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Qui-Gon Jinn Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where does the name "Qui-Gon Jinn" come from?

Who trained Qui-Gon and how many Padawans has Qui-Gon trained?

How old is Qui-Gon?

Has Qui-Gon ever been in love?

Why doesn't Qui-Gon have a musical theme?

Is Qui-Gon Jinn the "best" Jedi ever?

Where can I learn more about Liam Neeson, the actor who played Qui-Gon Jinn?

What did Liam think of the movie?

At the beginning of the movie on board the trade Federation ship, why does Qui-Gon "not sense anything" when Obi-Wan has "a bad feeling about this"?

What’s the difference between the Living Force Qui-Gon talks about and the Unifying Force Yoda talks about?

What does it mean to "be mindful of the living Force"?

Why did Boss Nass agree to give Qui-Gon a transport (bongo) and allow Jar Jar to go with him? And why doesn’t Watto agree to accept Federation credits?

Why did Jar Jar get woozy in the Bongo when Qui-Gon touched his shoulder and said "relax"?

Did Watto know Qui-Gon was a Jedi?

Was there a little bit of romance between Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker?

Where did Qui-Gon get the power source that he gives Anakin to test the podracer?

Is Qui-Gon a bad Jedi for lying/cheating/stealing?

Is Qui-Gon reckless?

Does Qui-Gon use the Force to help Anakin win the podrace?

When Qui-Gon and Anakin approach the Queen’s ship to leave Tatooine, why are they running?

Why can the Jedi not sense the presence of the Sith?

What’s a "vergence in the Force"?

What is "the will of the Force"?

What is "the balance of the Force"?

Why did Qui-Gon and the Jedi Council come into conflict over Anakin?

Why didn’t Qui-Gon see, as Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council did, that Anakin was dangerous?

What's the Jedi Code?

What did Qui-Gon do to defy the Jedi Council, that Obi-Wan complains about?

Why does Qui-Gon tell Obi-Wan, "we can’t use our powers to help her" just before Queen Amidala’s audience with Boss Nass?

What is the significance of Qui-Gon's statement to Obi-Wan, "you are a wiser man than I"?

Did Qui-Gon know Padme was really Queen Amidala before she revealed the deception?

Was Qui-Gon an inferior/weak fighter?

Does Qui-Gon know he's going to die in the duel?

While he is dying, does Qui-Gon use the "mind trick" on Obi-Wan in order to ensure that Obi agrees to training Anakin?

Why doesn't Qui-Gon disappear when he dies as Old Ben Kenobi and Yoda did in the original trilogy?

What's Qui-Gon up to between Episodes I and III?

Where is Qui-Gon in Episode III?

 

Where does the name "Qui-Gon Jinn" come from?

The name appears to be derived from the Chinese "qi gong," (chee goong) a phrase which refers to the ancient Chinese art of Chi, or life force, manipulation. This is as much as saying that Master Qui-Gon is by definition a master of the living Force. The meaning of the name "Jinn" is less clear. In Muslim mythology, the Jinn (singular: jinni or genie) are (sometimes malevolent) supernatural beings. "Jinn" (jin) also apparently means "person" or "a man" in Japanese.

George Lucas also may have gotten the name Jinn via a passage in Joseph Campbell's classic work on mythology, The Hero With A Thousand Faces (explored in depth in an article on this site):

(in the "unsuspected Aladdin caves" of our subconscious) not only jewels but dangerous jinn abide: the inconvenient or resisted psychological powers that we have not thought or dared to integrate into our lives.... These are dangerous because they threaten the fabric of security into which we have built ourselves and our family. But they are fiendishly fascinating too, for they carry keys that open the whole realm of the desired and feared adventure of the discovery of the self. Destruction of the world we have built and in which we live, and of ourselves within it; but then a wonderful reconstruction, of the bolder, cleaner, more spacious, and fully human life...

"Jedi" derives from the Japanese "jidai geki," a genre of Samurai television dramas.

Who trained Qui-Gon and how many Padawans has Qui-Gon trained?

The Visual Dictionary and the Jedi Apprentice series claim that Qui-Gon has trained three Padawans. His first, unknown, passed the trials and became a Knight. This made Qui-Gon a Master. His second, Xanatos, allowed greed to lead him to the Dark Side; he betrayed Qui-Gon and left the Jedi order. His third is Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Qui-Gon himself was trained by Count Dooku, a powerful and idealistic Jedi who later left the Jedi Order and became a leader of the Separatist movement and a Sith Lord. Jude Watson's worthwhile youth novel Legacy of the Jedi describes Yoda's training of Dooku, Dooku's training of Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon's training of Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan's training of Anakin. Diane K., Qui-Gon Jinn Discussion List member, writes: "It was quite insightful as to what Dooku was like as a teenager - sort of predicts how he will go in later years. I can't say much about Dooku and Qui-Gon other than I thought Dooku treated Qui-Gon rather badly. Qui-Gon had hoped to form a real relationship but it turned to be a strictly working partnership--rather sad for Qui-Gon. The Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan was much more poignant. It was clear that Jude Watson misses writing about the pair [Watson was also the author of the Jedi Apprentice series]. And the Obi-Wan/Anakin portion was also quite unhappy in that Obi-Wan realizes that he cannot teach Anakin what he needs to learn. In the whole book, the saddest part was what Qui-Gon says to Obi-Wan. In each section, there is a part where each master tells the student their flaw. Obi-Wan's flaw was wanting to please Qui-Gon too much. Somehow, I found that very perceptive and very sad."

How old is Qui-Gon?

Officially, Qui-Gon is 60 years of age in Star Wars, Episode I. This is in keeping with what we know of his history and the number of Padawans he has trained. However, when Lucas decided to cast Liam Neeson, he agreed that the actor should play the role as though he were closer to his own age (44 at the time). Neeson says, "In the original script, he was over 60 years old, and very wise. I met with George and reminded him that there's a lot of life-saving duty for this character, and it wasn't realistic that a 60-year-old man would do all this."  In Movieline, May 1999 he says, "Rick (McCallum) called and said 'The character was originally a 60-year-old, would you be prepared to play 55?' I said, 'Sure, I'm an actor.' But I thought, I am not going to do old-man acting because that would be stupid-this guy has to have a lot of lightsaber fights. So we stuck a balance."   So, Qui-Gon by no means looks to be 60 years of age, though perhaps it may be argued that the Light Side of the Force keeps one young even as the Dark Side aged Palpatine unnaturally!

On developing the character, Neeson said at a press conference:

I was inspired by scenes (from) Sir Alec Guinness in the first; he established for me kind of what these Jedis were, albeit an older Jedi, someone of grace and integrity, and a certain mystique, and who hinted at kind of a Samurai legacy as well as a spiritualist ethic and the difference being in this film George wanted to really show how these Jedi could kick A-S-S.

