[*ESSAY WINNER*] Insider/Outsider: The Real Revelation(s) of the Prequel Trilogy

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ObiWan506, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. KennethMorgan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 2
    I also have to disagree with the idea in the essay that Qui-Gon seems to see Anakin as merely "the Chosen One", a means to balance the Force and stop the Sith. It seems clear that he has a genuine regard for Anakin and vice versa (and not because of some variation of the Stockhom Syndrome). He really believes that Anakin would be better off as a Jedi, using his talents in the service of the Republic, rather than as a slave.

    As for him simply taking Shmi along, you have to remember that, while Qui-Gon is a bit of a rebel, he still recognizes the limits of the Jedi Code. He simply doesn't have the power or authority to just do whatever he wants. Later in the film, he tells Padme that he's prohibited from fighting a war for her, though he surely could have if he'd just tossed away the Code. In fact, it's when the Council seems to toss away the Code in ROTS that Anakin's doubts kick into high gear.

    I have no doubt that, had he lived, Qui-Gon would've made some provision for Shmi's freedom, or at least her safety. (If you factor in the EU, we find that he did just that in Taootine Ghost.) But, when he was dead, the matter was forgotten since the other Jedi had never met Shmi and thus considered her irrelevant.

    Still, regarding the essay as a whole, it was very well-written. You beat me fair and square. Congratulations!
  2. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    He really believes that Anakin would be better off as a Jedi, using his talents in the service of the Republic, rather than as a slave.

    Exactly. Qui-Gon wants Anakin serving the Republic, not some minor slave owner on a world far removed from the government?s formal reach.

    As for him simply taking Shmi along, you have to remember that, while Qui-Gon is a bit of a rebel, he still recognizes the limits of the Jedi Code. He simply doesn't have the power or authority to just do whatever he wants.

    And that, to me, very much represents a key flaw in Qui-Gon?s moral character. Despite his supposed rebellious nature, he was too ensconced in Jedi doctrine to attempt a drastic opposition to a very questionable status quo. But of course, that?s considering Qui-Gon truly felt a desire to see Shmi freed alongside her son. I still think a strong case can be made that Qui-Gon was more than willing to accept his ?failure to free Shmi? as means of rationalization so that a naïve Anakin wouldn?t question the Order?s efforts (or lack of efforts) to free his mother.

    But, when he was dead, the matter was forgotten since the other Jedi had never met Shmi and thus considered her irrelevant.

    Obi-Wan was aware of Shmi, yet still considered her irrelevant. Like I said, it was clear that separating Anakin from his mother was something the Jedi considered a necessary act if the boy were to be properly developed in their mold.
  3. KennethMorgan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 2
    I think you're showing the Jedi Order to be a bit too sinister.

    I think it's more a case of Anakin being able to use his gifts to help those in need and being of service to his fellow beings, rather than just bringing his talents under the Republic's yoke.

    And I stand by my assertion that Qui-Gon would probably have seen to it that Shmi was at least cared for. The fact that he didn't just free her shows that he has a respect for the law in spirit, if not in the letter of the law. Otherwise, he'd have just taken Anakin away without saying a word to Shmi or anyone else. And that's more of Sith philosophy than Jedi views.

    As to the rest of the Jedi, this shows that this particular part of their basic philosophy had become flawed. They merely figured that Shmi had pretty much signed away her rights, and was not really a factor, at least until Anakin had finished training. They felt compassion for others, yes, but had a tendency to fell it in the abstract, rather than for individuals. And their fear of attachments leadig to the Dark Side made them overcompensate. Luke's experience, though, showed that they were incorrect in such a view.

