The Real Chosen One: Building the Case for Qui–Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Facing Darth Maul
In a moment of complete honesty, I don’t get why more people don’t love this character as much as I do.

As expected, the opinions about The Chosen One for Star Wars aren’t really as cut–and–dry as they appear at first glance.

We had a vote for Anakin, who over the arc of the six films arguably fulfills that role, Luke, who succeeds by becoming “a better Jedi” than his old man and a supporting vote for Qui–Gon.

I received some off–line comments indicating that there were people who had an opinion but were far too lazy to leave their thoughts here.

The beauty of the discussion is that there is no really wrong answer; as Obi–Wan might frustratingly point out, it all depends on your point of view.

Building the Case for Qui–Gon

However, I really think that the thought of Qui–Gon as Chosen One is a thought with merit, worth examining.

As a jumping point, I want to use one of the comments left on the previous post:

The Boy Wonder observed astutely:

It makes sense, after all, Qui-Gon is the one who set the balance in motion with finding Anakin. If there was not Qui-Gon, then there is not finding the boy and there is no way for the Dark Side to truly get its full strength.

Qui-Gon's Lightsaber Hilt
Also a sleek, beautiful hilt for his laser sword.

And I agree to a large extent. Qui–Gon sets everything in motion. He is, in fact, the vessel to deliver the means of balance to the universe. In other words, he delivers Anakin, the tool by which the midichlorians will make their will known on the galaxy: clear the plate and start again.

But That Is Not Enough

While that is certainly a good start, it doesn’t truly elevate Qui–Gon beyond Dalai Lama and we’re looking for the Panchen Lama here. While the prophecy is not definitive on who is precisely the one who will bring balance, it is supposed to be the one that actually brings the Force into balance.

So being the one who finds Anakin is not enough by that standard.

So what argument exists to vault Qui–Gon that extra length to the highest height?

Easy.

Life After Death

Bill Murray as Carl Spacker
Also achieves total consciousness? He *was* promised.

Qui–Gon becomes the first Jedi we as the audience witness retaining his identity after death. However briefly, we hear his voice in Attack of the Clones.

The fact that we hear him reaching out from beyond the grave in an attempt to stop Anakin’s downward spiral from starting also is a strong argument that he not only achieved total consciousness but can at least attempt to affect life in “reality.”

This is important because (though I know some readers will groan) the point is made in the novelization that this is unique; the novelization was born with Lucas’ direct involvement in an age when he was much more controlling about what was said in directly supporting materials.

However, we also get a glimpse into this when Yoda counsels Anakin in Revenge of the Sith.

Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is.

In other words, quit your belly–achin’ kid, we’re all dust when this is through.

And Then…

But Qui–Gon bridges this obvious gap and opens the pathway to the afterlife. At the end of Sith, Yoda drops the bomb on Obi–Wan that his old master will teach him how to retain his identity and commune with those still living.

So we have a balanced Jedi who retains his consciousness and later provides the tools by which Anakin’s evil can be undone after he was also the one who delivered him to the galaxy to do the damage in the first place. And it’s here we see an extra argument for him as The Chosen One.

For Qui–Gon has enabled the destruction of the Old Order and is the one who provides Obi–Wan and Yoda the means to train Luke even if they die before his trials are complete.

Heck, you could even say that he is “brought back” from the afterlife by the Force specifically because Anakin went down an unintended path.

So Is Qui–Gon The Chosen One?

Maybe. I’m not not particularly advocating that as the case. I really started writing this series just as a mental exercise. It’s certainly a worthwhile discussion.

But after reasoning it out here, I’d have to say that there are some pretty strong arguments in favor of it.

What do you think?

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8 thoughts on “The Real Chosen One: Building the Case for Qui–Gon Jinn

  1. I’m not buying this at all, in part because you’re redefining both “balance” and “chosen one” in order to make your argument. As I said in my comments to your last post, I’m not an EU guy, so my opinion is based on the movies alone. I view the six movies as self-contained, and therefore balance must be achieved at the end of Episode VI in order to have occurred at all. Otherwise, the prophecy was total BS because it didn’t come to pass.

    In the context of the moives, for me, “balance” refers to the balance of good v. evil, and this view is supported by several *major* plot points throughout the movie (or at least how they tie together). You’re defining balance as life v. death (i.e., being a dead guy that still roams the universe). That was always a plot point of convenience, and it doesn’t help non-Jedi. To refer to that as balance in a universe populated with non-Jedi that will never experience being a ghost :), it doesn’t seem like a balance except for the privileged few. That’s not really balance, and it isn’t how balance seems to be defined throughout the movies. The goal of everyone seems to be finding a moral center, not becoming a ghost.

