Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, principally portrayed by Liam Neeson in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He also appears frequently in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of comic books, video games and novels.

Character overview

Qui-Gon is introduced in Episode I as a wise and powerful Jedi Master, the mentor of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unlike other more conservative Jedi Masters, he values living in the moment as the most effective and rewarding way to embrace the Force. While other Jedi respect him, they are frequently puzzled by his unorthodox beliefs, and ultimately deny him a seat on the Jedi Council.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones reveals that he was trained in the ways of the Jedi by Count Dooku, who by the time of the film has left the Jedi Order and become a Sith Lord. Qui-Gon’s idealistic personality was very similar to his master’s, but unlike Dooku, Qui-Gon remained true to the Jedi Order his entire life.


Prequel Trilogy

The Phantom Menace

In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent to the planet Naboo to resolve a political crisis. The corrupt Trade Federation, in protest to recent taxation laws, had blockaded of the planet with a fleet of battleships. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent as ambassadors of Chancellor Finis Valorum to reach a peaceful settlement.

Shortly after their arrival, the Trade Federation viceroy attempts to gas them on orders from Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who is using the Federation as pawns in a larger scheme to take over the Galactic Republic. The Jedi survive the gas, and easily defeat the battle droids assigned to reinforce the chamber entrance. Qui-Gon tries to cut through the bridge's blast doors, but the arrival of Federation droidekas force him and his padawan to stow away on troop transports invading Naboo.

On Naboo, Qui-Gon meets Jar Jar Binks, saving his life and earning his eternal debt. Jar Jar reluctantly takes him to the underwater city of Otoh Gunga, where Boss Nass agrees to give them transport to the capital city of Theed and allows Binks to go with the offworlders as a guide. Once in the capital city, he and Obi-Wan rescue Naboo's queen, Padmé Amidala, and escape on the royal starship. As they dash through the blockade, however, the ship is hit by laser fire and the hyperdrive is badly damaged. The party is forced to land on the planet Tatooine.

There, Qui-Gon looks for parts in the settlement of Mos Espa, where he encounters a young slave named Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon comes to believe that Anakin, who is exceptionally strong in the Force, may be the "Chosen One" of Jedi legend. Qui-Gon releases Anakin from slavery when he wagers the boy's owner, Watto, on his victory in the Boonta Eve Classic podrace. Qui-Gon and his new charge sojourn to the outskirts of Mos Espa to meet up with Queen Amidala. Qui-Gon senses someone watching them, and soon learns his fears are correct: the Sith Lord Darth Maul has been trailing them for some time, and attacks them as they board the Queen's ship. Qui-Gon fights Maul as the ship takes off behind him. Using the Force, he manages to jump on the ship's extended landing platform before it takes off.

On Coruscant, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan appear before the Jedi Council to give a report. The Council reluctantly agrees to test young Anakin for Jedi potential. They find that the boy is indeed very strong with the Force, having the greatest midi-chlorian count ever recorded, but say he is too old to begin the training. Yoda senses that the boy's future is "clouded" by the fear he exhibits. Disappointed, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan prepare to return to Naboo with Queen Amidala.

During the film's climatic battle scene, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan encounter and fight Darth Maul in a deadly lightsaber duel. Wielding a double-bladed lightsaber, Maul fights them across the main hangar and into the Theed power generator station. Eventually Obi-Wan is isolated from the fight by a row of deadly laser walls and Qui-Gon is forced to fight alone. After wearing the older Jedi down, Maul slams his double-bladed lightsaber hilt into Qui-Gon's face, dazing him, and impales Qui-Gon with his lightsaber. Obi-Wan is then released from his laser wall prison and eventually cuts Maul in half with Qui-Gon's lightsaber. With his dying breath, Qui-Gon makes Obi-Wan promise to train Anakin. Following this, the Jedi Master's body is cremated in accordance with Jedi custom.

Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, set 10 years later, Qui-Gon's voice is heard by a meditating Yoda on Coruscant as an enraged Anakin is slaughtering a pack of Tusken Raiders on Tatooine after his mother's death, embracing the power of the Dark Side. In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, after Anakin fully turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader, Yoda informs Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has discovered the ability to retain individual consciousness after merging with the Force, and that he will teach Obi-Wan to do the same.

Expanded Universe

Jedi Apprentice

Qui-Gon's life prior to The Phantom Menace is mainly detailed in the Jedi Apprentice series, written by Dave Wolverton and Jude Watson. Born almost a century before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Qui-Gon, as an infant, is taken to the planet Coruscant to train and become a Jedi. He maintains some ties with his native planet and sister Kerri, and even once obtains a special worn stone from his homeworld's River of Light.

At the age of eight, he and Tahl become best friends. At the age of 10, Qui-Gon participates in the Exhibition Day Tournament, where young students are encouraged to perform their skills so that they may be taken as an apprentice to one of the Jedi Knights or Masters. At this exhibition, Jedi Master Count Dooku first sees Qui-Gon's lightsaber skills, and takes the boy as his Padawan a short time afterwards.

