Qui-Gon Jinn

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Qui-Gon Jinn
Star Wars character
Qui-Gon Jinn.png
Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace
First appearanceThe Phantom Menace (1999)
Created byGeorge Lucas
Portrayed byLiam Neeson
Voiced by
In-universe information
MasterCount Dooku
ApprenticesObi-Wan Kenobi

Qui-Gon Jinn (/ˈkwɡɒn/) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, played by Liam Neeson. He is a main character in the prequel film trilogy, serving as one of the protagonists of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), while being posthumously mentioned in both of its sequels: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). He also appears briefly in the 2008 animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and in the 2019 film The Rise of Skywalker as a disembodied voice, with Neeson reprising his role in both.

Within the fictional Star Wars universe, Qui-Gon is the second mentor of Obi-Wan Kenobi (after Obi-Wan completed his training with Yoda), and a powerful and wise, yet controversial Jedi Master, who has many uncommon beliefs regarding the Force. In The Phantom Menace, his mission to protect Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo leads him to encounter a young Anakin Skywalker, whom he believes to be the prophesied "Chosen One" who will bring balance to the Force. He concludes Anakin must be trained as a Jedi, much to the disapproval of the Council. Qui-Gon later partakes in the Battle of Naboo, where he is mortally wounded in a lightsaber duel by the Sith Lord Darth Maul. In his final moments, he makes Obi-Wan promise that he will train the young Skywalker.[1] Attack of the Clones introduces Qui-Gon's former Jedi mentor, Count Dooku, who has fallen to the dark side of the Force and has become a Sith Lord. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, it is implied that Qui-Gon has learned how to become a Force spirit after death, and has taught Yoda this technique, who in turn informs Obi-Wan how to commune with Qui-Gon through the Force so that he could learn it as well. The Clone Wars also explores this idea.

Outside of the films, the character appears in various canon and non-canon Star Wars media, such as books, comics, and video games. Since the release of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn has become one of the most popular Star Wars characters, gaining a cult status. Neeson's portrayal of Qui-Gon has been met with positive reviews, with some critics saying he helped hold the film together significantly. For his role in The Phantom Menace, Neeson was nominated for a 2000 Saturn Award for Best Actor.[2]



The Phantom Menace (1999)[edit]

Qui-Gon is the main character in the first episode of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. At the age of 48, he is a Jedi Master and the mentor of a 25-year old Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unlike other, more conservative Jedi, he values living in the moment as the best way to embrace the Force. Jinn is not a member of the Jedi Council which he desires a place in.

The Phantom Menace opens with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan sent to the planet Naboo to resolve a political conflict involving the Trade Federation, a corrupt business conglomerate that has blockaded the planet for political leverage. On arrival they are attacked by their host. The Jedi retreat to the planet and rescue its besieged Queen, Padmé Amidala. Their attempt to run the blockade and make way for the galactic capital of Coruscant succeeds, but the queen's ship is damaged and is forced to land on the backwater planet of Tatooine for repairs.

While searching for replacement parts on Tatooine, Qui-Gon discovers a slave boy, Anakin Skywalker, who is extraordinarily strong in the Force; a test of his blood reveals that his midi-chlorian count—a measure of Force potential—is the highest ever detected. Qui-Gon is even more intrigued when Anakin's mother, Shmi, tells him that the boy had no father. Realising Anakin might be the "Chosen One" of Jedi lore destined to bring balance to the Force, Qui-Gon bets Anakin's freedom and the spaceship parts on a pod race, which Anakin wins. The entourage leave Tatooine, but not before Qui-Gon is attacked by an unknown Sith Lord, whom he fights off. Upon returning to Coruscant, Jinn asks the Jedi Council to allow Anakin to be trained as a Jedi. Master Yoda senses fear in the boy, and the Council refuses his request. Undaunted, Qui-Gon vows that he himself will train Anakin when Obi-Wan becomes a Jedi Knight.

Amidala, R2-D2, and the two Jedi return to Naboo to liberate the planet. There, the trio are confronted by the Sith Lord from earlier, who reveals himself as Darth Maul. After an arduous lightsaber duel, Maul fatally stabs Jinn, but is subsequently defeated by Obi-Wan. Before dying, Qui-Gon makes Obi-Wan promise he will train Anakin.[3]

Attack of the Clones (2002)[edit]

In Attack of the Clones, Yoda hears Qui-Gon's voice cry out to Anakin through the Force as Anakin slaughters a tribe of Tusken Raiders. Obi-Wan discovers that Qui-Gon's old master, Count Dooku, has become a Sith Lord; and Dooku mentions Qui-Gon as he interrogates a captured Obi-Wan, expressing grief over his former apprentice's death and arguing that Qui-Gon would have followed him in leaving the Republic had he survived.

Revenge of the Sith (2005)[edit]

In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda reveals to Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has returned from the "netherworld of the Force" in order to teach both of them how to retain one's consciousness after death. In a deleted scene, Yoda hears Qui-Gon's voice before the arrival of senator Bail Organa. In the novelization, Yoda finally admits that Qui-Gon was indeed a great Jedi Master.

Liam Neeson was originally asked to record some lines of Qui-Gon for the film's deleted scene included in the novelization in which Yoda was going to speak with him. However, the scene was cut from the film despite being present in the screenplay, and Neeson's voice was never recorded.

