While The Phantom Menace left fans with mixed feelings, one universal agreement is that Liam Neeson became a fan favorite with his portrayal of Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon was an unorthodox Jedi with a unique upbringing thanks to his master.
His story impacted more than just what is seen in the Prequel Trilogy and Obi-Wan Kenobi series. In many ways, he helped change the course of the galaxy. Here are 15 facts you might not know about Qui-Gon Jinn and why he’s significant to Star Wars.
1. Normal Beginnings for an Extraordinary Man
Qui-Gon Jinn started as most Jedi. He was a Force-Sensitive person hailing from the planet of Coruscant. He was found by the Jedi and brought to the Temple to begin his training, and some of his earliest teachers were Jedi Masters Tera Sinube and Yaddle.
2. A Different Kind of Teacher
At the age of 12, Qui-Gon was assigned to be the padawan of Count Dooku when the eventual villain was still a Jedi. Qui-Gon admitted to his new master that he feared failing at being a Jedi. Dooku surprised his new apprentice, impressed by Qui-Gon’s honesty, breaking the tension between them.
3. The Prophecies
Dooku had been interested in the prophecies of the Jedi Order for his entire life. As a padawan, this led him into trouble, as he would sneak into the forbidden areas to read about the Dark Side. While teaching his student, Dooku made sure that Qui-Gon learned the prophecies, including the story of the Chosen One.
4. Unorthodox Teachings
Dooku also pushed for his student to think outside of the box. Qui-Gon grew into a maverick Jedi who saw the Jedi Order’s code more like guidelines than hard rules. Qui-Gon learned to put his faith in the Force and the present, often making him bump heads with the Jedi High Council.
5. A Friend
Before Qui-Gon Jinn was his student, Dooku had another padawan named Rael Averross, who became a famed lightsaber duelist in the Jedi Order. Qui-Gon was nervous about meeting Rael, wanting to make an excellent first impression and not disappoint his master. Rael was an incredibly personable man who quickly took a liking to Qui-Gon. The two would go on to be good friends, often swapping stories of Dooku’s training.
6. Qui-Gon’s Padawan
Before becoming the careful Jedi Master he was later known to be, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a rule-breaking, rebellious youngling. His wild nature made other Jedi not want him as a student. It was Yoda who thought that Qui-Gon would be the perfect teacher for Obi-Wan.
7. Butting Heads
For the first years of their master and padawan relationship, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan constantly butted heads. Obi-Wan mellowed as a padawan, becoming more obsessed with being the “perfect Jedi” and following the rules. Qui-Gon often broke the rules for the duo, which stressed out Obi-Wan, fearing his master would get kicked out of the Jedi Order. This conflict made Qui-Gon often feel like he wasn't the right teacher for his student. Despite his insecurities on the matter, Qui-Gon was incredibly proud of Obi-Wan.
The conflict between the teacher and student came to a head when Qui-Gon was offered a position on the Jedi High Council, meaning Obi-Wan would be assigned to another master. Obi-Wan discovered the news before Qui-Gon told him, which hurt the student’s feelings. Qui-Gon waited to decide about the Council until after the duo took a mission to Pijal to help out Rael. The mission was the first time that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan worked well together, strengthening Qui-Gon’s resolve to turn down the High Council position to continue working with his student.
9. Growing Fears
One point of contention between Qui-Gon and the High Council was the Jedi’s place in politics. Qui-Gon profoundly disagreed with the Jedi headquarters being located on Coruscant, the capital of the Republic. He feared everyday citizens would see the Jedi as warriors for politicians. These fears came true years after his death during the Clone Wars when Republic citizens viewed the Jedi as militarists, and many supported Order 66 and the demise of the Jedi.
10. The Hunt for Balance
Qui-Gon believed that the goal of the Jedi was to achieve balance. He never wanted to learn the ways of the Dark Side, but he disagreed with the rigidity of the Jedi Code when it came to how they handled it. Balance could only be achieved with flexibility.
11. The Chosen One
While Qui-Gon didn’t take the prophecies of old to be literal, he did reconsider his viewpoint when meeting a young Force-sensitive boy named Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon learned the circumstances of the boy’s birth and saw how powerful he was with the Force. Qui-Gon believed Anakin was the Chosen One and stood by his choice until his death.
12. Eternal Life
At some point after becoming Obi-Wan’s master and prior to his death in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn discovered the secrets of preserving his consciousness after death. He went to the Wellspring of Life, the planet where midi-chlorians were created, and met the Force Priestesses, who shared their secrets with him.
13. Continued Studies
Qui-Gon also met with a Shaman of the Whills who continued his study of how to have eternal consciousness after death. The Shaman shared it required selflessness, which is why Sith couldn’t become Force ghosts and had to find other means to preserve their life.
The Shaman of the Whills was first mentioned in the screenplay for Revenge of the Sith, but the scene was never made for the movie. The idea for the Shaman dates back to the early drafts of A New Hope.
14. Hero of Naboo
In a fight with Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn was slain on the planet of Naboo. Obi-Wan would avenge his master and go on to train Anakin Skywalker. The Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, was moved by Qui-Gon's actions during her time with him. He became a hero to her people as the Jedi who gave his life to free them from the Trade Federation. A shrine was built in his honor.
15. Passing on Knowledge
Thanks to his time with the Shaman of the Whills and the Force Priestesses, Qui-Gon learned how to become a Force ghost. After his death, he would guide Yoda and Obi-Wan on their journeys to achieve what he had. In time, the two Jedi would follow in Qui-Gon’s footsteps and learn how to preserve their consciousness as Force ghosts.