    All in all, I guess I'm saying that Qui-Gon knew Anakin and Shmi, had a regard for them, and would've done right by them. The other Jedi might have to, but were too focused on the Big Picture to allow themselves to. And that lack of basic connection with people played right into Palpatine's hands.
  4. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    And that, to me, very much represents a key flaw in Qui-Gon?s moral character. Despite his supposed rebellious nature, he was too ensconced in Jedi doctrine to attempt a drastic opposition to a very questionable status quo. But of course, that?s considering Qui-Gon truly felt a desire to see Shmi freed alongside her son.


    When Qui-Gon made his bet with Watto, he tried to include both Skywalkers in the wager. In other words, he tried to free Shmi, as well as Anakin. But Watto wouldn't accept the wager. He was only willing to bet one of the Skywalkers, not both.

    The Phantom Menace script:


    "The hanger is a large building with a dozen or so Podracers being readied for the race. ALIEN CREWS and PILOTS rush about, making last minute fixes on their vehicles. WATTO, QUI-GON, and JAR JAR walk through the activity.

    WATTO: ...I want to see your Spaceship the moment the race is over.
    QUI-GON: Patience, my blue friend. You'll have your winnings before the suns set, and we'll be far away from here.
    WATTO: Not if your ship belongs to me, I think...I warn you, no funny business.
    QUI-GON: You don't think Anakin will win?

    WATTO stops before an orange racer. Sitting to one side, having his shoulders and neck massaged by TWIN YOBANAS, is SEBULBA.

    WATTO: Don't get me wrongo. I have great faith in the boy. He's a credit to your race, but Sebulba there is going to win, I think.
    QUI-GON: Why?
    WATTO: He always wins. (laughs) I'm betting heavily on Sebulba.
    QUI-GON: I'll take that bet.
    WATTO: (suddenly stops laughing) What??!! What do you mean?
    QUI-GON: I'll wager my new racing pod against...say...the boy and his mother.
    WATTO: A Pod for slaves. I don't think so...well, poerhaps. Just one...the mother, maybe...the boy isn't for sale.
    QUI-GON: The boy is small, he can't be worth much.

    WATTO shakes his head.

    QUI-GON: (Cont'd) For the fastest Pod ever built?!

    WATTO shakes his head again.

    QUI-GON: (Cont'd) Both, or no bet.
    WATTO: No Pod's worth two slaves...not by a long shot...one slave or nothing.
    QUI-GON: The boy, then...

    WATTO pulls out a small cube from his pocket.

    WATTO: We'll let fate decide. Blue it's the boy, red his mother..."

  5. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    In other words, he tried to free Shmi, as well as Anakin. But Watto wouldn't accept the wager. He was only willing to bet one of the Skywalkers, not both.

    I think I covered this already. My whole point was that the meager effort Qui-Gon displayed in attempting to free Shmi wasn?t comprised of anything substantial enough to indicate that he truly wanted to see the boy?s mother freed.

    Rather, I think it more likely that Qui-Gon?s failed ?negotiation? to free Shmi was in reality a means of rationalization that he can later spew in Anakin?s direction so the boy won?t question the Jedi?s moral resolve. Again, all the proof for this is right there in the films. If the Order is so vehemently against the attachments that come when loved ones are a central aspect of a Jedi?s life, then why would they do everything possible to free Shmi when for them the goal is to raise Anakin in an isolated environment?
  6. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    I think I covered this already. My whole point was that the meager effort Qui-Gon displayed in attempting to free Shmi wasn?t comprised of anything substantial enough to indicate that he truly wanted to see the boy?s mother freed.

    Exactly what should he have done? Stolen Shmi from Watto? What?

    And so what if Shmi had remained on Tatooine? Do you think that she would have been happier on Coruscant? What if the Jedi Knight had not allowed her to remain close with Anakin, anyway? Do you think she would have found someone other than Cliegg Lars to share a few happy years together?

    It seems as if you're judging Qui-Gon on what you believe could have happened to Anakin and Shmi if he had not left Tattooine . . . and if she had. And to be honest, neither you, me or anyone will ever know what would have been Anakin's fate if he had remained in slavery, or what would have happened to Shmi if she had left Tattooine with Anakin.
  7. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    Exactly what should he have done? Stolen Shmi from Watto? What?

