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):
"Jedi" derives from the Japanese "jidai geki," a genre of Samurai television dramas.
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."
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:
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.
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.
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):
He helped design his "look" for the movie:
What it was like wearing the wig in Tunisia, and feeling upstaged by CGI characters:
Comments on his acting style in a Michael Collins-era interview:
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:
On role models (TalkCity):
According to Cinescape Online:
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."
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, "dont center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs." Obi-Wans 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."
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-Gons 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?
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.
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? Im a Toydarian! Mind tricks dont work on me, only money!") because Watto is of a species incompatible with the mind trick method.
During the underwater trip "through the planet core," despite Qui-Gons reassurances, ("Relax, were 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-Gons patience with the hyper-emotive Gungan apparently gives out and he calmly reaches forward and squeezes Jar Jars 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.
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-Gons failed attempt to use the mind trick on him, "what, you think youre some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that?" is funny not merely because of Qui-Gons slightly embarrassing failure, but because of the irony that Watto does not know that Qui-Gon really is a Jedi.
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.
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
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 Wattos 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 Wattos 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-Gons actions. Perhaps the best one is that Qui-Gons 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-Gons 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 youll 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 Wattos words. There is a lot of evidence for that in the utter confidence Qui-Gon has prior to the race in Anakins still-unproven abilities. The novel suggests that the chance cube was loaded (weighted on one side) anyway, making Qui-Gons "cheat" merely a response to Wattos.
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-Gons 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.
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 Anakins 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.
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 Anakins achievement alone, and that was part of the point for Qui-Gon. In Anakins 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 Anakins ability to use his obviously-strong connection to the Force.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anakin is referred to as the Chosen One, "the one who will bring balance to the Force." Among Qui-Gons 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 Anakins 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 doesnt 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.
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's musings on Tatooine tell another side of the story:
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 dont 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 Anakins antipathy toward the Council will be important in our ability to comprehend what makes him turn to the Dark Side.
(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.
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!":
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.
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!).
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 doesnt he use the same method to ensure that the Gungans will help Queen Amidala fight the Trade Federations 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.
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.'
We're never told whether he did or didn't. To many, Qui-Gons and Obi-Wans subtle smiles signify either "weve 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 Padmes "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."
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.
We dont 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-Gons 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-Gons part. Indeed, it is implied that Qui-Gons 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.
This is a baseless rumor that has been tossed around by some Star Wars fans, who cite Qui-Gons affectionate touching of Obi-Wans 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 dont 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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Later, on the Alderaan Starcruiser:
In the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover, the meditation scene is thus:
Yoda tells Obi-Wan he won't be quite alone on Tatooine:
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). ;-)
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