Has Qui-Gon ever been in love?

The Star Wars movies say nothing about this, unless you see "a little bit of romance" between Qui-Gon and Shmi Skywalker. But iin several of Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice youth novels Qui-Gon did have a romantic relationship with a female Jedi Knight named Tahl. Cribbing from Wikipedia, "She had dark, gold colored skin and green/gold striped eyes. She bore a long, thin white scar from her chin to her eye from an injury [...] She was known for her patience, sharp tongue and diplomatic skills." Tahl became blind after falling into bad circumstances on a mission; she was rescued by Qui-Gon and returned to the Temple where she took on a young female apprentice, Bant, who was Obi-Wan's age and a friend of his. Later, Qui-Gon had alarming recurring dreams of Tahl's death; he tries to protect her and they both come to realize the love they'd always had for one another, but being a Jedi is dangerous work and fate overcomes Tahl.

Why doesn't Qui-Gon have a musical theme?

He does!  And a mighty fine one, too, thanks to the genius of John Williams.   It can be found on the two-disc complete Phantom Menace soundtrack, in the track "Duel in the Desert."  It can be heard 1. When Qui-Gon rides the eopies after delivering the parts to Obi-Wan at the Naboo ship 2. As Qui-Gon fights Darth Maul on Tatooine. Heroic and energetic double presentation 3. When Qui-Gon utters those fateful words, "Anakin Skywalker, meet Obi-Wan Kenobi" after the Maul fight scene (maybe a continuation of #2?) 4. During his death scene after Obi-Wan kills Darth Maul. Slow and sad, single presentation, extended resolution.  There is an article analyzing Qui-Gon's theme on our website here.

Is Qui-Gon Jinn the "best" Jedi ever?

Most of us think so. :-) But there are plenty of people who disagree. You will have to make up your own mind. His Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi seems to think so. The following is from the novel; it is implied that Obi-Wan is thinking this to himself, "his mentor was perhaps the greatest Jedi alive, a commanding presence at Council, a strong and brave warrior who refused to be intimidated by even the most daunting challenge, and a good and kind man."  The official website says, "Other Jedi Masters often use Jinn's focused sensitivity to the Force as an example for their pupils."  The novel also calls him the greatest swordsman in the galaxy (till Maul, apparently).

Qui-Gon's achievement (revealed in Episode III) of being the first Jedi to discover and practice the secret to transcending death is further evidence that Qui-Gon is very unique, exceptional, and good.

Where can I learn more about Liam Neeson, the actor who played Qui-Gon Jinn?

Online, try any search engine or the Qui-Gon Jinn Discussion List Liam Neeson Links.  Offline, you're on your own.   :-)  Some interesting tidbits:

Liam Neeson reportedly got $4 million dollars and 2% of the gross from The Phantom Menace.

On why he wanted to be in TPM (from an online chat with fans through the now-defunct TalkCity):

First and foremost I wanted to work with George Lucas. I have been a fan since "American Graffiti" days, and while I hadn't read the script (until I committed to the film), I knew it would be an extraordinary journey, so I had no qualms about doing it or not doing it. And I HAD to find out what it was to twirl a lightsaber! Especially a GREEN one!

He helped design his "look" for the movie:

We actually came up with the hair and the beard, I have these wonderful makeup and hair ladies, Jan and Morag. And when we were shooting Les Miserables in Prague we’d be drawing sketches of what we kinda wanted this look to have, to kind of suggest a past, you know, a historical look, and something that’s quite Samurai-esque and noble-looking.

What it was like wearing the wig in Tunisia, and feeling upstaged by CGI characters:

I was wearing a wig and hair, and the resin glue that they use for the wig was awful. I mean it immediately crystallized and became white, the colour of a white tablecloth, like talcum powder, and very, very visible. So my makeup lady kept coming out in the heat, and I kept saying, "C'mon, c'mon, touch this up, touch this up." Finally, she says, "Liam, when this film comes out, no one is going to be looking at you. See that empty space there beside your head? That's where they are going to be looking (i.e. at the special effects)."  Then she says to me, "Liam, you could be a monkey smoking a pipe, and it wouldn't matter when The Phantom Menace comes out and no one's going to be looking at you with all those special effects George Lucas' people are going insert later." That was a real blow to my ego because I realized she was probably right. That actors are secondary to all the computer stuff in this movie.

Comments on his acting style in a Michael Collins-era interview:

I’m not sure if I have a process, people have asked me do you use a method, I say I use whatever method works, it’s always different from one situation to the next. I’m a great respecter of directors and writers, if I trust that relationship, and I’d walk over hot coals. I don’t care if they say, do the scene standing on your head, I’d feel well, there’s a reason for doing that. And that’s a part of the actor’s job, you should be able to do a speech standing on your head. And sometimes you’re on a situation where I’ve seen actors and actresses saying no, I’m not doing that, I’m not doing it, well, you’re kind of blinkering yourself if you don’t, just do it, even if to find out that it doesn’t work. Stretch a bit. So, that’s my process.

Liam is a little shy and uncomfortable with being idolized by people he doesn't know. He says "fan worship is very spooky," and "even if my career is on a slippery slope at the speed of light, I will never be at a Star Wars convention."   He's also bothered by people who find spiritual meaning in movies and suggests, unsympathetically (and with, I think, a lack of understanding of the way fandom works), that people are passionate about Star Wars because:

Most people, ‘specially in this country, feel, where do we turn to for your pillars of ethics, honor and integrity, and so I that’s why I think you get groups of people following some leader who then commits mass suicide, or something, these people are terribly confused and they’re looking for leadership, and they’re looking for quality and guidance so I… it really doesn’t surprise me that there’s a group of fanatics who might see Star Wars as being the greatest thing since sliced bread.

On role models (TalkCity):

I don't really have any role models. I don't try to emulate anybody. I just try hard to be good. I get energized about reading about someone who has done some wonderful, unselfish act for someone or a cause, and I find that inspiring, but I don't have a particular role model.

What did Liam think of the movie?

According to Cinescape Online:

Liam Neeson has revealed that he chose to catch a screening of Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace just like the rest of us had to do – by dropping eight bucks and entering through the front door. While talking to Cinescape contributor Cindy Pearlman for her syndicated column, Neeson explained, "I sat there with a bunch of kids just pointing at me with their mouths gaping open."

So, what did Neeson think of the film? Neeson answers, "It was fun, except I couldn't process the movie. It's like when you're hungry and somebody brings you a big, beautiful platter of all your favorite foods. And as you're deciding, you reach for the french fries. And then the table is taken away from you. It's just that The Phantom Menace is such a feast that I can't take it all in."

