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Simu Liu Is Right: Qui-Gon Was The Greatest Jedi | Screen Rant

Star of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu claimed in an interview that Star War’s greatest Jedi is Qui-Gon Jinn, and he may be right. Qui-Gon’s importance isn’t reflected in his screen time; he’s only featured in the first Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace. However, the maverick Jedi’s influence and innovations resonate throughout the entire Star Wars series.

Qui-Gon Jinn was a Jedi Master of the Jedi Order, an organization of Force-wielders who worked to maintain peace and order within the Galactic Republic. Throughout his life, Qui-Gon functioned as a teacher, a peacemaker, and a warrior, although he disliked the latter. Himself a former Padawan of Jedi-turned-Sith Count Dooku, Qui-Gon mentored Obi-Wan Kenobi into a Jedi knight. Qui-Gon met his end at the hands of an evil Sith Lord, Darth Maul, leaving behind both a distraught Kenobi and potential savior of the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker, whom Qui-Gon had discovered shortly before.

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Star Wars might not have spent a lot of time on Qui-Gon, but his critical role in The Phantom Menace allowed the character to set a moral standard that would be sorely needed throughout the rest of the series. Qui-Gon had a nurturing, modest nature, and his philosophy of peace and redemption often took precedence over the demands of the Jedi Order. Additionally, Qui-Gon was an experienced hero of many battles, usually functioning as a rescuer or defender of elite government officials, though Qui-Gon cared for commoners as well. Many of these qualities could be said of other Jedi of the Order, but Qui-Gon stands above them all, not by his power, but by his philosophy and attunement to the Force. Here are several reasons why Qui-Gon Jinn was actually the greatest Jedi of them all.

Before Qui-Gon, no Jedi had successfully investigated the potential for life after death. In his research, Qui-Gon discovered the ability for a Force-attuned Jedi to maintain their conscious mind in the afterlife; by becoming one with the Force, a Jedi is able to communicate privately with individuals they choose, sometimes even taking on ghostly physical forms. Qui-Gon’s training in this ability was cut short, however, as he died before he could fully realize his potential; though he was able to retain his consciousness, the ability to have a physical form cannot be learned after death.

Fortunately, Qui-Gon was able to use this ability to communicate with Obi-Wan as well as Jedi Master Yoda after his death. Speaking to them as only a voice, Qui-Gon taught the Jedi how to use this ability, helping both to further his research; Obi-Wan and Yoda eventually discovered how to return after death in ghostly forms. This proved useful, especially in helping a young Luke Skywalker to defeat the Galactic Empire, and, by extension, the Force-adept Rey in The Last Jedi. Qui-Gon’s invention of the Force ghost ability ensured that Jedi teachings could be passed down for all eternity, regardless of the Jedis’ survival.

Though Qui-Gon was a member of the Jedi Order, he did not always agree with their methods. When Qui-Gon was offered a position on the Jedi Council, he turned it down, aiming to complete Obi-Wan’s training himself, as well as maintaining his personal views. Qui-Gon disliked the bureaucracy of the Jedi Order, believing that too much restriction and political involvement rendered the Jedi into nothing more than the Galactic Republic’s law-keepers.

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Qui-Gon believed that a Jedi should feel emotion, especially love, and encouraged understanding over control. When Qui-Gon took on Anakin Skywalker as a Padawan in addition to Obi-Wan, the Council deemed this in direct violation of their rules. Qui-Gon ignored them, determined to help Skywalker develop his powerful potential into something peaceful. Unfortunately, his death prevented Qui-Gon from training Anakin himself, and Anakin’s experience with the callous Jedi Order drove the young Jedi to become Darth Vader. If the Order had adopted Qui-Gon’s philosophy and broken their own rules, Anakin could have overcome his trauma and Vader may never have existed.

In The Phantom Menace, while Qui-Gon and company were stranded on the desert planet Tatooine, a young, junkyard slave, Anakin Skywalker, offered them help repairing their ship. Qui-Gon sensed something interesting about Anakin, and tested his blood for Force-channeling midi-chlorians; Anakin’s results were off the charts. Upon learning that Anakin had no known father, seemingly created from the Force itself, Qui-Gon determined that Anakin was the prophesized Chosen One, a Jedi who would bring true balance to the Force once and for all.

Shortly after discovering Anakin, Qui-Gon made another groundbreaking discovery. For 1000 years, the Jedi Order represented the light side of the Force without facing its greatest opposition, the Sith, warriors of the dark side. While attempting to leave Tatooine, Qui-Gon was attacked by Darth Maul, whom Qui-Gon immediately identified as a Sith Lord. Shaken by the dark side’s unexpected return, Qui-Gon reported this to the Jedi Council. Though the Council dismissed his worries, Qui-Gon remained on high alert. Qui-Gon was the solitary Jedi attuned thoroughly enough to the Force to detect the good and evil individuals that would lead to the Jedis’ downfall.

Perhaps the most important Jedi after Qui-Gon, Luke Skywalker’s actions in Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi reflect Qui-Gon’s philosophy. In Return of the Jedi, Luke was forced to confront his father, Darth Vader, in a climactic duel. Though both Obi-Wan and the Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine insisted the only solution to end the war was for Luke to kill Vader, Luke refused and rejected both the Sith and Jedi’s instructions, offering his father a chance at redemption. Vader did redeem himself, and the Sith were finally defeated; just as Qui-Gon hoped to bring peace to Anakin did Luke bring peace to his father, an action that saved the galaxy.

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Luke proved Qui-Gon correct again in The Last Jedi, both exhibiting the danger and good the Jedi could stand for. As Luke trains his nephew Ben Solo to become a Jedi, Luke senses the potential for great evil in Ben. Taking the opposite reaction as Qui-Gon to this information, Luke initially moves to kill Ben, a momentary impulse that pushes Ben to become the villainous Kylo Ren. Luke regrets this failure, reevaluating the Force as Qui-Gon did, as neither good nor evil but merely a source of power that a person chooses how to use. In the end, Luke utilizes a nonviolent method to distract the First Order, allowing the rebellion to escape; Luke acted as Qui-Gon did, in defense and without unnecessary harm to others.

Qui-Gon Jinn’s teachings and discoveries are unmatched in the Star Wars universe. Though he consistently disagreed with and defied the Jedi Order, Qui-Gon understood the Force better than any other Jedi Master, truly believing in the good it could cause. A powerful fighter for peace and understanding, Qui-Gon Jinn was the greatest Jedi in all of Star Wars.

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