    Already covered this as well. I?ll quote myself:

    But if he just nabbed Shmi, that's stealing,

    I suppose here it comes down the old relativistic adage concerning stealing bread to feed a family. Would Qui-Gon really be concerned with breaking a law on a world controlled by gangsters if it meant freeing a human life? Unfortunately, I don?t think there is an answer to this question, as all filmic evidence points to the truth that the Jedi Order had no problem with totally isolating Anakin from his mother during his formal Jedi upbringing. Again, I just don?t see why Qui-Gon would feel it necessary to free Shmi when he knew his Order demanded that the woman had no business getting in the way of Anakin?s career as a Jedi.

    What if the Jedi Knight had not allowed her to remain close with Anakin, anyway?


    That?s my whole point. Of course the Jedi wouldn?t allow her to be close to Anakin. It?s for that very reason that little to no effort was put towards freeing Shmi.

    It seems as if you're judging Qui-Gon on what you believe could have happened to Anakin and Shmi if he had not left Tattooine. . . and if she had.

    No, I?m judging Qui-Gon by his actions as seen in TPM. He?s a supposedly headstrong and rebellious Jedi that was all too willing to recognize and respect a small time gangster?s ?right? to own a human being. Why? Because freeing Shmi did nothing that he and his Order perceived would be of any real benefit to their own selves.
  8. valrond Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2005
    Interesting essay, ezekiel. However I don't agree with your point of view. It seems you're telling the story from a Sith point of view, trying to put the Jedi as the bad guys, altering the story.

    Let's see, about Qui-Gon freeing slaves, he COULDN'T steal Shmi, she had a deviced and she had blown. The only alternative was to kill Watto or at least threaten him to kill him to free Shmi. He hadn't other options, the one he took was the best. He tried to free Shmi, but he couldn't.

    As for Anakin being used as a tool, well, you can say that almost from everyone. You can say that Anakin used Qui-Gon as a tool to free him and become a Jedi. All of us used our mothers for being born and rised, etc.

    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan really cared about the boy, not just as the Chosen One, but as a person. To be precise, Obi-Wan LOVED him. Anakin loved Obi-Wan as a father. He said it twice in AotC:

    In the Cantina:

    -You're the closest thing I have to a father.

    On Tatooine:

    -He's like my father.

    Obi-Wan, on the other hand, said that he loved him like a brother twice in RotS:

    In the Jedi temple when Yoda ask him to kill Anakin:

    -Sent me to kill the Emperor. I can't kill Anakin, he's like my brother.

    On Mustafar after crippling Anakin:

    -You were my brother, Anakin. I Loved you.


    But you twist the reality and put Palpatine, the one that really used him like a tool to become Emperor and have him like apprentice instead of killing him, like the good guy.

  9. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    It seems you're telling the story from a Sith point of view, trying to put the Jedi as the bad guys, altering the story.

    Not exactly, but you?re close. My point was not to depict the Jedi as overt ?bad guys,? but to merely elaborate on Lucas?s depiction of an old Order that was a very problematic organization when it came to the efficacy of their various moral and social reactions.

    As for Anakin being used as a tool, well, you can say that almost from everyone. You can say that Anakin used Qui-Gon as a tool to free him and become a Jedi. All of us used our mothers for being born and rised, etc.

    You could say that something like that, but I think you?d be wrong. Anakin clearly didn?t use Qui-Gon, as is indicated by the fact that Qui-Gon surprises him with the news that the boy was awarded freedom. Anakin?s aim was to help Qui-Gon and company simply because he thought it the right thing to do, not because he thought his help would initiate a means of escaping slavery. And of course, the idea that Qui-Gon and the Jedi used Anakin in the same manner that a person ?uses? their mother for a doorway to life is inherently flawed, as the simple fact of life dictates that a person has no say whatsoever in whatever act of procreation led to their life.