Neeson added, "I want to look at myself as the actor, but I also want to follow the story. Honestly, I couldn't get my thought around it all. I was so overwhelmed."

Neeson is hardly the only one to note that there's so much going on in TPM on so many levels that it's easy to miss things (and that it rewards multiple viewings). Many of the critics who panned the movie clearly missed the point of it, failing to understand the significance of even major plot points like Palpatine's manipulation of the Trade Federation as part of his bid for power. Casting Director Robin Gurland commented in a TalkCity chat that, "the film is very dense, and one does need to see it a couple of times to take on board all the images. [...] Regarding critics, I think they are pretty dense also. They should go out and see a movie with the audience that we made the film for."

At the beginning of the movie on board the trade Federation ship, why does Qui-Gon "not sense anything" when Obi-Wan has "a bad feeling about this"?

Maybe it has to do with the living versus the unifying or cosmic Force? Qui-Gon is focused on the moment, because he has been given a mission which he is trying to carry out. He is likely more concentrated on the Trade Federation, the Naboo, and how long it will be before their hosts meet with them to talk about this blockade. He later senses "an unusual amount of fear over something as trivial as this trade dispute," so if he is trying to sense anything, it is the minds of the Neimodians. Obi-Wan, though, is reaching out to the big picture, the unifying Force. Qui-Gon chastises, "don’t center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs." Obi-Wan’s wandering concerns about the ultimate outcome of their situation distract him from the "here and now" and the task at hand. Beside this, it's a great movie device to have a beloved character like Obi-Wan begin the movie with one of the most famous and oft-uttered lines in the Star Wars saga: "I have a bad feeling about this."

What’s the difference between the Living Force Qui-Gon talks about and the Unifying Force Yoda talks about?

In the book The Making of Episode I, George Lucas says, "The Force itself breaks into two sides: the living Force and a greater, cosmic Force. The living Force makes you sensitive to other living things, makes you intuitive, and allows you to read other people's minds, et cetera. But the greater Force has to do with destiny. In working with the Force, you can find your destiny and you can choose to either follow it or not." In other words, it can be said that the living Force is personal in nature, the cosmic, unifying Force more universal. Qui-Gon’s compassion, unshakeable commitment to his intuitions (and faith in "the will of the Force"), and use of the mind trick are therefore functions of his skill in the living Force. I suggest that the living and unifying aspects of the Force may represent differing explanations of the intuitions that well from within us.  Are they the voices of our own subconscious, or of the supernatural?  Do you trust in yourself, or in God?

What does it mean to "be mindful of the living Force"?

Obi-Wan, having been brought up in the Temple under Yoda's tutelage (source: Jedi Apprentice novels), has acquired Yoda's knowledge and understanding of the unifying aspect of the Force. But he needs to learn to hear the living Force, the one which guides a Jedi's actions from moment to moment and tunes him/her in to what is happening in the "here and now." Qui-Gon is a Master whose greatest strength is in understanding the living Force, so he makes for possibly the best mentor Obi-Wan could get. Being "mindful of the living Force," then, is to let go of greater anxieties caused by things distant in time and/or space and concentrate on what is going on in the present, who it will affect, and what needs to be done about it.

Why did Boss Nass agree to give Qui-Gon a transport (bongo) and allow Jar Jar to go with him? And why doesn’t Watto agree to accept Federation credits?

Qui-Gon used the old Jedi mind trick on Boss Nass to ensure his cooperation. Watch closely during the scenes in the underwater city of Otoh Gunga. As Qui-Gon makes his requests to Boss Nass he also slowly waves his hand, our cue that he is using the mind trick. When Qui-Gon tries the same trick on Watto the junk dealer a little later to convince him that his currency is good enough, it has no effect (Watto says, "you think you some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I’m a Toydarian! Mind tricks don’t work on me, only money!") because Watto is of a species incompatible with the mind trick method.

Why did Jar Jar get woozy in the Bongo when Qui-Gon touched his shoulder and said "relax"?

During the underwater trip "through the planet core," despite Qui-Gon’s reassurances, ("Relax, we’re not in trouble yet."), Jar Jar gets progressively more panicked ("Monsters out there, leakin’ in here, all sinkin’ and no power?! When yousa thinking wesa in trouble?"). Eventually, Qui-Gon’s patience with the hyper-emotive Gungan apparently gives out and he calmly reaches forward and squeezes Jar Jar’s shoulder. Jar Jar immediately slumps and acts woozy (The Illustrated Screenplay says, "QUI-GON puts his hand on JAR JAR's shoulder. JAR JAR relaxes into a coma.").  "You over-did it," Obi-Wan comments.  It is implied that Qui-Gon is using the Force to subdue Jar Jar, but the effect is a little like a "Vulcan neck pinch" on Star Trek.  Qui-Gon apparently uses a little too much "force" in his urgency and while perhaps he only intended to calm Jar Jar, he ends up disorienting him quite a bit (perhaps Lucas changed his mind about putting Jar Jar in a coma during postproduction).   At any rate, by the time the Bongo surfaces in Theed City, Jar Jar is once again alert.

Did Watto know Qui-Gon was a Jedi?

He probably didn't know, until he possibly realizes after the podrace. If he knew Qui-Gon was a Jedi, he might not have let Qui-Gon get away with the things he did. Would you, knowing you were standing with a Jedi, have allowed a serious bet to hinge on the roll of a chance cube? Or, perhaps, that was just Watto's failing for being overconfident. His line after Qui-Gon’s failed attempt to use the mind trick on him, "what, you think you’re some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that?" is funny not merely because of Qui-Gon’s slightly embarrassing failure, but because of the irony that Watto does not know that Qui-Gon really is a Jedi.

Was there a little bit of romance between Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker?

Pernilla August (Shmi) says, "LOL I don't think I can say it was a romance between them, but there was something, I think, I was trying to put something into it. But I think the audience has to put what they want into it (TalkCity chat)" Liam Neeson says, "We're not talking about clothes being thrown off. Just a hint of intimacy... We've got to keep the adults happy, too (Premiere Magazine)," and it was apparently he that lobbied for the various affectionate or comforting shoulder touches we see in the movie, particularly the subtle caress he gives Shmi with his thumb as he asks her if she will be all right just after breaking the news of Anakin's freedom. Nothing in the canon (novels, etc) suggests that there should've been attraction between them, and it may just be that Qui-Gon's compassion is too easily mistaken for romantic intentions.

Where did Qui-Gon get the power source that he gives Anakin to test the podracer?

