There are a lot of fans out there who don’t have any love for the prequel Star Wars films. But, if you are like me, you do find some redeeming qualities in these movies; and one of those extremely redeeming elements is the character of Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
So here are 8 reasons why Qui-Gon Jinn is one of the most important and epic Star Wars characters:
1.) He’s played by Liam Fucking Neeson.
Yeah! Does anyone disagree?!?
Have you seen Rob Roy, Gangs of New York, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins, Taken, or The Grey??? Not to mention Schindler’s List, Les Misérables, and Michael Collins.
Liam Neeson is a badass, an excellent actor, has his own unique presence, AND he has terrific onscreen combat skills. No one else could have played Gui Gon the way Liam does… NO ONE!
2.) He saved Jar Jar Binks.
Now I know what you’re all thinking; “Uhh… that’s a reason to not like Qui-Gon Jinn.”
But hear me out! Most people are horribly annoyed by Jar Jar. Like… it can be excruciatingly painful for some to hear “Okey dokey day,” or whatever the fuck else Jar Jar says when you pop in a Phantom Menace DVD.
And it’s also clearly annoying for Qui-Gon as well.
“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent,” is one of the first things Qui-Gon says to Jar Jar.
In spite of his annoying qualities, Qui-Gon still saves Jar Jar… at least TWICE!!!
He saves him once when Jar Jar is about to be run over by a large Federation Droid vehicle. And again when the other Gungans are going to punish Jar Jar for being dumb and annoying.
So that tells me, that Qui-Gon Jinn is a very solid dude. He is such a strong and good man that he will even help someone as annoying and offensive as Jar Jar Binks.
3.) If he would have lived, Anakin Skywalker wouldn’t have gone to the Dark Side.
More specifically, if Qui-Gon Jinn had lived and become Anakin’s Jedi Master as he planned to, I don’t believe that Anakin would have ever turned to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader.
I love Obi-Wan Kenobi. Especially the old Ben version from the original trilogy. (Shout out to Alec Guinness!) But as for the younger Obi-Wan played by Ewan McGregor, he is a less experienced teacher and can be a little harsh, especially in Episode II, Attack of The Clones.
You ever notice in that movie how hard he is on Anakin? I always feel like the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin is strained when I watch that film. I mean come on! Obi-Wan goes from being a padawan to immediately becoming someone else’s master. The guy is just not going to be as good of a teacher as a seasoned Jedi Knight like Qui-Gon Jinn.
Not to blame Obi-Wan for Anakin turning to the Dark Side, but can you imagine what would have happened if Qui-Gon Jinn had lived and gone on to be Anakin’s master, as opposed to Obi-Wan?
Qui-Gon was so adamant that Anakin was the “chosen one” and he was very nurturing and patient with him as well. In a scene where Anakin confesses to Padme that he has never won a pod race before, Anakin says, “I will this time,” just as Qui-Gon walks up, puts his hands on Anakin’s shoulders and says with a warm smile, “Of course you will.”
This example indicates that Qui-Gon would have been just the master Anakin needed; one who would encourage him through positive reinforcement and sensitivity during his fragile development.
One can observe the beginning of Anakin’s path to the Dark Side, in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, when he reacts to the death of his mother and kills several Sand People out of anger. At that time, Anakin had not even seen his mother since he left about ten years ago as a young boy. But, if Qui-Gon had lived, isn’t it plausible that he would have gone back to Tatooine at some point to free Shmi (Anakin’s mother) and give Anakin peace of mind that his mother was safe?
Obi-Wan was not present to observe the relationship between Anakin and his mother; Qui-Gon is the one who was first witness to the importance of Shmi to Anakin and he is the one who saw the potential in Anakin. This suggests that Qui-Gon would have been more sensitive to Anakin’s personal issues.
But, unfortunately, Qui-Gon did not live and Obi-Wan took on the task of training Anakin to become a Jedi. It seems clear that Obi-Wan decides to train Anakin, not out of faith in the boy, but rather out of obligation to his master’s dying wish.
4.) He’s a follower of the Living Force philosophy.
Alright so I am going to nerd out a little bit here.
If you don’t care about the more complex details of The Force and the philosophies surrounding it, you might want to skip this point……………..
You still reading? You’re a fucking nerd, I knew it. But it’s okay, I am too!
So for the Jedi, amongst their many philosophical observations, there are these two concepts they call the Unifying Force and the Living Force.
Those who follow the ideas of the Unifying Force, focus on fulfilling destiny and constant attempts of interpreting visions of the future. Whereas those who follow the ideas of the Living Force focus more on the moment and, according Wookieepedia, “sensitivity to living things.”
Qui-Gon follows the ways of the Living Force; he focuses on the task at hand and does not allow fear of the unknown to determine his actions but rather stays true to his heart no matter what.
The concept of the Living Force vs. the Unifying Force is discussed more in detail in the books and comics, but it is also alluded to in Phantom Menace in a scene between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan:
Qui-Gon: “Don’t center on your anxieties Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.”
Obi-Wan: “But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future.”
Qui-Gon: “But not at the expanse of the moment. Be mindful of the Living Force, young padawan.”
I think this is also evidence that further supports #3.
5.) The man is witty as fuck.
Watch Phantom Menace again! Qui-Gon delivers great one-liners, full of wisdom, such as, “There’s always a bigger fish,” and “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent,” and “Greed can be a powerful ally.”
The man’s a subtle genius.
6.) He looks like he’s in a 70’s rock band.
Look at that gorgeous long hair and that epic Jedi beard! Qui-Gon Jinn always looks like, at any moment, he could bust out a guitar and do a killer rendition of Hotel California by The Eagles.
Don’t believe me? Watch any scene in Phantom Menace where Qui-Gon is welding a Lightsaber, put it on mute, and play Led Zeppelin or Lynyrd Skynyrd in the background. It’s magical.
7.) He always keeps a cool head.
Through all of the danger and crazy shit he encounters, Qui-Gon Jinn always keeps a calm, positive/zen attitude. He is always the first in a bad situation to tell everyone around him to remain clam. He goes with the flow because he has faith.
8.) He cheats at gambling.
Remember the scene where Qui-Gon makes a bet with Watto over whether or not Anakin will win the pod race?
They use a “chance cube” (I guess they don’t have coins to flip in Star Wars… but, whatever) to determine if Qui-Gon will win Anakin or his mother in the wager.
Qui-Gon uses the Force to make the cube roll out blue face up so that he gets what he wants.
It doesn’t seem very Jedi-like for Qui-Gon to cheat, let alone gamble at all. But this just shows, once again, that Qui-Gon Jinn is a motherfuckin’ badass who will do what he has to, to meet his own objectives without violating the morals that matter to him. (i.e. He could have just cut Watto down with a lightsaber and taken what he wanted but that would be wrong). Plus, you know what? Watto is kind of a dick anyway so fuck him.
Check out Qui-Gon being awesome in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
And, of course, don’t miss the first installment of the new trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens which hits theaters December 18th! (Who knows?! Maybe we’ll get to see Qui-Gon Jinn as a Force ghost in The Force Awakens!)