Together, Dooku and Qui-Gon go on numerous missions across the galaxy. In Legacy of the Jedi, the two 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 with whom Dooku was once close friends. The two battle and Dooku lets his anger get the best of him. Qui-Gon stops his Master from violating the Jedi Code by committing cold-blooded murder. Some time following this assignment, Dooku and Qui-Gon are given their final assignment as master and apprentice, a mission set to last two years. Upon returning from this mission, Qui-Gon is reunited with Tahl. Dooku tells Qui-Gon that he has one weakness: his compassion for all life. Dooku warns him that betrayal inevitably comes from a friend. At the end of the novel, Qui-Gon once again faces off with Lorian Nod years after their first encounter, and once again the fallen Jedi is incarcerated for his crimes.

Qui-Gon, by now a full-fledged Jedi, discovers a young boy from Telos IV named Xanatos who exhibits a strong connection to the Force. Qui-Gon takes Xanatos to the Jedi Temple for training, even though the child is much older than the accepted age for training. For 12 years, Qui-Gon and Xanatos were master and apprentice. Many members of the Council, including Yoda, express their concerns about Xanatos, and decide to give the troubled young man one final test before granting him the title of Jedi Knight. Qui-Gon and Xanatos are sent to Telos IV, the latter's homeworld, where the boy's father, Crion, has become a tyrant. Xanatos is tempted by his father's wealth and power, and joins Crion, hoping to rule together. After the planet plunges into civil war, Crion is confronted by Qui-Gon, who is ultimately forced to kill him. Xanatos flies into a rage and takes a ring from his father's finger, searing hot from Qui-Gon's blade. He brands it into his cheek, creating a broken-circle scar. Xanatos flees, swearing revenge on his former master.

Qui-Gon blames himself for Xanatos' failure, and vows never to take another Padawan. Despite this, Qui-Gon is given the rank of Jedi Master by the Council, posssibly as a commendation to him for ending the war on Telos, at the cost of losing his corrupt Padawan.

For the next few years, Qui-Gon returns to solo missions, and occasionally works with others on various assignments. Qui-Gon and Tahl are credited for accomplishing many missions, such as successfully overseeing the first democratic elections of New Apsolon.

In The Rising Force, Yoda encourages Qui-Gon to take another apprentice. Qui-Gon agrees to at least observe a small tournament among a group of the Temple's older students, which include Bruck Chun and Obi-Wan Kenobi. 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, he leaves for the planet Bandomeer.

On the transport ship to Bandomeer, Qui-Gon is reunited with Obi-Wan, who is also being sent to Bandomeer to begin life as an agricultural labourer. On the transport, 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 Xanatos. It turns out that the whole ordeal has been organized by Xanatos, who is revealed to be 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. Qui-Gon duels with his former apprentice, and he and Obi-Wan end Offworld's business on Bandomeer. Xanatos escapes, however. During their situation with Xanatos, Qui-Gon discovers Obi-Wan's true potential, and takes him as his new Padawan learner. As a gift for his 13th birthday, Qui-Gon gives Obi-Wan the special rock he found from the River of Light on his homeworld.

Throughout the Jedi Apprentice series, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent on various missions across the galaxy. In The Defenders of the Dead, the two rescue a blinded Tahl from the war-torn world of Melida/Daan, and Obi-Wan temporarily resigns from the Jedi Order. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan have more encounters with Xanatos, who, in The Uncertain Path, nearly assassinates Yoda. When Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan chase Xanatos back to his homeworld in The Day of Reckoning, the fallen Jedi refuses to surrender and commits suicide.

As time goes on, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan accomplish various other missions across the galaxy. In The Shattered Peace, they act as ambassadors to settle a conflict between Rutan and its moon of Senali. Qui-Gon also helps the Wookies Attichitcuk and Chewbacca establish a colony on the Kashyyyk moon of Alaris Prime, and drives the Trade Federation off it.

In The Deadly Hunter, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan investigate a strange series of murders in which the victims were drained entirely of their blood. This investigation leads them to meet the famed scientist Jenna Zan Arbor. Eventually, they discover that the bounty hunter Ona Nobis is behind the murders, but they still do not know who her client is. Upon confronting Nobis, Qui-Gon gets aboard her ship and is immediately hit with her blaster fire. Qui-Gon is captured and taken to Jenna Zan Arbor. Zan Arbor, who is studying the genetic traits of Force-sensitives, begins further experiments on Qui-Gon, draining his blood and torturing him to test his limits. Obi-Wan, with the help of Tahl, Adi Gallia, and Siri Tachi, infiltrates Zan Arbor's labs and frees Qui-Gon. Zan Arbor is caught and imprisoned, and the bounty hunter Ona Nobis is presumed dead after a fight with Obi-Wan.

In Jedi Apprentice: Deceptions, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are faced with troubles of the past yet again. Vox Chun, the father of the Dark Padawan Bruck Chun, hires lawyer Sano Sauro to prosecute Obi-Wan for Bruck's accidental death. The trial leads Qui-Gon's apprentice into an emotionally difficult time, even after he is cleared of the charges.