It's not entirely known, although the novel suggests that he might have stolen it from Watto's shop. All references to that were cut from the movie, and the scene shot to imply that Qui-Gon simply has the power pack, and Anakin is rather excited to receive and use it ("Yes SIR!"). Of course, it might just have been something the Skywalkers already had.  Liam Neeson told the SF Chronicle: "One time I remember Anakin (Jake Lloyd) was trying to start up his pod in his backyard and I suddenly come up with this thing and I say, 'Here's a power source. Try that.' Suddenly, it starts. I say, 'George, where have I got this from?' He says, 'Believe me, thousands of Star Wars fans will be analyzing this for years to come. Don't worry about it. Just bring it out from below your cloak. You're a Jedi.'"  George has us all figured out, doesn't he?  ;-)

A site visitor named Gildor writes to tell me, "in the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace PC game, there is a whole level-mission on obtaining a power source... this level is mainly walking around Mos Espa, buying things, talking to characters and exhanging stuff so that you can find two items that can repair the pod. [...] Of course the SW games are hardly canonical but since we are talking
about a point not existing in the movie we can accept it."

Is Qui-Gon a bad Jedi for lying/cheating/stealing?

There are many schools of thought on this issue. Some Star Wars fans are ready to condemn Qui-Gon for what they consider hypocrisy in committing such acts as gambling, lying or concealing the truth (about his identity, refusing to allow the Queen to know about his plans to "trust our fates to a boy we hardly know," gambling her property without her knowledge, etc), cheating (by using the Force to affect Watto’s chance cube), and even stealing (in a rumored cut scene from TPM, Qui-Gon was to have been shown surreptitiously swiping the power unit from Watto’s shop which he later gives to Anakin to test his podracer. His use of the mind trick to make Boss Nass to give him a bongo transport has also been construed as stealing by some).

There are some compelling defenses for Qui-Gon’s actions. Perhaps the best one is that Qui-Gon’s moral code does not prohibit such methods, but rather embraces them as being savvy, their effectiveness in achieving larger goals far outweighing any moral weight they may carry. As Lyta Alexander points out in an essay, the Ninja have a similar philosophy toward stealth and trickery. Another defense is that it is the will of the Force that Qui-Gon completes his mission by whatever means. Qui-Gon’s individual acts can in many cases be simply explained away; for instance, it can be easily argued that Qui-Gon was never really gambling because, as Watto later accuses him, "you knew the boy was going to win! Somehow you knew it!" Qui-Gon replies, "whenever you gamble, my friend, eventually you’ll lose." In order to avoid coming to the immediate conclusion that Qui-Gon really is a hypocrite for lecturing on the very vice he himself apparently has been indulging, we must conclude that there is some degree of truth in Watto’s words. There is a lot of evidence for that in the utter confidence Qui-Gon has prior to the race in Anakin’s still-unproven abilities. The novel suggests that the chance cube was loaded (weighted on one side) anyway, making Qui-Gon’s "cheat" merely a response to Watto’s.

Or we can explain Qui-Gon's behavior more simply as reflective of an "ends may justify the means" philosophy. There seems to be no "ten commandments" of Jedi behavior saying that deception is below a Jedi. The Jedi must sometimes overlook small instances of good and bad in order to objectively pursue the greater good. And as George Lucas said in an interview with Bill Moyers, "the Light Side and the Dark Side are designed around compassion and greed." All Qui-Gon’s actions are selfless in nature, done out of compassion for others and a desire to serve. There is no motive of greed, of personal gain, in the character, and therefore no good argument can be made that he has Dark Side tendencies.

In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, we learn that the reason Qui-Gon is able to transcend death is through his rigorous dedication to compassionate love. Qui-Gon becomes a kind of "saint." So, I think we have to take George Lucas' word for it that he was a good Jedi.

Is Qui-Gon reckless?

Perhaps.  The official Star Wars website says of Qui-Gon, "his focus is in the moment, and he follows his instincts even when others may consider them reckless." "I shall do what I must," he says, but his nature as a compassionate man prevents him from wantonly allowing harm to come to anyone who might be in the way. He does place Anakin at risk, but he does not do so without consulting Shmi and trusting Anakin to bring about a good result. He almost does not agree to Anakin's plan, when Shmi protests "I die every time Watto makes you do it," but in the end, after discussion, he relents, and his instincts about Anakin’s abilities turn out to be right.

Of course, if we take "reckless" to mean a bit unorthodox, trusting in faith to bring about things that seem impossible to obtain, then sure, Qui-Gon is reckless - and good thing, too.

Does Qui-Gon use the Force to help Anakin win the podrace?

No. When Qui-Gon closes his eyes near the end of the race, he is using a Jedi technique akin to "remote viewing" to see what's happening to Anakin (source: TPM novel). The victory is Anakin’s achievement alone, and that was part of the point for Qui-Gon. In Anakin’s Journal, right before the race and after Qui-Gon tells Anakin, "may the force be with you", Anakin thinks, "...that's when I realized that as far as he was concerned, this wasn't just a race. It was also a test. Of me." The podrace was for Qui-Gon a test of Anakin’s ability to use his obviously-strong connection to the Force.

When Qui-Gon and Anakin approach the Queen’s ship to leave Tatooine, why are they running?

The screenplay and the novel mention a scene which was cut from the movie: while leaving Mos Espa, Qui-Gon stumbles on one of Darth Maul's Sith probe droids (floating black balls) following them through the streets. He takes out his lightsabre and dispatches it quickly, but realizes then that someone knows he is there, knows who he is, and decides he and Anakin had better get back to the ship as quickly as possible. That scene can be found in the additional materials of the Phantom Menace DVD set.

Why can the Jedi not sense the presence of the Sith?

As Yoda says, "hard to see is the Dark Side." Theories abound on the reasons why. The most popular seems to center on some kind of "Force shielding" technique that truly knowledgeable Jedi or Sith would have mastered. However, there is a simpler theory. Presume that since Sidious never actively used the Force (that we could see), his presence would not be detected by Jedi who are merely passive, who would not sense a Dark presence until it made a disturbance, akin to throwing a rock in a calm pond to make ripples. Yoda and the Council members are not looking for Sith, they have no clue the Sith still exist, so quite literally, they  can't find what they aren't looking for. Obi-Wan senses something wrong, but it eludes him, because he doesn't know what it is. Both Jedi sense a disturbance while on Tatooine, but that is probably because Maul is looking for them, possibly using the Force. Again, they don't think of Sith because they don't know the Sith exist. "I don't believe the Sith could have returned without us knowing," says Mace Windu, but by the end of the movie he realizes (too late, alas) that Qui-Gon did fight a real live Sith on Tatooine, and again on Naboo.

