I was rewatching TPM (for reasons) and I just had an absolute revelation at Qui Gon’s death scene.
I always hated that scene because it felt so heartless- here is a Jedi master who obviously is very close to his padawan, yet he doesn’t use his dying breath to say goodbye, to give any words of encouragement, or to ease Obi Wan’s pain. All he offers is a burden, asking his apprentice to take on his crusade, after telling him in front of the Council that he was ready to brush him aside for that same cause. It just felt wrong and poorly written.
And on this, my four trillionth viewing, it has finally dawned on me- Qui Gon wasn’t talking about Anakin at all. He’s talking about Obi Wan. He says “Promise me you will train the boy”- because Qui Gon, more than anyone else, knows what training a padawan truly means. He knows how deeply Obi Wan will feel this loss. He understands what it means to despair and to have a small, precocious person give hope for the future. He doesn’t ask Obi Wan to promise that Anakin will be trained, he purposely sets this task on his apprentice because he knows it is what will allow him to move past his grief. He also knows that Obi Wan was meant for something great. He understands that the Chosen One needs to be placed in the care of the person who is the most capable, and there could be no greater compliment or sign of trust than to give Obi Wan this charge. Qui Gon knows that training Anakin will allow both The Chosen One and his young master to become the Jedi they were meant to be.
So, really, Qui Gon wasn’t putting duty before attachment. He was using his last breath to ensure that Obi Wan became everything Qui Gon had always known he could, through the only means available to him.
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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.
“[Qui-Gon] was not in touch with [Count Dooku]. He had not expected to be. Their relationship had not been based on friendship. It had been one of teacher and student. It was natural that they should not be in each other’s lives. It would be different with Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon thought. He saw ahead to the days when Obi-Wan would be a Jedi Knight, and he would like to be part of that.”
The Legacy of the Jedi, by Jude Watson
it felt like it ended before it even began
Give me a million and one stories about the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan. Give me their fights and their failures. Give me their successes and their quietude. Give me the early days and the late nights that turn into early days. Give me silent meditation on forgotten moons and battles in busy clubs. Give me these amazing men just being together. Give it all to me.
#the eternal pain and heartbreak and sheer devastation of obi-wan’s life #the bright hero who shone so brightly #he could never keep his own #couldn’t even keep himself #as he screamed at the galaxy in disappointment and betrayal #for he gave and gave #and all he got in return was madness and sand and a false name (via xenadd)