How (& Why) Qui-Gon Jinn Can Return In Star Wars’ Obi-Wan

The new Obi-Wan Kenobi series will explore Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine. Here’s how and why a Qui-Gon Jinn return would elevate the story.

As the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series explores more of Obi-Wan’s inner-struggles, a Force ghost return from his former master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) could help guide his conflict and connection with Anakin and the Force. Disney+ recently released the cast details for Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christiansen reprising their roles as Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker. The series is set 10 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, following Obi-Wan during the time he watched over a young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine.

Qui-Gon first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi mentor, though nothing of their relationship is shown before the mission that leads them to Anakin. When the Jedi council rejects Qui-Gon’s proposition to train Anakin because they sense he is vulnerable to the dark side, Qui-Gon decides to train Anakin anyway; a decision Obi-Wan didn’t completely agree with. Qui-Gon’s only other appearance is post-mortem: as a voice to Yoda during meditation in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars to Obi-Wan, teaching him about three beings who also, along with Qui-Gon, believe Anakin is the “Chosen One.”

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Because Qui-Gon was defeated in a duel with Maul, he was never able to train Anakin as a Jedi and instead passed on the task to his apprentice Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan’s relationship with Anakin is one of the most complicated in Star Wars lore, and Qui-Gon holds an important part in fostering their mentorship. If Qui-Gon had lived, he would have been Anakin’s mentor and Obi-Wan wouldn’t have had to deal with the guilt of Anakin being led astray to the dark side.

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Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

Revenge of the Sith set up the possibility for a Qui-Gon return when Yoda told Obi-Wan that his former mentor has learned to retain the Force after death, and Obi-Wan would be taught how to communicate with him. Yoda told Obi-Wan that he “has training for him on Tatooine,” which implied Qui-Gon’s Force presence would teach Obi-Wan this ability, as Yoda was exiled on Dagobah. The Clone Wars revealed that Qui-Gon became a Force ghost and communicated with Yoda through voice. Because he only appears in this way, Qui-Gon presumably had not yet learned to conjure himself as a physical manifestation – though he did appear to Obi-Wan on Mortis in a physical form during a strange vision shared with Anakin in The Clone Wars. It’s possible that in the 10 years between Revenge of the Sith and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon learned to become a physical Force ghost, subsequently teaching this ability to Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Luke.

There was unfinished business between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in relation to their influences on the conflicted Anakin, and the new series would be an excellent vehicle for exploring their relationship. Because Obi-Wan Kenobi was exiled on Tatooine for many years, his main of contact would likely be through the Force, most probably through Qui-Gon – the deceased Jedi Master was the only one to have mastered the ability. Taking this time to talk with Qui-Gon would give Obi-Wan the support and answers he needs to deal with Anakin’s conflicted conscience and guide Luke correctly. Obi-Wan will be in a very conflicted state at this time; he has just seen his best friend turn to the dark side and commit atrocities, while also secretly watching over Anakin’s son, Luke, in exile. 

Because Qui-Gon left Obi-Wan with the controversial task of training Anakin, it is critical in Obi-Wan’s character arc for him to understand if and why Qui-Gon still thinks Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One. Obi-Wan was left to answer for Qui-Gon’s actions and needs to process the weight of his guilt and his responsibility for Anakin’s fall. Qui-Gon never stopped being Obi-Wan’s mentor, and Kenobi will need Qui-Gon’s guidance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series as he prepares to face his former apprentice and brother-figure Anakin.

Next: How Obi-Wan Can Redefine The Dark Side In His Star Wars Show

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