What’s a "vergence in the Force"?

Perhaps this phrasing derives from the Latin "vergere" meaning to bend, and also to tend (converge is to tend toward one point, diverge is to tend away from). To illustrate how I thought this might work I propose the analogy of the physics concept of the warping of space-time near a singularity, an object of extreme density such as a black hole. Anakin possesses an extreme density of midichlorians - "over 20,000," perhaps warping the fabric of the Force in a noticeable way. Someone on QGJDL noted Mace Windu's surprised comment "around a person?" and suggested that if a vergence was not always around a person then the cave on Dagobah might be an example of a vergence centered on a place.

What is "the will of the Force"?

Good question. One answer is that it is the universal will, the natural tendency of the Star Wars universe toward balance of the Light and Dark.  Another is that it is something like the will of God.  It is not clear that the Force has a personality, however, so references to its "will" are a little puzzling.  In the novelization of Star Wars: A New Hope, Obi-Wan says that the Force "is an energy field and something more.... An aura that at once controls and obeys. It is a nothingness that can accomplish miracles."  The controlling aspect is presumably the will of the Force.

What is "the balance of the Force"?

Anakin is referred to as the Chosen One, "the one who will bring balance to the Force." Among Qui-Gon’s dying words were, of Anakin, "he will being balance..." George Lucas has stated that by his act of destroying Emperor Palpatine in ROTJ, Anakin achieves this goal. But what does this mean? The best (and most direct) answer comes in the PBS special, The Mythology of Star Wars with Bill Moyers and George Lucas, in which Lucas says TPM "is ultimately about the dark side and the light side and those sides are designed around compassion and greed. We all have those two sides of us, and we have to make sure those two sides are in balance." It is still unclear what this balance is, however, since if it is ultimately achieved by destroying evil, it seems only good remains. Maybe balance means that compassionate love prevails?

One fan suggestion is that becoming and then defeating evil is Anakin’s personal destiny, and the struggle for balance is an ongoing one because real stability is never achieved. Perhaps in the time of the Old Republic (at the end of which period TPM is set), the Force is overbalanced toward the Light Side. In the time of the Empire (when the trilogy occurs), the Dark Side holds sway. At the end of ROTJ, the balance turns again back to the Light Side. The story doesn’t end there, however. It continues to teeter forever between the two sides.

Not everyone agrees with this analysis, some saying that they don't believe Lucas intended such ambiguity in the Star Wars universe, and that the Force is balanced only when it has shifted to the Light Side, citing as evidence that same Lucas statement that the Force is balanced when Anakin destroys the evil emperor.

Why did Qui-Gon and the Jedi Council come into conflict over Anakin?

The Masters on the Council are apparently more in tune with the Unifying Force than the Living, as they need to look at the big picture when deciding fates and missions, but this has caused them to lose touch with the moment-to-moment Living Force ways of Jedi like Qui-Gon Jinn. They cannot see past the sense of dread they get surrounding Anakin's future to see that Qui-Gon may ultimately be right. They're not bad, they just have a different point of view from Qui-Gon and may be a little too rule-bound as well. Although Mace Windu (and Yoda, for that matter) is rather condescending.

The Terry Brooks novel describes Obi-Wan's thoughts:

Qui-Gon had been right in his suspicion that the boy was possessed of an inordinately high midi-chlorian count. Obi-Wan had run the test himself. But that alone was not enough to demonstrate Anakin was the chosen one. If there was such a one, which Obi-Wan seriously doubted. There were hundreds of these old prophecies and legends, handed down through the centuries as a part of Jedi lore. In any case, Qui-Gon was relying on instinct once again, and instinct was useful only if born of the Force and not of emotion.

Qui-Gon's musings on Tatooine tell another side of the story:

He knew what they said about him at Council. He was willful, even reckless in his choices. He was strong, but he dissipated his strength on causes that did not merit his attention. But rules were not created solely to govern behavior. Rules were created to provide a road map to understanding the Force. Was it so wrong for him to bend those rules when his conscience whispered to him that he must? ... he empathized with Anakin Skywalker in ways that other Jedi would discourage, finding in this boy a promise he could not ignore. Obi-Wan would see the boy and Jar Jar in the same light - useless burdens, pointless projects, unnecessary distractions. Obi-Wan was grounded in the need to focus on the larger picture, on the unifying Force. He lacked Qui-Gon's intuitive nature. He lacked his teacher's compassion for and interest in all living things. He did not see the same things Qui-Gon saw.

Apart from this, there are plot reasons for making the Council unsympathetic. Remember that all this is leading up to the fall of Anakin Skywalker. What makes Anakin turn to the Dark Side? We don’t know for sure, but pay attention to Anakin in the Council scenes. He is established to have a great deal of emotional attachment to his mother and fear for her well-being, as well as for his own future. "Much fear I sense in you," Yoda says, and, "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." The fact that we sympathize with Anakin’s antipathy toward the Council will be important in our ability to comprehend what makes him turn to the Dark Side.

Why didn’t Qui-Gon see, as Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council did, that Anakin was dangerous?

(See above) Perhaps the Living Force to which he is devoted did not give him much insight into the future. Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council were in tune with the Unifying aspect, so they were looking at the future alone, not the present, and not the potential. By locking on something like the clouded future Anakin had, the Council did not give him the benefit of the doubt as Qui-Gon did. He saw Anakin in the present, being the Chosen One, freed from slavery and ready to be trained as a Jedi. His faith in the Living Force and in the prophecy of the Chosen One led him to look past any cloudiness to see that he must obey the Force and allow the Chosen One to fulfill the prophecy - no matter what that means.

What's the Jedi Code?

There are two published versions of the Code within the "expanded universe" of Star Wars books, and it's not clear how Qui-Gon has violated them, though Obi-Wan suggests that when he tells his master, "If you would follow the Code, you would be on the Council!":

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no death, there is the force.

and

Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy. Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others. Jedi respect all life, in any form. Jedi serve others rather than rule over them, for the good of the galaxy. Jedi seek to improve through knowledge and training.

However, George Lucas probably does not recognize either of these as the "real" Jedi code. The prequel films seem to imply that the Code involves more specific rules.

What did Qui-Gon do to defy the Jedi Council, that Obi-Wan complains about?

