Qui-Gon Jinn

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Qui-Gon Jinn
Star Wars character
Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace
Portrayed by Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
Voiced by James Warwick (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds)
Fred Tatasciore (Star Wars: Clone Wars)
Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Fictional profile
Species Human
Gender Male
Position Jedi Master
Homeworld Unknown
Affiliation Jedi Order
Galactic Republic

Qui-Gon Jinn is a fictional character in the Star Wars saga, portrayed by Liam Neeson in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.


Film appearance[edit]

Introduced in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon is a wise and powerful Jedi Master and the mentor of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unlike other, more conservative Jedi, he values living in the moment as the best way to embrace the Force. While other Jedi respect him highly, they are frequently puzzled by his unorthodox beliefs and ultimately deny him a seat on the Jedi Council despite being among the most powerful of the Jedi.[1]

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent to the planet Naboo to resolve a political crisis. The corrupt Trade Federation had blockaded the planet with a fleet of battleships, as a protest to the Galactic Republic's recent taxation laws. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent as Supreme Chancellor Valorum's ambassadors to reach a peaceful settlement.

Shortly after their arrival, the Federation's Neimoidian viceroy Nute Gunray has their starship destroyed and attempts to gas them. The two Jedi survive the gas and easily defeat the battle droids assigned to reinforce the chamber entrance. Qui-Gon tries to cut through the bridge's blast doors with his lightsaber, but the arrival of Federation droidekas force him and his apprentice to escape and they stow away on troop transports invading Naboo.

On Naboo, Qui-Gon saves the life of Gungan Jar Jar Binks, earning his eternal debt in the process. Jar Jar agrees to take the two Jedi to the Gungan underwater city of Otoh Gunga, where its ruler Boss Nass gives them transport to the Naboo capital city of Theed and allows Jar Jar to go with the offworlders as a guide. Once in Theed, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan rescue Naboo's monarch, Queen Amidala, and escape with her on the royal starship. As they dash through the Federation's blockade, however, the ship is damaged by laser fire (saved only by the intervention of the astromech droid R2-D2) and the hyperdrive is destroyed. The party is forced to land on the desert planet Tatooine to make repairs.

On Tatooine, Qui-Gon searches for a new hyperdrive generator in the settlement of Mos Espa, where he encounters nine-year-old slave Anakin Skywalker. The Jedi Master comes to believe that the boy is exceptionally strong in the Force and may be the "Chosen One" of Jedi legend destined to bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon helps liberate Anakin from slavery when he wagers with the boy's Toydarian owner Watto over his victory in the Boonta Eve Classic podrace, in addition to securing a new hyperdrive with the winnings from the race. However, a Sith Lord intercepts them as they approach the Queen's repaired starship. Qui-Gon orders Anakin to get onboard while he engages the Sith Lord in a lightsaber duel. Using the Force, Qui-Gon manages to leap onto the ship's extended landing ramp as it takes off, leaving the Sith Lord behind.

On the Republic's capital planet Coruscant, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan return to the Jedi Temple and appear before the Council to give an update on the status of their mission. There, Qui-Gon expresses his belief that Anakin is the "Chosen One" and the Council reluctantly agree to test the boy for Jedi potential. They find that the boy is indeed very strong with the Force, having the greatest midi-chlorian count ever recorded but say he is too old to begin the training. When Grand Jedi Master Yoda senses that the boy's future is "clouded" by the fear he exhibits, Qui-Gon protests the Council's decision and states that he would take Anakin as his Padawan learner in light of the fact that Obi-Wan is ready to face the trials. The argument is put on hold as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are then ordered by the Council to return with Amidala to liberate Naboo from the Federation's control. On the way, Qui-Gon tells Anakin that while he is not allowed to train him, he wants the boy to stay close to him and pay attention.

During the battle of Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan encounter and fight Darth Maul in a deadly lightsaber duel, inside the Theed Palace's plasma refinery complex. Each is briefly isolated from the duel via impenetrable transparent walls. When these disappear the fight resumes and Qui-Gon is killed. Steeling his grief, Obi-Wan advances to the duel and after a cliff-hanging moment, cuts the Sith Lord in half with Qui-Gon’s lightsaber.

