Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by DarthTorgo, Apr 4, 2002.

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Do you feel Qui-Gon's importance in the film is necessary?

Poll closed Mar 22, 2012.
Yes. 160 vote(s) 69.0%
No. 63 vote(s) 27.2%
I have no idea. 9 vote(s) 3.9%
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  1. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    ::wipes tears from the eyes::

    I love you guys::sniff::

    DarthTorgo, Patrick Russell, Maroothdrool--you are all after my own heart. I feel exactly the same way. In my eyes it's an almost total waste of character development for Obi-Wan, a waste of developing the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin and just generally I personally didn't much like Qui-Gon and I'm not the only one. The time missed on Obi-Wan's character development and the creation of the beginning of the relationship between him and Anakin just cannot be made up. That's time gone, never to be regained. For one thing it cut the heart out of Obi-Wan's own character arc and it cut the heart out of the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin which in turn weakens what should have been, IMO, one of the most powerful moments of the saga--the ultimate failure of their relationship and eventual battle.

    All so a character who was not even implied in the OT can be given center stage above everyone else. If TPM is the "introduction" then it should have introduced all the main protaganonists who would be ongoing in the saga. It should have introduced Obi-Wan as much as Padme and Anakin. But he was virtually ignored.

    Qui-Gon left him on the ship for a reason (to watch over the Queen and stop any communications being sent).

    Um...that makes sense? You leave the padawan on the ship to guard the whole royal entourage, a ship out in the open, like a "sitting duck" meanwhile, the Master heads into town to do what he obviously believes is going to be a fairly simply job of buying a hyperdrive. He thought he'd just go in there flash his credits and get it, obvious by his extreme annoyance when Watto refused and was impervious to his mind trick. It would have made much more sense for the Master to stay on the ship guarding the royal entourage(including initially the real Queen, remember she was a last minute addition to Qui-Gon's little Mos Espa group) while sending the apprentice into town on what the Master obviously thought would be a relatively simply purchasing mission. If Obi-Wan can guard the Royal Entourage he could certainly have been sent into town on the shopping spree. :D It makes very little sense for Master Jinn to go into town shopping and leave Padawan Kenobi guarding the lives of the Naboo royals, especially with the ship sitting out in the open like that.

    Instead the whole time on the Naboo cruiser is a waste. Obi-Wan has virtually no purpose there. At least if you stick him on the ship, have something of interest happen there. Big deal they got a communication, one that could be traced anyway regardless of what Obi-Wan did at that point and it doesn't even affect them UNTIL Qui-Gon returns to the ship anyway because Maul doesn't show up until then anyway. Obi-Wan's time on the ship had not practical purpose to the story, it did nothing to advance or reveal the character to the audience.

    I agree, send Obi-Wan into Mos Espa. That's exactly the scenario that should have been played out.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  2. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    I totally agree with Torgo and Naw Ibo! There, that was simple wasn't it.

    I just feel that the QG character prevents Anakin and Obi-Wan from interacting and is an attempt by Lucas to "spread the blame" for Anakin' later fall. "It's Obi-Wan's fault...no, he only messed up because of Qui-Gon, it's Qui-Gon's fault...no, he only messed up because of the Council, it's the council's fault...no, they were duped by politicans."...and so on. I would've prefered to see Obi-Wan train Anakin right from the beginning. I think this way we'd feel waaay more sad about what is likely to happen in Episode III.
  3. laugh-it-up Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 1
    I disagree 100%. We expected Obi to train Ani from day one. Thank god it wasn't that simple. Now we see that things were that bit more complicated from the beginning. Anakin bonded strongly with Qui-Gonn and knew Obi-Wan simply as Qui-Gonn's apprentice (who is virtually ditched from Anakin's perspective in front of the whole jedi council by Qui-Gonn). His respect was principally for father-figure Qui-Gonn, not Obi-Wan.

    Anakin is introduced to a Jedi failure early on when he learns that his powerful jedi mentor has been killed by another more powerful villan and is taken up by the less patient Obi-Wan.