No specific event has been offered, though the sentence seems to imply there was at least one glaring incident where Qui-Gon managed to do something which defied the Council's wishes - and perhaps got them to agree with him. Reference Obi-Wan's next few lines: "They will not go along with you this time." We don't know what it was he did, though. It may be noted, however, that the tone of Qui-Gon's relationship with the Council (their hostility toward him, for lack of a better term) implies that he may have a history of doing things contrary to their wishes, "a bit of a loner, and a bit of a slight maverick," (Movietalk) as Liam Neeson says. And they are thinking perhaps, "here he goes again with the lost causes ." much as Obi-Wan remarked, "why do I sense we've picked up another pathetic life form?" In the novel, Obi-Wan muses that Jar Jar is, "another project that Qui-Gon, with his persistent disregard for the dictates of the Council, had determined had value," and allusions to Qui-Gon's taking on of causes "barely worthy of championing" is cited in several places.  We are told in the novel that Qui-Gon's refusal to follow all the rules all the time caused him to be passed over for a seat on the Jedi Council, when he was otherwise qualified.

Jedi Apprentice #7, The Captive Temple, by Jude Watson, which is set when Obi-Wan was 13 years old, ends with Qui-Gon defying the Council (though I won't give away the spoiler!).

Why does Qui-Gon tell Obi-Wan, "we can’t use our powers to help her" just before Queen Amidala’s audience with Boss Nass?

Early in the movie, Qui-Gon used the Jedi "mind trick" to convince Boss Nass to give him a transport and allow Jar Jar to go with the Jedi rather than be punished. Why doesn’t he use the same method to ensure that the Gungans will help Queen Amidala fight the Trade Federation’s droid army? Perhaps because this would mean Qui-Gon would be personally responsible for placing thousands of Gungans in a situation in which many of them will surely be killed. Only their own leader has the right to make such a momentous decision for his people. Qui-Gon is probably acknowledging that it would be wrong for he and Obi-Wan to make the decision that the Gungans should go to war. It seems the Jedi only use their "mind trick" when negotiating small matters with beings whose minds are weak enough to bend. Another possible explanation for the line is that the assignment given to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan by Valorum may not have allowed for any more interference, or aid, on their part. Qui-Gon tells the Queen, "I can only protect you, I can't fight a war for you." Not necessarily just that this would be impossible, since it is only he and Obi-Wan, but that that was not why they had been sent, or asked to come. So, it may have something to do as well with the parameters of their mission.

What is the significance of Qui-Gon's statement to Obi-Wan, "you are a wiser man than I"?

That's a difficult question to answer. The first, and easiest answer is that Qui-Gon has enough wisdom and humility to recognize that his perspective is often problematic, that he has sometimes been wrong in the past, and that he has a great deal of resect for his Padawan. Qui-Gon, who in Liam Neeson's words has, "done a couple of things in the past that's made him a bit of a loner, and a bit of a slight maverick," (Movietalk) is not as diplomatic with the Jedi Council as Obi-Wan. Additionally, he seems to have a history of taking on causes others percieve as foolish, based on his instincts about a situation.  He is being true to himself, but perhaps he has at least a small degree of doubt about the wisdom of such an exclusive dependence on the living Force.   Whether such doubt is warranted is another story.  In Jedi Apprentice The Dark Rival, it is pointed out that when "the student teaches the Master then the match is right.'

Did Qui-Gon know Padme was really Queen Amidala before she revealed the deception?

We're never told whether he did or didn't. To many, Qui-Gon’s and Obi-Wan’s subtle smiles signify either "we’ve been had" or "you know, I always sort of suspected…" The Illustrated Screenplay says, of the scene in which Padme reveals herself to be the queen, "OBI-WAN and QUI-GON give each other a knowing look."  Some feel that Neeson's subtle acting provides us with little hints that Qui-Gon might have known of the deception. The tone of voice he uses when saying, "The Queen doesn't need to know," plus his long backward glance, implies to some that he knew at that point (this also makes Padme’s "you assume too much" ironic). There are some who point to similar (and even more ambiguous) evidence to claim that he knew as early as when Panaka told him the Queen ordered him to take her handmaiden along.  So, the answer is a definite "maybe" leaning toward "probably."

Was Qui-Gon an inferior/weak fighter?

According to the official Phantom Menace novel by Terry Brooks, Qui-Gon is the best lightsabre fighter in the galaxy, even though he might have been getting a little past his prime (he is supposedly 60 years old). Many have asked why Qui-Gon seems so exhausted after fighting Darth Maul in the desert on Tatooine. One reason is that he (and Anakin) had just run all the way from the city of Mos Espa. Another is that Qui-Gon is recovering from the shock of meeting such a strong fighter "well trained in the Jedi arts" so unexpectedly. Remember, Qui-Gon believes the Sith to be extinct and has certainly never fought one. In the past he has usually only used his Jedi lightsabre skills to deflect blaster bolts and in practice fights against other Jedi who are not really trying to kill him. Darth Maul has probably never fought a Jedi in earnest either, though his training has probably been directed solely with that purpose in mind.

Does Qui-Gon know he's going to die in the duel?

We don’t know. Probably not in any distinct sense, as he gives no indication of any particular foreboding and has an expression of surprise and grief when Maul hits him on the nose, stunning him, and then runs him through with his lightsabre. At some point, possibly when Obi-Wan is knocked off the catwalk, possibly later when Qui-Gon slows the pace of the fight by hesitating in the melting pit room, he may realize this fight is going to be to the death. The novelization seems very explicit that he didn't anticipate death, but he that distinctly realised the superiority of the other fighter over his aged reflex. There are various moments of dramatic foreshadowing in which Qui-Gon’s death is alluded to, most notably at the Skywalker dinner table when Anakin says, "no one can kill a Jedi!" and Qui-Gon wistfully responds, "I wish that were so," though this does not by any means imply foreknowledge on Qui-Gon’s part. Indeed, it is implied that Qui-Gon’s talents do not lie in knowledge of the future, a function of the unifying Force, but in intuitive knowledge, a function of the living Force. Qui-Gon's meditation between the force fields before the final meeting with Maul also implies to many a preparation for the possibility of death.

While he is dying, does Qui-Gon use the "mind trick" on Obi-Wan in order to ensure that Obi agrees to training Anakin?

This is a baseless rumor that has been tossed around by some Star Wars fans, who cite Qui-Gon’s affectionate touching of Obi-Wan’s cheek as evidence (akin to his hand wave for the mind tricks earlier in the movie). It has been argued in defense of Obi-Wan that he is certainly not "weak-minded" enough to be affected by the mind trick, but I don’t think he really is in any state to resist anything as he holds his dying Master in his arms. Obi-Wan is clearly distraught. The best argument I can offer in regard to this is that it is simply unnecessary for Qui-Gon to resort to tricks. His Padawan bears him a tremendous amount of loyalty. They may not always agree, but in the end, the loyal Padawan is quite willing to defer to his Master, and remains loyal even after his death.

Why doesn't Qui-Gon disappear when he dies as Old Ben Kenobi and Yoda did in the original trilogy?

