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.
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 by 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.
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
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.
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.
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