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!