    All so much deeper than just Obi and Ani. It is now clear to see why Anakin breaks away from the jedi. Qui-Gonn holds him up as the chosen one and the seeds of his colossal ego are sown.
  4. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    But those things all could have been handled without Qui-Gon, or without Qui-Gon having such a massive role in such a way as to detract from showing some sort of relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin.

    I don't understand this need to take the easy way out as somehow being better. It's alot more complicated and realistic to show how a relationship that starts out with hope on both sides falls apart, a friendship that starts out with the best of intentions, than one which never really happened to begin with. Anakin bonded to Qui-Gon and then not to Obi-Wan, that's simplistic, not complex, not deeper. It's deeper and more complex and more realistic to show a relationship that started out on a positive note(as they usually do) break apart. It even makes sense on a parent/child note--even a relationship that is good and very close when the person is a younger child can start to be torn apart and made much more difficult when that child reaches their teenage and young adult years. But for some reason instead we most likely get this simplistic "Oh they were just two people thrown together, they didn't choose each other, and there wasn't ever really a hope of it's succeeding anyway".
  5. laugh-it-up Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 1
    "Anakin bonded to Qui-Gon and then not to Obi-Wan, that's simplistic, not complex, not deeper"

    I didn't say they didn't bond, and we don't know that that is the case as AOTC hasn't revealed just how deep their relationship has built.

    My point was that the relationship we have all assumed had beginnings that go some way to explaining why Anakin breaks away from Obi-Wan and the jedi order. Its not like Mickey and Rocky Balboa, its altogther more complicated.

    That's not to say that seeing it as we had all assumed it would be wouldn't have been interesting, just that the few members who are claiming Qui-Gonn was a waste of space are missing the point. Not only does he act as the catalyst for the first film, but we see him as mentor to Obi-Wan, just as Obi is to Luke, and the true discoverer of Anakin.

  6. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    You all think you're so much smarter than Lucas,

    sure you can make changes in TPM to upgrade it's "instant-fix" value, but then don't forget to rewrite the entire PT, because that's the consequence, and that's what you're underestimating.

    (and Patrick Russell, read carefully, again I didn't say Lucas was "genius" or "brilliant" for what he did, I'm only suggesting that he didn't have much of a choice. I know you'll still disagree on that, but that's my vision.)
  7. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Sometimes, this thread makes me laugh, because so many Star Wars "fans" have no idea what's going on in a film that they try their hardest to throw criticisms at.

    Sometimes, this thread makes me really sad, because so many Star Wars "fans" have no idea what's going on in a film that they try their hardest to throw criticisms at.

    Your focus determines your reality...
  8. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    Like I said, we're spoiled because we know how the rest of the saga goes. If TPM truly was the first Star Wars film, no one would care that Qui-Gon got more screentime than Obi-Wan.
    I think it makes a good twist that Anakin's perfect Master dies and a novice Jedi Knight is forced to carry the burden. It's a strong possibility that Anakin wouldn't have fallen to the dark side if Qui-Gon had trained him. I see more of a tragic arc in Obi-Wan trying to live up to his Master and failing, than in an arrogant Jedi just assuming he can teach Anakin better than anyone else.
  9. MAROOTHDROOL Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2001
    star 1
    You all think you're so much smarter than Lucas.

    I don't think I that much smarter than Lucas. :p
  10. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Lucas didn't have much of a choice? How do you reckon THAT one out? He WROTE the thing, didn't he?

    See, that's the nice thing about writing... ALL of the choices are yours! The only limitations Lucas had in writing TPM were those that he'd already set for himself in the OT, and he showed that he didn't even really need to worry about a lot of those.

    Of course Lucas had a choice. He had an INFINITE number of choices at his disposal.
  11. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    The only limitations Lucas had in writing TPM were those that he'd already set for himself in the OT

    That's a good start... (and I sincerely believe it's his first concern)

    add that it has to introduce the saga
    add that it has to introduce the PT
    add that it has to introduce all main characters
    add that it's the only episode that has no history, and no direct future (disputable)
    add that it initiates numerous patterns established in the OT (disputable)
    add that it has to stand on it own (which is least important, and is the only part where Lucas failed IMO)

    Yeah, Lucas had a choice, between little better or much worse...