The Rise of Skywalker (2019)[edit]

In The Rise of Skywalker, Qui-Gon's voice is heard speaking to Rey, along with other past Jedi, encouraging her to battle the rejuvenated Palpatine. Neeson returned to voice the character.[4]


The Clone Wars (2008–2014; 2020)[edit]

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the character is mentioned several times throughout the series. Qui-Gon appears 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. Despite his presence on Mortis, Qui-Gon is revealed to have not been able to manifest a semi-physical form. 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. During one of the tests of the Force Priestesses, an illusion of Qui-Gon appears along with Jedi Master Count Dooku and Obi-Wan.[6] It is only after Yoda passes his test that he is allowed to learn Qui-Gon's technique to retain one's consciousness after death.

Rebels (2014–2018)[edit]

In Star Wars Rebels while he neither appears nor is mentioned, Obi-Wan finally avenges Qui-Gon Jinn's death in the season 3 episode "Twin Suns", where Obi-Wan and Maul have their final duel on the planet Tatooine. Obi-Wan uses Qui-Gon's favored form of lightsaber combat to bait Maul into overextending himself, allowing him to easily slay him.

Qui-Gon's voice can be heard briefly in the season 4 episode "A World Between Worlds" among many other voices of major Star Wars characters throughout the Skywalker saga, demonstrating how the eponymous realm that Ezra Bridger enters widely spans all time and space in the Star Wars universe.


A novel involving Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, set before the events of The Phantom Menace and titled Master and Apprentice, was written by Claudia Gray and released on February 26, 2019.[7]

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, Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the Lego Star Wars games and as a character skin (via purchased download content) in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. A bird version of Qui-Gon (called Quail-Gon) is playable in Angry Birds Star Wars II.

Legends works[edit]

With the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise in April 2014.[8][9][10]


Clone Wars (2003–2005)[edit]

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!".[11]


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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14][15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

In the 2010 reference book The Jedi Path, Obi-Wan states that some have called Qui-Gon a gray Jedi.[19]


Aside from the graphic novelization of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon appears 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.[20]


Despite the mixed reviews that the prequel trilogy received from various movie critics, Liam Neeson's performance and character received positive reviews. Colin Kennedy from Empire Online stated in his review of the film, "Liam Neeson has manfully carried the action on his shoulders throughout (the subsequent prequels desperately miss him) and his final words – “Obi-Wan, promise... Promise me you will train the boy” - provide the movie with its only real weight."[21] Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly said in his review of The Phantom Menace, "If there’s an actor who holds The Phantom Menace together, it’s Liam Neeson. Tersely commanding, he gives the film its only hints of emotional dynamism."[22]

In 2017, Rolling Stone placed Qui-Gon Jinn at the number 25 spot on their 50 Best Star Wars Characters of All Time list.[23]

Behind the scenes[edit]

Qui-Gon Jinn's Jedi robes from Episode I

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 older man. Lucas originally envisioned an American actor for the role of Qui-Gon, but ultimately cast Northern 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."[24] 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.[citation needed]

Lucas says the character is "very independent, always testing the rules," and refuses "to go along with the program." Neeson describes him as "wise and quite philosophical, yet very skilled in martial arts. He has incredible confidence, as well as a magical quality that enables him to see into the future. He's not really a rebel, but he has his own code."[25]

During the early development of Revenge of the Sith, Lucas wrote a scene featuring a ghostly Qui-Gon speaking with Yoda about Anakin. Liam Neeson indicated that he was set to reprise his role,[26] but the scene was deleted before being filmed, although it is retained in the film's novelization.[27]

The character's name is derived from the Chinese word qigong (气功 or 氣功), a system of coordinated body movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training that allows access to higher realms of awareness, and balance of life energy, similar to Tai chi. This is paired with the Arabic word Jinn, meaning "genie" or "tutelary spirit." The name translates almost literally as "Guardian Spirit of the Living Force."[28] "Jinn" could also refer to the Chinese word for power, jin (勁), and the martial arts concept of fa jin, which is the explosive release of internal strength or power.[29]


Mentorship tree[edit]

Jedi Order master-apprentice relationship
YounglingsCount DookuMace Windu
Qui-Gon JinnDepa Billaba
Obi-Wan KenobiKanan Jarrus
Anakin SkywalkerLuke SkywalkerEzra Bridger
Ahsoka TanoGroguLeia Organa
Ben SoloRey


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  3. ^ Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2001.
  4. ^ "25 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Cameos You Might Have Missed". Vanity Fair. December 20, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
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  6. ^ Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 6, episode 11
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  12. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Rising Force
  13. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Dark Rival
  14. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Captive Temple
  15. ^ Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice – The Day of Reckoning
  16. ^ Star Wars: Legacy of the Force
  17. ^ Star Wars: Secrets of the Jedi
  18. ^ Star Wars: Cloak of Deception
  19. ^ Wallace, Daniel (2017) [2010]. The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-4521-0227-6. OCLC 752590192.
  20. ^ Star Wars: Republic - The Stark Hyperspace War
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  22. ^ Gleiberman, Owen. "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
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  29. ^ Voigt, John (5 Jan 2016). "Qi as Entertainment: The Force in Star Wars". Qi Encyclopedia. Qi Journal. Retrieved 23 October 2016.


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