In the years between Episode I and Episode III, George Lucas, when asked the question, declined to give a straightforward answer, stating, "The Qui-Gon Jinn thing you will discover as time goes on. There is a whole issue around that and the ability to disappear. The key line to understanding this is when Ben Kenobi tells Darth Vader, "If you try to strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. So, that's a key line. And it'll be explained as we go along" (press conference). In Empire Magazine, he said, similarly, "one (question) that gets asked a lot is why doesn't Qui-Gon disappear like everybody else? That's a plot point that centres around Obi-Wan saying to Vader/Anakin in the first one, ‘If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.’ There is an issue about the Force and that will be revealed."

In Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays George Lucas said, "one of the things (Old Ben Kenobi) was doing on Tatooine besides watching over Luke was learning how to keep his identity after he became part of the Force."  In Episode III we learn that Qui-Gon in fact was the first Jedi to learn the secret to maintaining his identity in the Force after Death. However, George Lucas has explained that Qui-Gon's understanding of this technique was not complete enough to enable him to disappear or to later appear as a ghost. He is able to communicate with the living only as a voice in their minds. But after his death, Qui-Gon's understanding becomes much greater and he is able to tell the secret to Yoda and Obi-Wan, who spend their years in hiding learning from Qui-Gon and practicing the "contemplation and study" necessary to become Jedi ghosts. This is an important survival strategy for the Jedi; since there are so few left they must be able to stick around to advise future Jedi, like Luke!

So why was Qui-Gon the one to make this extraordinary breakthrough? According to George Lucas and the Revenge of the Sith novelization, essentially because of his deep compassion. Another possible reason is that the living Force emphasizes the individual and keeping concentration focused here and now on one's own situation and presence--it may well be the key to maintaining identity within the Force, because it's the very essence of individuality.

Many believe Qui-Gon's kneeling meditation between the laser walls at the end of his fight with Maul may have been a preparation for retaining his individuality after his possible death. Perhaps Vader's meditation scenes in The Empire Strikes Back are inspired by some combination of witnessing Obi-Wan's disappearance, and Qui-Gon communicating with him through the Force? We don't see Anakin disappear when he dies (Lucas has said this is because it "wouldn't make sense" for the armor to disappear), but he does of course appear at the end of Return of the Jedi as a ghost.

What's Qui-Gon up to between Episodes I and III?

In Rogue Planet, a 2001 Star Wars novel by Greg Bear set in between Episodes I and II, Obi-Wan seems to hear Qui-Gon's voice speaking to him:

You do not trust yourself yet, Jedi. You do not trust your unconscious connection to the Force.
Obi-Wan turned his head and looked around the darkened cabin. That had sounded like Qui-Gon Jinn speaking, yet he had heard nothing.   Nor had the boy made a sound.

Strange that this did not disturb Obi-Wan more.

"No, Master, I do not," Obi-Wan said to the empty air. "That is my strength."

Qui-Gon would have debated that point fiercely. But there was no reply. (page 84)

Later, Obi-Wan has doubts about Anakin and about whether his growing fatherly attachment is affecting his objectivity.

Someone familiar seemed to stand at his shoulder, and lost in this un-Jedi emotion, self-critically, wonderingly, Obi-Wan murmured, "he is no different than any other child, is he?"

Like a whisper, in reply, "To you, he is. And now you know." (page 204)

On the next page, Anakin awakens.

"I dreamed I was with Qui-Gon," Anakin said. "He was teaching me something... I forget what."  The boy smiled and stretched his arms. "He said to tell you hello. He said you're so hard to talk to." Anakin ran for the ship and stepped up onto the ledge of stone.

Obi-Wan stood as if stunned by a blow, then set his jaw and followed his Padawan. (page 205)

In 2002's Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones, Anakin lays waste to a camp of Tusken Raiders who killed his mother. Meanwhile, at the Jedi temple, Master Yoda is sitting in meditation when he senses the disturbance and seems to fleetingly hear Qui-Gon's voice crying out, "Anakin, No!" The voice seems to be the exact same one from the scene in Phantom Menace in which Darth Maul rides up behind Annie on a speederbike and Qui-Gon yells, "Anakin, drop!" -- not a new recording. I'm told that if you watch the film with subtitles it says "Qui-Gon: Anakin, no!" George Lucas told Starlog Magazine in 2002 when they asked about this scene:

It’s a plot point. All I can really say is that you’ll find out [more] in the next film. If you thought really hard, you would probably be able to figure it out, but it really is a set-up for the next film. It’s connected with the whole ability to be brought into and become a part of the Force, but still be able to retain YOUR ability – which, up to this point, Anakin couldn’t do. We talked to Liam about [recording new dialogue], and we went back and forth [about it]. This [dialogue] is something we already had [from Menace]. Next time will be a little more complicated.

The 2004 Star Wars novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart, who is reported to have been given the entire Episode III script to read, reveals that Yoda and Qui-Gon have been talking for years. The book includes this conversation, discussing Dooku:

"Cunning it is. If I move to see him, I must keep any Republic ships away from the Hydian Way. Deny the chance of peace utterly, must I, or else give him extra months unharried in his lair."

"He is a fencer," Qui-gon agreed. "Leverage, position, advantage--they are as natural to him as breathing."

"My old student--your old Master, Qui Gon. The truth he is telling?"

"He thinks he is lying."

Yoda's ears pricked up. "Hmm?"

He thinks he is lying.

A slow smile began to light Yoda's round face. "Yessssss!" he murmured.

A moment later Yoda felt a vibration in the Force, a ripple rolling out from the student dormitories far below, like the faint sound of distant thunder. Qui-Gon shivered and was gone, as if the Force were a pool of water and he a reflection on its surface, broken up by the splash of whatever disturbance had just struck the Temple.

There is the possibility that Qui-Gon's presence was weak immediately after his death, and progressively strengthened so that he became able to sometimes speak with his old friends, and eventually even to appear to them as a ghost or vision. This would be consistent with Old Ben Kenobi first connecting with Luke only as a voice. It was three years after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope that Ben first appeared visually to Luke, when he was lost in a snow storm on Hoth. Or perhaps it just took time for those whom the ghosts were communicating with to learn to perceive them.

Qui-Gon is also mentioned in the Clone Wars series of cartoon shorts made for the Cartoon Network, for instance in Episode 21. Ain't It Cool News describes this episode:

Next, we see Jake Lloyd age Anakin with Qui-Gon. They have much the same discussion that Yoda and Luke have in Empire before going into the tree to face his fears. “Control you fear,” Qui Gon says, “You are The Chosen One.” The scene appears to be a Yoda’s dream and he’s not pleased.

