My interpretation regarding what happens after death, from what we see in the Yoda arc, is that it's pretty much like the "life stream" or whatever it was called in Final Fantasy VII. That there was a singular life stream from which all life arises (in separate vessels/individuals), but that upon death they rejoin the life stream, and that stream in turn gives rise to new life. The Star Wars analogue I felt was that organisms embody "the living Force" but that upon death, the life force of an organism merges into the cosmic force, a single body, where individuality ceases to exist. And from this cosmic Force, the living Force arises again. Filoni had remarked that pretty much the living Force and cosmic Force give way to each other, and that both arise from the other. In death, the living Force joins the cosmic Force (analogous to the life stream), and from the cosmic Force, the living Force arises. Thus when Padme dies, her life Force will join the cosmic Force, meld with it, but then eventually give rise to new life. The question that raises for me though, is if "Force ghosting" is a temporary state. Qui-Gon retains his identity after death long enough to instruct Yoda, but by the time of the OT, he doesn't seem to be having any kind of input with Luke or his training. Does Qui-Gon go on to join the cosmic Force between the Yoda arc and the OT? To retain one's identity permanently and absolutely refuse to join the cosmic Force seems like a selfish exercise in maintaining immortality. Thus, I wonder if characters like Yoda, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan retain their identities only as long as they need to in order to instruct Luke (or get the ball rolling, in the case of Qui-Gon), but then let go and join the cosmic Force once the Empire falls and their work is complete?