With his dying words, Qui-Gon requests Obi-Wan to train Anakin to which his Padawan agrees upon being promoted to the Jedi Knight rank for his victory over a Sith Lord. Following this, Qui-Gon's body is cremated in a traditional Jedi funeral.[2]

After death[edit]

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Qui-Gon's voice is heard shouting "Anakin! Anakin!" echoing through the Force when Yoda senses Anakin's slaughter of the Tusken Raiders. The novelization states this is the first time that Yoda encounters a Jedi's spirit who has passed into the Force. It's also revealed that Qui-Gon inherited his maverick ways from former Jedi Master Count Dooku (now known as Sith Lord Darth Tyranus). Dooku attempts to use Qui-Gon's memory to recruit Obi-Wan to his Separatist movement but fails. Dooku also does show genuine sorrow over Qui-Gon's death, though Obi-Wan refutes Dooku's belief that Qui-Gon would join his cause if he were still alive.[3]

In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Qui-Gon makes a cameo appearance in "Chapter 21". During Yoda's Force dream, Qui-Gon tells Anakin to enter the mysterious cave on Dagobah where the boy will see a vision of his future. Later when Obi-Wan reprimands Anakin for being late for his secret Knighthood ceremony, Anakin replies "as far as your wisdom goes, you're no Qui-Gon Jinn!". Though this saddens Obi-Wan, Anakin quickly apologizes, to which Obi-Wan responds that he too misses Qui-Gon.[4]

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the character is mentioned several times throughout the series. Qui-Gon appears as a Force ghost in two episodes of the third season. On the mysterious planet Mortis, he informs Obi-Wan in the episode "Overlords" and later Anakin in the episode "Ghosts of Mortis" about the three beings who believe, like Qui-Gon, that Anakin is the Chosen One: the Father (the Unifying Force manifestation), the Daughter (the light side incarnation) and the Son (the dark side embodiment).[5] Later in the sixth season episode "Voices," Yoda is contacted by the disembodied voice of Qui-Gon. Following his deceased friend's instructions, Yoda goes on a quest across the galaxy in order to learn the secrets of becoming one with the Force as well.[6]

After the Jedi Order's fall and Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Yoda reveals to Obi-Wan that the spirit of Qui-Gon will teach them both on how to become one with the Force. Yoda and Obi-Wan receive this training during their respective exiles while waiting for when Luke Skywalker (Anakin's son) can be trained as a Jedi.[7]

Expanded Universe[edit]

Jedi Apprentice[edit]

Qui-Gon's life years prior to The Phantom Menace is mainly detailed in the Jedi Apprentice book series. In The Rising Force (set 12 years before The Phantom Menace), Yoda encourages Qui-Gon to take a new Padawan learner, following the failure of his previous apprentice Xanatos, who turned to the dark side of the Force years before. Qui-Gon observes a small lightsaber tournament among a group of the Temple's older students, which includes 12-year-old Obi-Wan. He takes notice of Obi-Wan's skills, but also of the boy's uncontrolled anger and refuses to train him. Shortly following the tournament, the Jedi Knight leaves for a mission to the planet Bandomeer. On the transport ship, Qui-Gon is reunited with Obi-Wan, who is also being sent to Bandomeer to begin life as an agricultural labourer. During the voyage, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan help defend a group of Arcona from the criminal organization Offworld Corporation. After putting an end to the tense situation, the two arrive on Bandomeer, where Qui-Gon receives a letter signed by his former apprentice Xanatos.[8]

In The Dark Rival, it is revealed that the whole ordeal has been organized by Xanatos, now the leader of Offworld. Qui-Gon sends Obi-Wan off to his Agri-Corps duties, while he plans to meet with Xanatos to find an agreement between Offworld and Bandomeer. However, Xanatos plans to sabotage their meeting and kill Qui-Gon. The Jedi Master duels with his former apprentice, and he and Obi-Wan end Offworld's business on Bandomeer. Xanatos escapes, however. During the encounter with Xanatos, Qui-Gon discovers Obi-Wan's true potential and accepts the boy as his new Padawan. As a gift for Obi-Wan's 13th birthday, Qui-Gon gives his apprentice a special rock he found from the River of Light on his homeworld.[9] In The Captive Temple, Xanatos attacks the Jedi Temple and nearly assassinates Yoda, but Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan thwart his plans, and in The Day of Reckoning, when they chase Xanatos back to his homeworld Telos, the fallen Jedi refuses to surrender and commits suicide. Qui-Gon is thus able to bring closure to a painful chapter of his life.[10][11]