Anakin, fed up with being called a boy says to Obi Wan, “As far as wisdom goes, you’re no Qui-Gon Jinn.” Obi Wan is surprised but agrees. “Not a day goes by I don’t look to his guidance,” he says."

Where is Qui-Gon in Episode III?

Back in 2000 when he was filming Gangs of New York, Liam Neeson told the Itallian newspaper La Repubblica, "I'm not in the cast of the next Episode 2, but I have heard I'll reappear in Episode 3. Since my death was unlike the death of the other Jedi I can still come back to life."

The Episode III Novelization fleshes out details. In fact Qui-Gon has achieved a unique transcendence by becoming both "one with the Force" and remaining distinctly his individual self. He has achieved what the evil Sith had lusted after from ancient times--immortality. The Jedi had believed this to be impossible, but it turns out that only the living Force, the light of love, Qui-Gon's particular strength which made him a compassionate maverick in life, can achieve this transcendence. Qui-Gon has been communicating for the past 13 years with Yoda in particular, and to some smaller extent with Obi-Wan and Anakin. By the time of Episode III he can communicate clearly with his friends--and he can teach this skill to them. Near the end of Episode III, we see Yoda alone in a room on the planet of Polis Massa, peacefully intent in meditation--in fact he is communicating with Qui-Gon. Bail Organa enters and interrupts him: "Excuse me, Master Yoda...." Later Yoda says to Obi-Wan in a conference room on board the Alderaanian Starcruiser, "In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you." "Training?" Obi-Wan asks. "An old friend has learned the path to immortality. One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force: your old master." "Qui-Gon!" "How to commune with him, I will teach you."

In the script, the meditation scene is thus:

222 INT. POLIS MASSA-OBSERVATION DOME-NIGHT

On the isolated asteroid of Polis Massa, YODA meditates.

YODA: Failed to stop the Sith Lord, I have. Still much to learn, there is ...

QUI -GON: (V.O.) Patience. You will have time. I did not. When I became one with the Force I made a great discovery. With my training, you will be able to merge with the Force at will. Your physical self will fade away, but you will still retain your consciousness. You will become more powerful than any Sith.

YODA: Eternal consciousness.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) The ability to defy oblivion can be achieved, but only for oneself. It was accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. It is a state acquired through compassion, not greed.

YODA: . . . to become one with the Force, and influence still have . . . A power greater than all, it is.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) You will learn to let go of everything. No attachment, no thought of self. No physical self.

YODA: A great Jedi Master, you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. Your apprentice I gratefully become.

YODA thinks about this for a minute, then BAIL ORGANA enters the room and breaks his meditation.

BAIL ORGANA: Excuse me, Master Yoda. Obi-Wan Kenobi has made contact.

Later, on the Alderaan Starcruiser:

YODA: (continuing) Master Kenobi, wait a moment. In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you.

OBI-WAN: Training??

YODA: An old friend has learned the path to immortality.

OBI-WAN: Who?

YODA: One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force to train me . . . your old Master, Qui-Gon Jinn.

OBI-WAN: Qui-Gon? But, how could he accomplish this?

YODA: The secret of the Ancient Order of the Whills, he studied. How to commune with him. I will teach you.

OBI-WAN: I will be able to talk with him?

YODA: How to join the Force, he will train you. Your consciousness you will retain, when one with the Force. Even your physical self, perhaps.

In the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover, the meditation scene is thus:

With my help, you can learn to join with the Force, yet retain conciousness. You can join your light to it forever. Perhaps in time, even your physical self.

Yoda did not move. "Eternal life..."

The ultimate goal of the Sith, yet they can never achieve it; it comes only by the release of self, not the exaltation of self. It comes through compassion, not greed. Love is the answer to darkness.

"Become one with the Force, yet influence still to have..." Yoda mused. "A power greater than all, it is."

It cannot be granted; it can only be taught. It is yours to learn, if you wish it.

Slowly, Yoda nodded. "A very great Jedi master you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. A very great Jedi Master you always were, but too blind I was to see it."

He rose, and folded his hands before him, and inclined his head in the Jedi bow of respect.

The bow of the student, in the presence of the Master.

"Your apprentice, I gratefully become."

He was well into his first lesson when the hatch cycled opened behind him.

Yoda tells Obi-Wan he won't be quite alone on Tatooine:

When Obi-Wan moved to follow, Yoda's gimer stick barred his way. "A moment, Master Kenobi. In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you. I and my new Master."

Obi-Wan blinked. "Your new Master?"

"Yes." Yoda smiled up at him. "and your old one..."

It's not clear why Liam Neeson's voice was not included in the final film, or whether his voice part was ever recorded. George Lucas has implied it was his decision, perhaps a matter of editing. But one has to wonder whether Liam Neeson's feelings of ambivalence toward his involvement with the prequels entered into it (like many people, he apparently didn't think Episode I was a very good film). Liam did attend one of the Episode III Charity Premiers (where in fact a Qui-Gon Jinn Discussion List member attending in Qui-Gon costume had his picture taken with the actor by an Associated Press photographer), and has laid off badmouthing Star Wars during the Episode III publicity period. Some of us hold out hope that the voiceover was recorded, and will appear on the DVD version of the film. Even more casual fans have commented that they wish Qui-Gon had been included rather than only talked about. I'm disappointed, since I knew he was in the script and the novelization, and was expecting him to be in the movie.

As to why Qui-Gon did not disappear when he died, or appear as a ghost, George Lucas has explained that Qui-Gon did not know the technique well enough during his lifetime to achieve these things, though he becomes able to teach it to Obi-Wan and Yoda.

There is one concept image of ghost Qui-Gon, however! The painting by Eric Tiemens appears on page 95 of The Art of Revenge of the Sith and depicts Obi-Wan at the bottom of the Utapau sinkhole. It's titled "Sinkhole Grotto (Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon)," and shows Obi-Wan with his saber blazing  in a blue-green grotto draped in moss, on the shore of a small pool of water. On the opposite side of the water, the ghost of Qui-Gon blazes bright neon green with a blue haze around it. He looks like the Virgin of Lourdes or the Lady of the Lake, it made me laugh. The caption quotes Tiemens: "Iain (Mccaig) said, 'Wouldn't it be great to see an apparition of Qui-Gon while Obi's down in the cave, giving him guidance?' The painting wasn't used in the story, though." Bless you, Iain (he's a friend and mentor of my boyfriend and knows very well how much I was looking forward to seeing Qui-Gon--though whether that has anything to do with why the painting came into being, I have no idea). ;-)

 

Have comments? Corrections? Additions?   elizabeth@qui-gonline.org