The man who got everything started for the Star Wars saga was Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn. It was he who first found young Anakin Skywalker, and took him to see the Jedi Council. Even though the Council saw a great deal of hate and anger, Qui-Gon encouraged them to admit the boy. Jinn was a maverick Jedi, one who was often in conflict with both the Jedi code and the high council, yet played a vital role in the legacy of the Jedi.
Born 92 years before the Battle of Yavin, Qui-Gon Jinn was from an unidentified planet and taken as an infant to train as a Jedi, as almost all are. Count Dooku took him as his apprentice at age ten thanks to a display of lightsaber skills. At the end of his apprenticeship, Dooku told Qui-Gon his one weakness: compassion for all life. He warned Qui-Gon betrayal was inevitable.
After becoming a Jedi Knight, Qui-Gon resisted taking a Padawan learner, stating he didn’t think he was ready. He discovered a boy named Xanatos who later became his Padawan. Years later, Qui-Gon, Xanatos, Qui-Gon’s longtime friend Tahl, and another Jedi traveled back to Xanatos’ homeworld, where his father, Crion, had become an evil tyrant. Crion tempted Xanatos, but Qui-Gon killed his student’s father to protect the life of another. Xanatos, enraged, attacked Qui-Gon, branding himself, and falling to the dark side. Xanatos escaped, and Qui-Gon, dismayed at his failure, announced he would take no more Padawans as apprentices.
Nine years later, Jedi Master Yoda encouraged him to find another padawan. Obi-Wan Kenobi was weeks away from his thirteenth birthday. He would become part of the Agricultural Corps unless a Jedi took his as a Padawan. Qui-Gon considered this a waste of talent, and Kenobi was quick to help their troubled transport. Qui-Gon’s mission took him to Bandomeer, where he found out Xanatos ruled. Though he tried to send Kenobi to his intended destination, Kenobi arrived in the nick of time to save Qui-Gon from his old student. Now master and apprentice, the two would battle Xanatos several more times before Xanatos committing suicide.
In 41 BBY (Before the battle of Yavin) Qui-Gon and the Jedi Tahl realized a mutual attraction for each other. They decided to obey the Jedi code and not act on their feelings, however. Qui-Gon began to have visions of Tahl in potentially fatal circumstances, and he offered to accompany her on her next mission, which she turned down. When the council lost contact with her, he and Obi-Wan decided to look for her. They found her trying to infiltrate a group responsible for kidnapping and ransoming leaders’ children, and her cover was swiftly blown. Tahl was kidnapped, and the leader of the group, Balog, paralyzed her inside a sensory deprivation device to deter the Jedi. Though he defeated Balog, Tahl passed away with Qui-Gon at her side.
His friend’s death prompted a terrifying change in Qui-Gon Jinn. He swore revenge on Balog, and stopped at nothing to him and the rest of his group down. It was only when he heard the voice of Tahl telling him to stop did he realize the destructive path he was taking. Though he remained on the light side of the force, his personality changed dramatically after Tahl’s death. He and the Jedi council clashed during this period leading up to the battle of Naboo and the events of Episode I. This prompted his adoption of Anakin Skywalker as an apprentice against their wishes.
Behind the Scenes
Liam Neeson portrays the character in Episode I, though George Lucas had toyed with the idea of making him younger. Neeson’s voice is used in Episode II, and was going to be in Episode III before the scene was cut. A rumor among Star Wars fans is a piece of fabric draped across a piece of furniture in Episode IV is meant to be the same gray poncho his master wears in Episode I, though it is unconfirmed.
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