    But like I said, you don't have to agree with me.
  12. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Even with those requirements, Lucas had an entire galaxy to work with. He could have told any one of a thousand stories, any one of which would have met all the criteria you describe.

    A core question of film study is, "Why tell this story this way?"
  13. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    Good question, I'm sure Lucas asked himself this...

    And that was my shortlist, IMO there were also a lot of dramatic restrictions, but that's the part I can't seem to get across.
  14. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    "add that it has to stand on it own "


    TPM stands on its own a hell of a lot more than ESB does. :)

  15. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    add that it has to introduce all main characters


    But he didn't introduce Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan had a disjointed, almost useless purpose in that story. He just had to be there because Lucas had already revealed he was the teacher of Anakin in the OT. Otherwise he had no purpose in TPM, he contributed nothing to the story until he defeated Maul. His character was superfluous and unnessary. Obi-Wan had almost no character development, especially as compared to Anakin and Padme(and of course Qui-Gon who died and didn't need nearly that much character time, everything we needed to know about him to make the story work was established by the time they got to Tatooine).

    And it isn't more tragic for Obi-Wan to have tried to live up to his master and failed, that's less tragic. There isn't anything tragic about it really. That just makes the character weak and sort of pathetic. That's not the same as tragic.

    Tragic is a very talented young Jedi Knight overstepping his bounds. That's the classic definition of tragedy for that matter. The talented or powerful or great man who's very talents contribute to his downfall because he goes just a bit too far and it causes him to fall over the edge. Obi-Wan being a young, but very talented Jedi Knight who finds this gifted young boy and decides(in part because of his own already proven talent) that he will be able to train him. Obi-Wan has reason for his "pride" in that scenario, he has reason, not necessarily a great one, but an understandable one, for believing he could do as good a job as Yoda. And that is one of the most important aspects of tragedy, there has to be an understandable reason for the pride--that comes from already proven talents. Obi-Wan has just been knighted, and quite frankly I don't think thinking he could train him as well as Yoda ever entered into it, he did it because he promised his dying master he would.

    This makes Obi-Wan a weaker, LESS tragic character. It makes his character less complex, not more so. It makes his relationship with Anakin less complex, not more so.

    I think it makes a good twist that Anakin's perfect Master dies and a novice Jedi Knight is forced to carry the burden. It's a strong possibility that Anakin wouldn't have fallen to the dark side if Qui-Gon had trained him.

    Besides which that isn't the angle Lucas is actually going for. He said it in an interview, on the DVD I think, that what Anakin lacks in his teaching with Obi-Wan, he would have lacked in his teaching with Qui-Gon as well. Basically it relates to Yoda. So even that angle doesn't really work.
  16. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    We get Obi wan in the beginning and the
    end, the middle is for Anakin and Amidala.

    Obi Wan and Qui Gon are NOT the main characters of the movie, their plotline is just a small sub plot. They spend all their time driving the stories of the actual main characters.
  17. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    Hello, Qui-Gon was in more of the film than Anakin and Padme. He had a bigger role than them.

    The point is Obi-Wan needed character development, he is a main character of the whole six part saga, he has a pivotol role and yet in the episode introducing the characters, he gets almost not introduction at all. By the end of TPM we have no real idea what makes him tick. We have no real insight in why he does things. The character needed development and he didn't get it. The character needed to have more of a relationship with Anakin and it didn't happen. It was a bad decision on Lucas' part, IMO. Qui-Gon should have been the one back on the ship getting the occassional calls. Obi-Wan should have been the one sent into Mos Espa. That would have balanced out the three main characters of the next two films. Instead two of them get development and one of them is virtually ignored.
  18. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    Hello, Qui-Gon was in more of the film than Anakin and Padme. He had a bigger role than them.

