I put this in the tags of this reblog the other day, but I guess I might as well make a post out of it. And add pictures, because hey, why not.
Sometimes during the duel in TPM I think about Qui-Gon lying on the floor, knowing he’s dying, listening to Obi-Wan screaming, knowing that as soon as those ray shields go down Obi-Wan’s going to come through and go after Maul on his own. And if Qui-Gon, a Jedi master, couldn’t defeat Maul, then there’s barely a snowflake’s chance in hell that his apprentice can, which means he’s going to have to lie there helpless on the floor and listen to Obi-Wan die. He can’t pick up his lightsaber. He can’t even turn his head to watch. He can’t give Obi-Wan any help.
So when the ray shields go down and Obi-Wan comes through, all he can do is listen to the duel, to the clash of lightsaber on lightsaber and flesh on flesh. They’re not yelling, they’re not taunting each other: they’re fighting to the death, deadly and quiet and he can’t see what’s happening, just the occasional flash of a lightsaber now and then. It’s a small space to fight in, but somehow the duel doesn’t come near him. Obi-Wan’s still putting himself between Maul and Qui-Gon. There’s hope, a little, but not much. Obi-Wan’s good, but he’s not that good. Qui-Gon’s better, and look where he is now.
And then Obi-Wan goes over the reactor shaft.
And Qui-Gon knows he’s not dead, not yet, but he hears Maul kick his lightsaber over, listens to the sound of Maul’s lightsaber on metal as he sends sparks showering down onto Obi-Wan. And thinks, “this is the end. I failed. No one’s going to be able to tell the Council what happened and this is important. This is the Sith.” It’s not even that his apprentice is going to die. It’s that his apprentice is going to die and Qui-Gon is going to be there and not be able to do anything and that is torture. And that this is maybe the single most important event in the history of the Jedi Order – the return of the Sith – and no one is going to survive to tell the Council.
Just think about that. Qui-Gon was alive through the entire duel. He was dying – but he was still alive. And he couldn’t even turn his head to watch.