On the surface than Star Wars and Twin Peaks don’t have much in common. The only connection that Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch previously had to the galaxy far, far away is that George Lucas once asked him to direct Return of the Jedi. But recent developments in the Star Wars lore, first in Star Wars Rebels and now in Ahsoka, have shown that someone on staff at Lucasfilm maybe loves Lynch and Mark Frost’s seminal cult series Twin Peaks. Because there are some direct parallels between Star Wars’ mysterious World Between Worlds, and the mythology of the Black and White Lodges of Twin Peaks. But first, we must explain what each of these otherworldly Lodges are. You might want to read our own Michael Walsh’s excellent analysis of just what Star Wars’ World Between Worlds actually is, and then come right back here.
The Origins of Twin Peaks‘ Black Lodge
In Twin Peaks, the otherworldly plane called the Black Lodge and its opposite, the White Lodge, originated in legends of the Native American Nez Perce tribes. These tribes once inhabited the region of Washington State where the town of Twin Peaks currently is located. The legends described the Black Lodge as a realm of evil, one souls must pass through on their way to perfection. Anyone who entered would meet their “shadow self,” or dark doppelgänger. If someone who visited the Black Lodge did not face that evil with perfect courage, it would “annihilate their soul.” At least according to stories told by Twin Peaks’ Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse).
Twin Peaks presented the Black Lodge as an endless series of red-curtained corridors, with a chevron-patterned floor. Inside, a cackling Little Man inhabited the Red Room, and what appeared to be many dead characters from the series. Predominantly, murder victim Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). We’d eventually discover that one could enter the Lodge through access points in the real world. But it first appeared in Twin Peaks in the form of dreams. First, the dreams of murder victim Laura Palmer in the film Fire Walk With Me. Later, the dreams of the man investigating her murder, Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), in the show’s third episode.
Twin Peaks‘ White Lodge, Explained
The Black Lodge itself was the “shadow self” of the benevolent White Lodge. That Lodge was talked about in the original Twin Peaks series, but never actually seen on-screen. However, a realm that almost certainly is the White Lodge finally appeared in the 2017 revival Twin Peaks: The Return. It is populated by helpful entities, chiefly “the Fireman,” also known as the gentle Giant in the original series. From the White Lodge, different time periods can be accessed in our world as well.
Although the Lodges are in other planes of existence, one can access them through portals in the physical “real” world. Agent Cooper discovers an ancient Nez Perce cave petroglyph which indicates where the entrances to the Lodges are. We discovered in Twin Peaks that the Black Lodge was located in a circle of sycamore trees in Ghostwood forest. A pool of dark liquid was at the center of the circle.
In the 2017 series, a grove with a large tree husk nicknamed “Jack Rabbit’s Palace” was seemingly the entrance to the White Lodge. In the center of that grove was a pool of white liquid. This indicated it was the opposite of the Black Lodge.
How Star Wars: Ahsoka’s World Between Worlds Echoes Twin Peaks’ Lodges
In Rebels, we discovered the World Between Worlds, another reality that Jedi Ezra Bridger was able to access. Much like Twin Peaks’ villainous Windom Earle, Emperor Palpatine was seeking to access this mystical plane, and use its power for himself. Our heroes had to find a way to get there first. In both Rebels and Twin Peaks, illustrations on a cave wall indicated where someone could find the portal entrance. Much like the town of Twin Peaks was an out-of-the-way, rural community in North America, Lothal, where a doorway to the World Between Worlds is located, is an out-of-way rural planet.
In Star Wars, echoes of the past and future can be heard within the World Between Worlds, as it is a fixed point in all time and space. The two Lodges in Twin Peaks also exist outside linear time, and beings both living and dead co-exist there. Beings within can communicate to the past from the future, and vice versa. It can also access previous points in history, as we saw when Ezra pulled Ahsoka out of her duel with Darth Vader in Rebels. In The Return, Cooper travels to the past and pulls Laura Palmer out of time hours before her murder, via the Lodge. Whether it was Black or White Lodge remains unclear.
Although the entities within the Lodges can leave, they usually need human host bodies to do so. But they also exist outside their realms via wildlife, particularly, owls. In Star Wars, the Loth wolves seem like representatives of the World Between Worlds, and can travel between both the physical realm and the other place. The convor, which looks like an Earth owl, also seems to represent the nexus realm in a way, although the convor seems more tied to the world of Mortis ( which itself has a mysterious connection to the World Between Worlds).
Ahsoka’s “Shadow Warrior” Further Explores the World Between Worlds
In Ahsoka’s fifth episode, “Shadow Warrior,” Ahsoka Tano finds herself in the World Between Worlds again. This happens after nearly dying in battle with ex-Jedi Baylan Skoll. She sees her long-dead master Anakin Skywalker seemingly alive again in that realm. Or, at least, she meets an aspect of him that lives within the World Between Worlds. They leave it pretty open to interpretation. An argument can be made that within the World Between Worlds, she must confront her own “shadow self” to live. Though, unlike in Twin Peaks, it’s not represented as a separate entity.
Whether Ahsoka is seeing what her Master wants her to see by reliving her past during the Clone Wars or is traveling through her own history remains unclear. This kind of ambiguity is unusual for Star Wars, but it’s very Lynchian. What does seem clear is that Ahsoka’s body remained on the planet Seatos while her mind and soul traveled to the World Between Worlds. This is similar to how, when Cooper or Laura Palmer usually find themselves in the Black Lodge, it is when they are unconscious and dreaming.
Of course, it’s not a one-for-one comparison. As far as we know, there is only one World Between Worlds. The Black and White Lodge are two sides of the same coin while being their own separate spaces. They each have their own aesthetics. The World Between Worlds only has one side, but it contains everything dark and light within it. Much like Twin Peaks pushed the boundaries of what television storytelling could be, Ahsoka is now pushing what storytelling in Star Wars could be.