While most fans might know him as the one who discovered Anakin Skywalker and beckoned his former Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi to take the young man under his wing, he’s actually the first Jedi to become a Force Ghost in the canon. And a new book explains just how powerful the character is after death.
In From A Certain Point of View, Qui-Gon visits Obi-Wan while his former apprentice is an old man in hiding on the desert planet of Tatooine.
The story has a huge impact on what Force Ghosts are capable of and how they experience life and death, just like his appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars did.
Written by Claudia Gray, who penned Leia, Princess of Alderaan as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, “Master and Apprentice” reunites the two fan-favorite characters who were only together in the first prequel movie before Darth Maul defeated Qui-Gon in a duel on Naboo.
Luke Skywalker has just left Obi-Wan fearing for his aunt and uncle’s safety, and Kenobi knows that though Luke is rushing toward danger he cannot stop him from going. So he seeks guidance from the person who used to train him.
The name is spoken by another. Qui-Gon has been summoned. He draws upon his memories of himself and takes shape, reassembling the form he last had in life. It seems to him that he feels flesh wrap around bones, hair and skin over flesh, robes over skin—and then, as naturally to him as though he had done so yesterday, he pulls down the hood of his Jedi cloak and looks upon his Padawan.
The description makes it seem as though the deceased Jedi can take on a corporeal form, using the power of the Force to reconstitute his body.
And though Obi-Wan appears to him as an old man, Qui-Gon’s perception in the Force goes beyond that sight:
Yet while Qui-Gon perceives the physical realities of Obi-Wan’s appearance, he is not limited to human sight any longer. He also sees the confident general of the Clone Wars, the strong young Padawan who followed his master into battle, even the rebellious little boy at the Temple that no Master was in any hurry to train. They are all equally part of Obi-Wan, each stage of his existence vivid in this moment.
The text also intimates that Qui-Gon can use his physical senses as if he were alive, being able to feel and smell.
He tells Kenobi that he’s eager to see his former Padawan transcend and become one with the Force, as he has, though he senses his impending death.
This isn’t the first time Qui-Gon Jinn has showed up as a Force ghost.
He was first established as one of the first Jedi able to return after death in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In Season Six, he guided Yoda toward Dagobah where he offered a vision of the terrible future, including Order 66 and Vader’s transformation.
From there he pushed Yoda on the path to learn the same skills he did, and Yoda learned how to transcend into the Force and reconstitute his form just like Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan after death.
(Although it should be noted that when he appears to Yoda, he takes on the form of swirling orbs of light and states he cannot recreate his old form, which seems like a step backward or a weird retcon, but whatever...)
Overall, despite only appearing briefly in the saga, Qui-Gon has proven to be one of the most powerful Jedi in the canon.