    As I understand history (again, from the movies alone), the goody-two-shoes Jedi came to be and ruled the known universe; then the mean, old Sith rose to power and overwhelmed the known universe; then the sissy Jedi won back power and overwhelmed evil with goody-two-shoes-ism; and then Palpatine took it back. In all of these eras, there was no balance between good and evil. While I’m sure there were pick-pockets and jaywalkers during the reign of the Jedi, and at some point dring Palpatine’s reign, someone helped a little, old lady across the street, but for the most part Lucas created a world of absolutes (ironic in light of Obi-Wan’s “only a Sith” line) in which everything was great or everything sucked. Balance brought about by the end of Episode VI was nothing more or less than good and evil reaching equilibrium, both personally and “galacticly.” What I mean by “galacticly” is that the Empire’s reign allowed worlds like Tattooine to gain enough momentum that they’d probably survive the death of the Empire. In that respect, they’d collectively provide balance to the worlds that are overwhelmingly good. Again, we have the balance of good v. evil.

    In terms of his humanity, you made a claim that Qui-Gon was a “balanced Jedi,” but that’s based on something that occurs in the background. It’s a *minor* supporting plot point. In terms of his humanity, Qui-Gon was as goody-two-shoes as any other Jedi, except that he had a tendency to go rogue in a minor way from time to time. Perhaps he was the most important actual cause of the balance that occurred, but bringing balance and being that balance is the difference between an important person and being the “chosen one.”

    Luke broke the mold a bit. He had rage, and he embraced his love for his friends. He was completely unqualified for training, being too old and impatient. He ignored the Jedi way, and as the sole surviving corporeal Jedi, rewrote that code. Yet he didn’t fail as did Anakin and Qui-Gon. In doing so, he became a real-world person rather than unrealistic ideal agent of good or evil that are omnipresent in the Star Wars universe.

    This is no small point. Lucas wrote these movies for an audience of real-world humans, not spirits in the afterlife (to whom your argument would probably resonate). I’m focused on the universe of the living, and I suspect Lucas is too. In the end, Lucas is telling *us* to accept what we are: good but flawed, balanced along the good-evil axis. Lucas was telling us what we were and why that isn’t a bad thing. That’s the strength of Star Trek. (You knew this was coming.) Star Trek wasn’t about 23rd century people using 23rd century technology. It was about 21st century people using 23rd century technology. It was about us, and that we were going to make it. Lucas was showing that when the universe evolved, it evolved into us. We’re on the right track. Luke and his friends were the first “us-es,” but Luke was the one who could bring about that change to the entire universe, perhaps teaching ordinary folk to reach the afterlife because he could relate to them.

    Luke was the new model for humanity and would lead it to its destiny. Luke was the chosen one. Qui-Gon helped introduce Luke’s parents. Thanks, dude, but you’re not the chosen one. If you are, that term means much less than it does when I use it.

    Or maybe I’m wrong.

    1. Oh, we’re going to play this game. I like this game.

      “As I said in my comments to your last post, I’m not an EU guy, so my opinion is based on the movies alone.”

      Nor am I. Merely referenced the novelization, which is based on the script, and dialogue from Episode III.

      “You’re defining balance as life v. death ”

      No. I’m saying that Qui-Gon’s theoretical role as Chosen One is supported by the fact that he is the first (as far as the films go) Jedi to retain his individuality after death, which allows him to become the first Jedi (so far as even Yoda knows, ever) to influence life after death. His influence in both the physical and ethereal plane triggers the destruction of the old order and the establishment of the new.*

      *This argument falls apart when later applied to other aspects, but I’ll let you noodle through where! 😀

      The prophecy is about “the one who will bring balance to the Force.” By doing what he does, Qui-Gon achieves that.

      Like I said, I’m not necessarily selling this as the Gospel of Star Wars, but I think the idea carries some merit.

      “Lucas was telling us what we were and why that isn’t a bad thing. That’s the strength of Star Trek. [etc. etc. zzzzzzzzzz]”

      Is it? I thought the strength of Star Trek was taking something truly beautiful, build it over decades with love and care from terrific writers examining the human condition, and then pissing it all away and failing to be the flagship show for a now-defunct network, but then be able to re-launch with a much more Star Wars-like effort on the big screen and somehow keep each script under better wraps than the details about the assault on bin Laden.

      Zing!

      :-p

  2. very interesting case. He has brought balance to the force as he can control it even in the afterlife. He talks with the force and teaches others to talk with the force

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