It’s no secret that Darth Vader was one bad hombre.

He orchestrated the genocide of the peace-keeping Jedi, down to the children. He was instrumental in oppressing trillions of sentient beings in the galaxy, and his heavy breathing became synonymous with fear.

And yet, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader gets to be a space ghost.

If you dig deep into the enraged caffeine-fueled Star Wars forums, you’ll find many a fan who will protest Darth Vader’s inclusion to Star Wars heaven. It would, in effect, be like letting Adolf Hitler through the pearly gates. Surely Vader deserves to be melting in a lava pit on Mustafar for all eternity for his crimes?

I disagree.

I’m not Heavenly Father, but according to the gospel, I think Darth Vader, if he lived in this reality, would have a place in the Celestial Kingdom. Vader’s mortal journey answers the age-old question: Should mercy trump justice, or can justice and mercy have the ability to be satisfied at the same time?

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Logan Groll is a BYU undergraduate student studying English with a minor in Creative Writing. Born in the mountains of Utah but raised in the wooded hills of Virginia, he now lives in Springville, Utah with his sweetheart. His passions are his wife, his faith and his dream of being an author.
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