    Hi,

    Can you see the pattern?

    Qui Gon: 1 episode character arch / 1 life phase
    Anakin & Padme: 3 episode character arch / 2 life phases
    Obi Wan: 4 episode character arch / 3 life phases

    Hence the hierarchy (or absence, if you insist) of character development, but I guess this doesn't make sense to you if you can't see the significance of Qui Gon to begin with.
  19. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    Young fools, only at the end will you understand . . .
  20. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    I still don't get this notion that Lucas had no choice but to write TPM the way he did because it was the introduction, it had to be this, it had to be that, yadda yadda yadda...

    I'll say it again... he's writing fiction, not reporting on historical events.

    My feeling is that since the PT revolves so heavily around the Jedi Order, Lucas should have taken a page from his own book vis-a-vis ANH and based TPM on another Kurasawa film which reflects this... the one he himself has called his favorite Kurasawa film of all, Seven Samurai.

    He could have introduced everything he needed to introduce in TPM and more, AND wound up with a far more compelling story had he done this. Have a Jedi transport crash on a planet, and have the Jedi end up helping a village to defend itself against raiders from the capitol city, which has allied itself against its will with the Trade Federation. The political elements could have still been maintained, the introduction of characters could have been maintained (Anakin's a villager, Padme is part of the aristocracy, she ends up out in the village after the villagers hijack a royal speeder, something like the way Marian ends up with Robin Hood and his men out in the forest, thus bringing the main players together...

    And to keep this on topic, Obi Wan wouldn't have had to have been a Padawan merely for the sake of showing the audience the Master/Padawan relationship. There could have been another master/apprentice combo in the Jedi group.

    The point is, there are an infinite number of ways in which a film like TPM can be written. As Darth Geist said, the idea is "Why tell this film this way?"

    Lucas was limited by little more than the bounds of his own imagination. And I'd have thought that with all the time he had to ponder the idea, he could have come up with a much better story than TPM.

    YMMV...
  21. Plo_Koen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 4
    In case you haven't noticed yet,

    Lucas is telling the same story twice...
  22. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Lucas is telling the same story twice..."

    Just like Home Alone 2. :p

    Seriously, though, did The Odyssey loop at the halfway point? Did Morte D'Arthur? Epics gain their status largely by virtue of their scope. The same themes may well be repeated throughout, but the same story? That restricts the scope, rather than expanding it.
  23. Patrick Russell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Telling the same story twice... well, there are ways to do that which do not involve outright repetition.

    Honestly, the only story he's really "telling twice" is that of Luke/Anakin's trials with their own inner demons. Beyond that, I don't see that the political story he's setting Anakin's tale in mirrors the OT in any way. That he's re-hashing the OT battles in the PT is, IMHO, indicative more of creative laziness than of an act of artistic genius.

    If Lucas truly is openly mirroring the OT films in the PT (in reverse, I suppose), then he'd best be pretty damned deft about it or he's gonna keep losing people. It's an incredibly contrived, forced idea to begin with, and IMHO it makes his job a lot tougher as far as impressing his audience goes.
  24. PMT99 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2000
    star 4
    If Lucas gave Obi-wan more screentime and character development in TPM and leave Qui-Gon in the background, you'd all be complaining about how Qui-Gon lacked character development and should've had more screentime in the film.

    Lucas will never win the fans no matter how he does his films since they think they know better than him about what should transpire in the prequals.

    Also, as I already said, the OT has already made Obi-wan a liar when Lucas made Anakin and Darth Vader the same person so you people shouldn't expect what Obi-wan says to come true when you know it might become just a "certain point-of-view".
  25. bleh19 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2001
    star 4
    Having to write the story a certain way swings both ways. He didnt have to make include Qui Gon, but he didnt have to make Obi Wan the main character either.

    Just b/c you see Obi Wan as lacking character development doesnt make you any more right than Lucas' version.

    Would TPM have been better if Obi Wan was the main Jedi? possibly...

    Did TPM suffer b/c of the focus on Qui Gon? not necessarily...

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