Friday, January 3, 2014

How Qui-Gon Jinn Could Have Saved the Galaxy

(Originally Written for Jedi News)



Ahh, Qui-Gon. Many people have many different opinions of him, based largely around their own points of view (go figure) regarding his actions throughout The Phantom Menace. Yet, I truly believe that Qui-Gon Jinn could have saved the Galaxy Far, Far Away. He could have prevented war, he could have prevented the culling of the Jedi, and he could have prevented the Empire.

All he had to do was one little thing differently. All he needed to do to save the galaxy was one simple act.

Qui-Gon Jinn needed to stay alive.


"What was that? I suddenly came down with a bad case of heartburn..."



That’s not quite what you were expecting, was it? Many feel it would have been in the Galaxy’s best interest not to pick up a certain slave boy on Tatooine. But the fact of the matter is that Anakin Skywalker was truly the Chosen One, whatever his origins, and was the Galaxy’s best hope in spite of things going to hell in a handbasket lovingly crafted by Palpatine.

But let us look at Anakin for a moment, as we meet him in Phantom. He’s nearly a decade old, so he is already set in his ways. He’s fiercely loyal, likes helping people and solving problems, is a wunderkind with machines. More than anything else, even from this early age, we can see that Anakin Skywalker is ruled by his emotions.

"*sniff*...There's that damn sunset again...*sob*...So beautiful!"

So how do you teach a kid like that control? By pairing him with a teacher who is going to be sympathetic to such things. Of the Jedi in that time period, only Qui-Gon Jinn fits that mold. Qui-Gon listens to the will of the Force over the dogma of the Jedi council. He lets the Force guide him to his missions, and he’s not above bending the rules as far as he can to see it done.
"Credits WILL do fine...."

Qui-Gon would gladly be the father figure Anakin never had. He would allow Anakin to care for him and show that care in return, while still stressing that one can’t hold on forever. He would understand, if not condone, his pupil falling in love, and in either case Anakin would feel more than comfortable sharing his feelings with such a mentor without fear of reprimand or cold lecture. Qui-Gon, knowing how much it hurt his padawan to separate, would have checked in on Shmi from time to time and allowed Anakin to visit once in a while.

"There's some kind of symbolism here, but I can't put my finger on it..."

Qui-Gon would also likely have detected Palpatine earlier, and instilled a distrust in his young pupil thus preventing the Sith Lord from getting his claws in the boy. By teaching Anakin to channel his emotions rather than repress them, and being the friendly ear the boy needed, Qui-Gon would deny Palpatine his leverage. Knowing Palpatine, he could improvise a new plan on the spot and create all sorts of nonsense, but with Jinn and Skywalker together on the case Palpatine would not have been so damned successful.

Sadly, Qui-Gon Jinn did not survive. He was felled by a dirty trick of Darth Maul, and thus Anakin Skywalker was left in the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a relatively inexperienced Jedi who was as by-the-book as they come. And while they did develop a closeness, it was not the open one that would have existed with Qui-Gon, thus allowing Palpatine to fill that void and dooming the galaxy in the process.

"If you're hungry, I have some candy in my shuttle."

6 comments:

  1. Glad you took the time to write this. I always loved Qui-Gon Jinn ever since I was 5 when TPM came out. I never agree with anyone (RLM and Linkara in Particular) who like to instigate that Qui-Gon is the worst Jedi Ever (Obviously neither of them saw Jedi General Krell, I hated that dude on Clone Wars and was ever so grateful when he was finally shot) Qui-Gon was always the kind father figure who preferred to trust his heart rather than stick strictly to the rules, an attitude that later be passed to the Luke, the other Jedi and even the Rebels in Eps. IV-VI. Happy new Year, Keep up the good work, and MTFBWY man!

    P.S. I shouldn't be too hard on Linkara,he's a major Trekkie, and as we all know WARS and TREK fans don't *get* the either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We have to remember that all arguments from authority are always inductive, never deductive (ie only ever a possibility, never a certainty).

    As far as RLM and Linkara go, they are both fine examples of appeal to unqualified authority since both lack credibility. Which is putting it in very nice terms.

    Back to the topic at hand: Qui-Gon is one of the most underated Star Wars characters. He represents more of what all the Jedi should have been like. In fact he may even be the best Jedi, especially afer finding a way to come back from the force.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love Qui Gon and yes, you nailed it again. Could have Would have and SHOULD have. And getting back to would have - he may have lived if only Mace and his council buds would have given any credence to the consideration that Maul was a Sith Lord. Always so arrogant....Couldn't be a Sith - we would have known it....like a snotty sorority girl especially when the way he said Anakin would not be trained... Arm draped leisurely, snotty expression and so...damned...sure of himself - that was Mace and the entire Jedi Council. Yoda was wrong - they all were. P.S. - lovelucas here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It seems alot of people don't get that the Jedi are supposed to be flawed in the PT. Their hubris is part of their downfall.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ["Love Qui Gon and yes, you nailed it again. Could have Would have and SHOULD have. And getting back to would have - he may have lived if only Mace and his council buds would have given any credence to the consideration that Maul was a Sith Lord. Always so arrogant....Couldn't be a Sith - we would have known it....like a snotty sorority girl especially when the way he said Anakin would not be trained... Arm draped leisurely, snotty expression and so...damned...sure of himself - that was Mace and the entire Jedi Council. Yoda was wrong - they all were. P.S. - lovelucas here."]


    Mace and the Jedi Council? I was not under any impression that Mace ruled the Jedi Council. It's amazing how you managed to avoid Yoda's name in your comment. Are you under the impression that Mace is mainly to blame for the Jedi's mistakes and downfall?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mace is the symptom, not the cause, though he helped drive the final nail in Anakin's coffin

      Delete