
Though the hurdles Yoda confronted were likely personalized to him, the general process is applicable to others. No two paths to achieving the level of enlightenment that allows one to exist beyond death are the same. On the day of Obi-Wan’s death, Qui-Gon explained to him that, “[It’s] a matter of finding center, of calming one’s soul and giving one’s self over completely to the Force. Some Jedi choose to transition between life and death in that way.” Obi-Wan could have applied that insight to get past the hurdle of death, and then continued to learn more—in the original trilogy, he went from only a voice to a transparent Force ghost to almost corporeal.
I don’t have an explanation for how Anakin knew what to do, unless his former Jedi Masters communed with him in his final moments, but it’s not a stretch to believe the Force ghost posse would have talked to Luke about the process before Luke closed himself off from the Force. I can’t imagine Luke wasn’t in touch with them as he built his temple and tried to continue the Jedi Order. It’s simple to picture Skywalker asking his dad or the others, “So, how did this whole spirit thing happen?”
Do you think we’ll see a Luke Force spirit in Episode IX? Share your thoughts in the comments.