Other novels[edit]

In Legacy of the Jedi, set during both Qui-Gon's Padawan and Knight years, Qui-Gon and his master Dooku are sent to accompany Senator Blix Annon on a diplomatic assignment. However, space pirates infiltrate their ship and their leader turns out to be rogue Jedi Lorian Nod, a former friend of Dooku's. The two battle and Dooku lets his anger get the best of him but Qui-Gon prevents his master from violating the Jedi Code by committing cold-blooded murder. Years after their first encounter, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan encounter Nod and once again the fallen Jedi is incarcerated for his crimes.[12]

In Secrets of the Jedi (set seven years before The Phantom Menace), Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are paired with Jedi Master Adi Gallia and her Padawan Siri Tachi. The mission, which results in Qui-Gon and Adi being separated from Obi-Wan and Siri, leads to the discovery of romantic feelings between the two Jedi Padawans. Qui-Gon detects these emotions and warns Obi-Wan of his own example with Tahl, a female Jedi whose murder nearly pushed Qui-Gon over the edge to the dark side.[13]

In Cloak of Deception (set a year before The Phantom Menace), both Jedi fight against a terrorist organization called the Nebula Front, who are secretly following Darth Sidious' orders. At the Trade Federation conference on Eriadu, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan successfully defend Chancellor Valorum, but do not prevent the deaths of the rest of the Trade Federation Directorate, allowing the Neimoidians to take control of the Federation.[14]

In comic books[edit]

Aside from the graphic novelization of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon appears infrequently in Star Wars-related comic books. His most extensive appearance thus far is in the "Stark Hyperspace War" plotline in Star Wars: Republic. In this story arc, which takes place during the same year Qui-Gon takes Obi-Wan as his apprentice, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fight in the titular conflict along with other Jedi such as Plo Koon and Quinlan Vos, and Qui-Gon ends up saving Nute Gunray, the future Trade Federation viceroy.[15]

In video games[edit]

Qui-Gon has also appeared in several Star Wars video games: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles, Star Wars: Obi-Wan, the Lego Star Wars games and as a character skin (via purchased download content) in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. A version of Qui-Gon as a bird is available as a playable character in Angry Birds Star Wars II

Behind the scenes[edit]

As revealed in The Art of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, director George Lucas conceived the character of Qui-Gon Jinn during pre-production of the film. This is shown by concept art where Obi-Wan Kenobi is shown alone in the Trade Federation flagship and while meeting Jar Jar Binks. Even when Qui-Gon was conceived, Lucas toyed with making him the younger Jedi, as shown in concept art depicting Obi-Wan as an old man. Lucas originally envisioned an American actor for the role of Qui-Gon, but ultimately cast Irish actor Liam Neeson because he considered Neeson to have great skills and presence, describing him as a "master actor, who the other actors will look up to, who has got the qualities of strength that the character demands."[16] Initially, Lucas had planned for Qui-Gon to have long white hair, but that idea was scrapped and Qui-Gon is depicted as having long brown hair in the film. For various fight scenes of the film, including the lightsaber duels, British actor Andrew Lawden served as Neeson's body double.


  1. ^ Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999 ("If you would just follow the Code, you would be on the Council.")
  2. ^ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2001. 
  3. ^ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2002. 
  4. ^ Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes 20-21
  5. ^ Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3, episodes 15 & 17
  6. ^ Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 6, episode 11
  7. ^ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2005. 
  8. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Rising Force
  9. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Dark Rival
  10. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Captive Temple
  11. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Day of Reckoning
  12. ^ Star Wars: Legacy of the Force
  13. ^ Star Wars: Secrets of the Jedi
  14. ^ Star Wars: Cloak of Deception
  15. ^ Star Wars: Republic - The Stark Hyperspace War
  16. ^ "Star Wars Episode I Production Notes: The Actors and Characters - Part I". StarWars.com. 1999-05-01. Archived from the original on 2004-10-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20041023023458/http://www.starwars.com/episode-i/bts/production/f19990501/indexp4.html. Retrieved 2009-04-05.

External links[edit]