In The Ties That Bind, Qui-Gon suffers from visions of Tahl in great danger. Upon returning to Coruscant, Qui-Gon requests to the Council that he be sent with her on her next mission, to New Apsolon. Tahl, however, declines his offer and goes on alone, even leaving Bant behind at the Temple. Three weeks pass without word from Tahl. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan go to New Apsolon (against the Council's orders) to discover what may have happened to Tahl. After a lengthy search, they find her, safe and sound. Upon seeing each other again, Qui-Gon and Tahl openly admit their forbidden love. They promise to each other that they will deal with their emotions after the mission is over.

However, Tahl goes missing yet again in The Death of Hope. This time, she is kidnapped by Balog, the corrupt Chief Security Controller. When Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan finally find Balog, he has already drugged Tahl. The Jedi rescue her, but she dies despite Qui-Gon's attempts to heal her through the Force.

In The Call to Vengeance, Qui-Gon teeters on the brink of the dark side, obsessed with taking revenge on Balog for Tahl's death. Qui-Gon tracks Balog down and corners him. When he is about to take his revenge, however, he hears a voice beseeching him to stop. Qui-Gon suddenly realizes that he is heading down a dark path, and abruptly deactivates his lightsaber. After taking Balog into custody, Qui-Gon thanks Obi-Wan for stopping him, only to hear from his apprentice that he had not said those words. Qui-Gon realizes that it was the voice of Tahl who had stopped him from giving in to the dark side. The Jedi return to Coruscant and give Tahl a proper funeral.

In other novels

In Secrets of the Jedi, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are paired with Adi Gallia and 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 Padawans. Qui-Gon detects these emotions and warns Obi-Wan of his own example with Tahl, and the consequences of losing a loved one.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan meet Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, who calls upon the two Jedi in particular for future assignments. The two also encounter the bounty hunter Aurra Sing, and fight alongside Mace Windu, Plo Koon, and other Jedi against the Yinchorri.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are dispatched on a mission to locate a valuable cargo ship that had disappeared. Their search takes them to Ord Mantell, and brings them to confront the land baron Taxer Sundown. On the mission, Qui-Gon befriends the native Mantellian savrip, which helps him to complete the mission.

In Cloak of Deception, set just before Episode I, both Jedi fight against a terrorist organization called the Nebula Front. At the Trade Federation conference on Eriadu, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan defend Valorum, but do not prevent the deaths of the rest of the Trade Federation Directorate, allowing the Neimoidians to take control of the Federation.

Clone Wars

Qui-Gon makes a brief appearance in an episode of the animated microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars. He appears in a dream sequence in which he tells a circa Episode I Anakin to enter a mysterious cave, in which the boy will see a vision of his future. His bust can also be seen as a flash when Anakin is attacking Assaj Ventress.

In comic books

Aside from the graphic novelization of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon appears infrequently in Star Wars-related comic books. His most extensive appearance thus far is 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 Tyvokka, Plo Koon, Tholme and his Padawan Quinlan Vos. Ironically, Qui-Gon ends up saving the life of Nute Gunray, the Trade Federation viceroy he would encounter 12 years later.

Behind the scenes

As revealed in The Art of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, director George Lucas conceived Qui-Gon's character during pre-production. This is shown by concept art where Obi-Wan is shown alone in the Federation ship and while meeting Jar Jar. Even when Qui-Gon was conceived, Lucas toyed with making him the younger Jedi, as shown in concept art depicting Obi-Wan as an old man. Originally George Lucas had planned for Qui-Gon to be a 60-year-old man with long white hair, but that idea was scrapped and depicted Qui-Gon as still being 60, though having long strawberry blonde hair.

For various fight scenes, including the Tatooine lightsaber duel with Darth Maul, British actor, Andrew Lawden served as Liam Neeson's body double for the character of Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace.

George Lucas planned to have Qui-Gon appear as a Force ghost in Revenge of the Sith, similar to how Obi-Wan appeared in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The idea was shelved, however, because Neeson had recently broken his leg. However, Lucas covered for this by having Yoda tell Obi-Wan that he would eventually make contact with his former master. This is also confirmed when Yoda tells Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has found the path to immortality via "The Way of the Whills". Though this process has yet to be fully explained, this story has been vaguely expanded on throughout The Last of the Jedi series. This scene appears in the novelization of the film.


  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Novelization, 1st edition paperback, 1999. Terry Brooks, George Lucas, ISBN 0-345-43411-0
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Novelization - Novelization, 1st edition hardcover, 2005. Matthew Woodring Stover, George Lucas, ISBN 0-7126-8427-1
  • Star Wars Episode I Who's Who: A Pocket Guide to Characters of the Phantom Menace, hardcover, 1999. Ryder Windham, ISBN 0-7624-0519-8
  • The New Essential Guide to Characters, 1st edition, 2002. Daniel Wallace, Michael Sutfin, ISBN 0-345-44900-2
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: The Visual Dictionary, hardcover, 1999. David West Reynolds, ISBN 0-7894-4701-0
  • Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, 1st edition, 2000. Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, ISBN 0-7869-1793-8

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