The Kiss of Judas… in Star Wars?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Don’t make fun of me. I LOVE Star Wars. Return of the Jedi was always my favorite, but I love all the original three.

I love the aliens.


I love the bad guys.




And I was thinking about the Kiss of Judas, and how brotherly betrayal is represented in film. We see the female kiss of betrayal far more often than the male, I think, and most of the time, the male kiss of betrayal is not a literal kiss. More often, it’s an act of betrayal committed out of fear and masked as a friendly gesture. And I thought, where better to see the Kiss of Judas in film, than in The Empire Strikes Back?

You know who I’m talking about. Don’t deny it, you’ve seen the movies at least three times each, too.


Lando Calrissian.

Now, I feel bad for Lando. He’s never quite the good guy or quite the bad guy – always a suspect, thanks to his shady past of gambling and the grudge Han Solo fears he holds about losing the Falcon to him. But in Star Wars, we most often talk about the struggle between light and dark, or the villainization of Darth Vader, or that creepy brother-sister-kiss in The Empire Strikes Back that happened before Luke and Leia knew they were twins.

Lando Calrissian, to spare his people the enslavement of the Empire, betrays Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t actually know Luke Skywalker prior to this, so I suppose it’s not a true kiss of Judas, but he ends up chucking Han Solo under the bus along with Luke, and doesn’t bother doing anything to stop his course until after Han is already shrink-wrapped and carbonite frozen, ready to be shipped to Jabba’s palace like a Pier One wall hanging.

My point is that in order to serve the good of his personal causes, Lando commits a friendly act that ends up handing his friends over to the dark side. Did he intend to betray Han and Leia and Chewbacca with his backpack-o-droid? No, not really. But he got tangled up with bigger bad guys than he was prepared to fight off when he changed his mind, and the betrayal was a consequence of that.

And no matter which version of the Kiss of Judas story you believe – that Judas and Jesus agreed upon the exchange based on the wording of the text in the bible, or that Judas committed a completely unexpected betrayal, his actions appeared selfish when they were truly driven by fear.

And then everybody gets tangled up in Judas’ problems…


And bad things go KABOOM!


   Where have you seen a Kiss of Judas in film? Where the betrayal is brotherly, rather than spawned out of a lovers’ spite?

Also: Star Wars rocks. Seriously. 😀

Edited to Add: I forgot to mention I have good news on the authorly front. Check it out on my personal blog!


About Nola.Sarina

I am an author of dark fantasy, horror and paranormal romance books. My dark fantasy series, The Vesper Series, is a twist on Original Sin. The series is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency. I find my favorite books with new takes on all things supernatural, paranormal and biblical, including vampires, angels and demons, and am an advocate for the New Adult market category for fiction.

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Since I’ve had boys my appreciation and love for Star Wars is relatively new to the point I actually got chills when Anakin’s Vader mask was put in place in the third film Revenge of the Sith. I love discussing the whole good v. evil, hope v. despair of it all. I can certainly see biblical references in the movies. I’ve always pictured the Emperor as sort of the devil, holding the proverbial apple to Anakin’s lost soul. As for brotherly deception, it’s all there. From Anakin and Obi Wan’s relationship to the relationship between Lando and Han. Great post!

  2. Thanks, Christine! There are SO MANY directions to take with Star Wars and talking about the life-lesson themes within the movies. I love it. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. I got chils when I found out they’d cast $%*($(* Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

    Still not over that.

  4. Spike Cordiner

    If it’s brotherly betrayals you’re after, how about Fredo’s betrayal of Michael in The Godfather Part 2? He’s the middle brother of three, stepped over by the younger Michael when Michael becomes head of a mafia family that he never wanted to be part of in the first place! Jealous and hurt, he participates in a plot to to kill Michael.

    Even when Michael finds out (“I know it was you, and it breaks my heart”) he at first refuses to believe his brother was a knowing participant, preferring to believe he was tricked into it. When he finally finds out the full truth Michael waits until their mother is dead before pretending to offer to reconcile with his brother before betraying him in return and having him killed.

    So the first brotherly betrayal leads to a second in retaliation. That second betrayal is the one crime Michael feels guilty about and eventually leads to his downfall.

  5. Et tu, Brutus.

    I don’t watch a lot of movies, except Star Wars and LOTR and The Princess Bride…over and over again!! But in books… some of my favorite stories have the kiss of Judas at their core. In A Separate Peace (John Knowles) Gene’s betrayal of Phineas ends up breaking both boys’ souls and destroying the fragile peace they found together in a time of terrible war. In Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak, Darren (the character) is betrayed by his childhood best friend, and like the story of Jesus, the betrayal sets Darren on a course that allows him to save his world, and to find redemption and ultimately to gain a new beginning.(Now there’s some serious Biblical allegory!) In Holly Black’s White Cat series, Cassel Sharpe is literally betrayed by his brothers and cast into a life he never wanted, then challenged to turn it into something good. In Riddle Master, Morgan is betrayed by his mentor and sets out in search of revenge, but ultimately learns that forgiveness is more powerful.

    Wow. I could write about this one for hours!!! Stopping now, before I overstay my welcome!

  6. Hmm? You’ve got me with this one. I can’t think of another betrayal such as this one. Perhaps I’ll have to get back to you on this. As a fan of Star Wars, I really appreciated this post. Very Cool! Now, what are your thoughts on the new films that we have to look forward to? Are we worried or do we trust JJ on this deal? Or is this another post entirely? 😉


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