    Anakin loved Obi-Wan as a father. He said it twice in AotC:

    Simple words can be nothing more than murky half-truths. Anakin does speak fondly of Obi-Wan, but is just as prone to criticizing his master. And when this criticism comes, it comes big, with a vitriolic edge that upstages Anakin?s supposedly kind words. Also, it?s important to note that all Anakin says is that Obi-Wan is the closest thing he has to a father. Notice that he doesn?t say anything about loving Obi-Wan, or anything to indicate that Obi-Wan is a particularly good father figure. If this was the case, then I don?t think Anakin would have been so open to Palpatine?s influence.

    As for Obi-Wan, I don?t doubt that he did come to love Anakin. The problem here, though, is that his definition of love was the same clinical, emotionless version that his Order as a whole subscribed to. Which meant that Anakin had to be first and foremost his apprentice before an adopted son or brother.

    But you twist the reality and put Palpatine, the one that really used him like a tool to become Emperor and have him like apprentice instead of killing him, like the good guy.

    No, I still recognize the fact that Palpatine was a downright evil man. Though, I do believe that he did form a bond with Anakin that may have been more authentic than that which was shared between Anakin and the Jedi. Like I said, Palpatine had no real reason to go back and save Anakin other than the fact that he didn?t want to see him die. His seat at the head of the newly born Empire was already assured, while the initial wave of the Jedi extermination executed to near-perfection.
  10. Master_Aurelius Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2006
    First and foremost I want to say that I loved the essay and that it was very thought-provoking. I think that is the greatest part of the SW Universe that it allows for critical review and philosophical reflection.

    While I agree that it is tragc that Qui-Gon didn't see Anakin as an actual person, I think that the question we must ask is: "Can he be blamed?" or "Would we do any differently?"

    The thing that gets me the most about this topic is that Anakin was literally conceived by midichlorians. If everyone saw him as a tool then so did the Force. In a very real sense Anakin is like Neo in The Matrix. He is created, not to be a human being to be loved, but to fulfill a very specific purpose. In Neo's case it is to maintain the stability of the Matrix. In Anakin's case it is to "Destroy the Sith; and bring balance to the Force."

    I think that if anyone saw Anakin in the correct light it was Qui-Gon. He knew that he had to get Anakin off of Tatooine in order for this tool of the Force to be of any use. The Force created Anakin to bring balance, and bring balance he did. Of course, it is tragic that he only knew love from three people in his lifetime. It is tragic that he was conceived for the sole purpose of bringing balance, but honestly,someone had to do it.
  11. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    I really find it hard to believe that Qui-Gon merely saw Anakin as a tool and nothing else. He didn't use Obi-Wan that way. Why should he do the same to Anakin?

    And he did try to obtain Shmi's freedom . . . twice. One, Watto was unwilling to place a bet, using both Skywalkers. Two, if Qui-Gon had tried to take her away from Tatooine by force, she WOULD HAVE BEEN BLOWN UP. As both Shmi and Anakin had explained, each slave had a device implanted in their skulls to ensure death if any tried to escape. Of course, Qui-Gon could use the Force to get inside Shmi's brain and defuse the device . . . if he was willing to take the chance of physically causing her harm.

    There was no way Qui-Gon could have freed both Shmi and Anakin without Watto's permission.

    He could have removed the tagging device from Shmi's brain . . . but at the risking of causing her great harm.

    He could not have simply taken Shmi with him and the others to Coruscant without her encountering the risk of being blown up.

    The decision to leave Tatooine was left with both Shmi and Anakin.

    Qui-Gon may strongly believe in the will of the Force, but TPM has shown him to display a great deal of compassion and warmth to Anakin.


    In the end, this whole argument that Qui-Gon only saw Anakin as a device for the Force and didn't care about Shmi's fate seems irrevelant to me.
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