When I was writing my story, I had to decide how big a role I wanted religion to play. Star Wars also has it's own religions (Jedi/Sith...the Force, if one believes in it) and it's own group of people/beings who don't believe in any of that. Pon, my MC, very much sits on the fence, and the other characters have varying degrees of belief in religion/other causes.
So I came up with the "Old Stories" to be the main source of religion --but the cool thing was that, when I decided to create a religion, I knew I didn't want to base it in western culture. I had the idea to incorporate a variation of Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, into a scene in my MS. I came up with this story as a lead-in to the festival, to explain where the festival came from for people on a particular planet. It's easily one of my favorite things in this manuscript (which is saying a lot, because I love this whole thing), and I wanted to share it because it's cool. And to point out how awesome Holi is :)
There were other things I took into consideration when figuring out how religion would function in this world and how my characters would interact with it...but that's another post, for another time!
There was once a man who made a deal with the Stars. He asked them to make him immune from death. The Stars obliged, but it came with a price, as these deals always do. The man had to choose which family member’s life he would exchange for his – for it was only through death that immortality could be achieved. His wife volunteered in an attempt to save her children, but the Stars refused. The man had to sacrifice someone who was related to him by both blood and love.
So the man chose his daughter, for she was young, and loved him the most. The daughter agreed, wanting to please her father, and fell to her death into the sea. The man’s wife cried for days, then weeks, then months, then years, until finally the Stars took pity on her and turned her into a great river that fell into the same sea her daughter drowned in.
The man’s son was furious with his father for tearing their family apart. The son plotted with a Dark Star to take his father’s power away from him, but this, too, came with a price. The Dark Star did indeed grant the son’s wish, turning the man mortal right as his son thrust a sword through his heart. But then the Dark Star gave the man’s immortality to his son, who was left with the thing he hated most in the world.
So the son sat on the edge of the cliff his sister dove off of, tossing stones into the sea and the river that fed into it. The stones were all brilliant colors that he had taken the time to paint, and each had a message on it that would never be read. Every day at sunset, when the colors of the sky and sea matched the colors of his rocks, the son would fall off of the cliff, reuninting with his family at the bottom of the sea.
And then, every morning, his mother and sister would carry him to the shore, where he would begin painting his rocks again.
Pon closed the book, placing it back on the transport’s shelf gently. She’d never really liked that Old Story very much. It might have explained why the people of Altair threw colors at each other – to mimic the son’s rock tossing – but there was one small problem with the tale. It didn’t make any sense that the man’s daughter would willingly fling herself off of a cliff to please her father.