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A very common belief in some primitive cultures that has somehow crept into modern media: that when someone dies, their spirit rises into the sky and becomes a star. It has become quite popular for its romantic imagery and as an easy answer for "where people go after they die". As usual when such ideas are imported into the popular culture, a certain amount of mutation and misunderstanding takes place, and variations such as "souls are stars from the start, just not yet in the sky" are commonly seen.

Related somewhat to Fluffy Cloud Heaven imagery as a description of the afterlife, only in this case the location "in the sky" is expressed somewhat more literally, though often with fewer direct religious complications.

Interestingly, some cultures also believe that falling stars are souls from the sky coming to earth.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples of Stars Are Souls include:

Anime and Manga

  • The final scene of Sailor Moon has Usagi placing her hand over her heart and saying a star was just born (her daughter conceived).
  • Darker than Black has Earth bubbled in the new sky, where stars correspond to living Contractors, reflect their use of powers and movement (though it's not precise or quite real-time), and "fall" when the respective Contractor dies. Thus the observatories have great practical importance and are on quick-dial of local security services. In that people in power like to at very least be notified when a notoriously unhinged Person of Mass Destruction arrives into their country, and of course try to control the situation much more than this.

Film -- Animated

  • In The Lion King, Simba says he was taught that the stars are the spirits of the old kings, which gets a confirmation when he later receives a starry vision of his father. Timon, on the other hand, claims that stars are fireflies that got stuck in the sky. That also got confirmed...by The Princess and the Frog.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, when Ray dies, he becomes a star like Evangeline, who may or may not also be an example of this.

Film -- Live Action

  • In Dragonheart, good dragons who die become a star in the Draco constellation. This happens to Draco when he dies.
Cquote1

Draco: To the stars Bowen. To the stars.

Cquote2

Literature

Music

  • Rammstein's song "Engel" ("Angel") is about this.
Cquote1

Who in their lifetime is good on Earth
will become an angel after death (...)
Once the clouds have gone to sleep
You can see us in God's keep
We are afraid and alone.

Cquote2

Myth and Legend

  • Orion was made into a constellation after being killed by Apollo's scorpion (also a constellation).
  • Heaven is sometimes depicted this way.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Bionicle: subverted, Spirit Stars appear before a Toa is created or when a Toa completes a certain task.
  • One Looney Tunes short ended with Wile E. Coyote accidentally blasting himself off into space and exploding, creating a constellation of himself in the process.
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