PT "It's too late!" <--> "There's good in him!" = Thematic Link?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Cryogenic, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    I've always been a little mystified by what Qui-Gon means as he exclaims it's "too late" moments before death. Too late to retain his consciousness? Too late for the galaxy to hold back the Sith? Too late, perhaps, to show Obi-Wan the affection he realizes he should have? Whichever of these, or none, it feels, to me, like the character glimpses something from beyond, much like the way Padme suddenly makes her own proclamation about Anakin just moments from her own inevitable death. Obi-Wan is being addressed in both instances, the characters' dying words centre on Anakin, and the same theme music is later heard as both characters perish and/or are laid to rest on Naboo. What does everyone else make of this?
  2. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    I always assumed he meant that it was too late to try to save him.
  3. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    That's the more prosaic reading, yeah. I suppose he is just telling Obi-Wan to not even think about trying to save him. This makes it a rhyme with the end death of the last film (TPM and ROTJ being the saga bookends), where Anakin tells Luke he doesn't need to save him because he already did. I just find this extra poignancy in the Qui-Gon line, somehow. Like the character knows something we don't.
  4. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I think Qui-Gon got a glimpse of the future - it's too late to stop what's coming - his death, Anakin's training given over to a grieving padawan, Anakin's manipulation by Sids and the lack of proper attention by the Order *, Anakin's fall... Qui-Gon has set things in motion which he never intended to have happen.

    * The Order was ill-equipped to deal with a young boy who already knew attachments. I don't think it was willful neglect or even "head in the sand" mentality like many posters believe - I think it's just as harmful BUT benign in intent.

    But I believe there is room for lots more interpretation and would love to hear speculation.
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    I always assumed he just meant it was too late to save him, but maybe it's possible that "It's too late" had a deeper meaning.

    And a little OT maybe, but Valairy_Scot, on the Jedi Order: I've been one of the biggest critics of their "no familial attachments allowed" policy, but as far as Anakin, I do think they did the best they could with what they had. I think that because they had had that "no familial attachments" policy for so long, they didn't have a clue how to help him. But yes, benign intent, and in Obi-Wan's case, genuine love for Anakin was there.
  6. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    That's an interesting way of looking at it.

    --MissPadme
  7. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2

    Literally, that is exactly what Qui Gon meant, however good art is always filled with 1) intentional subtext from the artist, and 2) unintentional but no less relevant levels/layers of meaning we the audience can pick up on.

    Those unintentional levels can further be divided into a) connections that are actually there (with facts to back them up), they?re a kind of side-effect of the creative process, and b) connections that depend on our own personal baggage.

    On forums like these we are pretty much divide into people who look at the films in a very literal way (Jar Jar is annoying, Palpatine is evil, Darth Maul is cool. I like The Empire Strikes Back) and those who look at the films more analytically, ?line by line,? if you will, just as we are taught in literature classes (What did he mean by that? What are the themes? Could that be a symbol?)

    Neither way is inherently right or wrong, but thinking about Star Wars analytically certainly does lead to better conversation?
  8. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    One thing that should be acknowledged is how the death of Qui-gon has always seemed mysterious and full of higher meaning much like the death of obi-wan in ANH.

    Remember when you were a kid how thought provoking, shocking and mysterious obi-wans death was? Well I was 10 when TPM came out and it was the same exact thing for Qui-gons death. The music, the tension, the fact that he choose to meditate, then the faint yet creepy sith whispers going off in the back surround sound channels, the way Darth Maul and Qui-gon pause to stair each other down right in the middle of battle before he gets stabbed almost as if they are giving each other puzzling looks. Lightness and darkness staring each other down, dead eye.

    The fight was amazingly acted, emotionally engaging, wonderfully done and to this day is almost hypnotizing to watch.

    And even the way Qui-Gon-Jinn dies is mysterious and has always left everyone with the feeling of wanting to know more.

    This is one of the reasons why fans have always been (in one way or another) fascinated with Qui-gon and wanting more. In 2005 everyone wanted a scene with him and its no wonder why. But I believe its perfect. Just as special as Obi-wans death was but IMO much, much more important/significant.

    So yea I think there is much to be interpreted in his last lines as well as EVERYTHING that goes on in this scene.
  9. GeneralCeel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    The main question that was raised in my mind the first time I saw Qui Gon's death was.... why didn't his body vanish like Obi Wan and Yoda? Lucas eventually gave us small hints about that in AOTC and ROTS...
  10. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Ever notice how Lucas lingers on Qui-Gon's visage, clearly transfixed by Maul's little saber-twirl? (It occurs about ten seconds before the killing blow.)

    I think that at that precise moment, Jinn was granted a glimpse into the full breadth of the Sith plot, and loses his bearings (expressed, in a sense, by Maul's subsequent dirty-hilt strike, literally ?blindsiding? Jinn.)

    Through this lens, Jinn's final instruction to Obi-Wan is nothing less than a plea, aimed to prevent this dreaded premonition from coming true. (Anakin's not the only Jedi who gets those, right?)
  11. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    This is a really interesting interpretation.

    There doesn't even need to be a premonition on Qui-Gon's part for it to work. He reasons, as he's dying, that Anakin's fate has now changed. The connection he made with Anakin by freeing him can't be replicated by any other Jedi, so now Anakin will end up being trained by someone who won't have as close a relationship with him. That alone could be enough to ensure Anakin's unknown fate has tipped towards the dark side.
  12. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    The line itself has no deeper meaning than "I'm dying, it's too late for you to save me" (as opposed to Qui-Gon referring to something else), but its wording is perhaps meant to echo Vader's line to Luke in ROTJ - "It is too late for me, my son." More a stylistic choice of dialogue than one with a deeper meaning intended by the character uttering it.

    If Qui-Gon meant anything else by it regarding the Sith, Republic & the Jedi, he wouldn't have followed it up with asking Obi-Wan to train Anakin. However, a writer's choice of dialogue and deliberate attempts for it to resonate do not have to be based purely on literal plot elements, i.e. the fact that Qui-Gon actually said "It's too late" does not mean that the character himself had to mean anything else beyond the literal, even if GL wanted the line to remind the audience of something else, or hint at the doom awaiting the galaxy. Ultimately, the line simply fits in with the tragic scene - the one person in the galaxy who seems to have a grip on what's going on & might be able to prevent what's about to happen is dying. It's too late for Qui-Gon, and hence, it's pretty much too late for the rest of the galaxy.
    It's similar to Vito Corleone's line to Michael in The Godfather - "Wasn't enough time, Michael, wasn't enough time." Vito has no idea he's about to die, but he does, then Michael really is on his own. The line resonates despite the character himself saying it in a very matter-of-fact way & meaning something less than his impending death. If The Godfather was a much tackier film, you'd hear the line repeated in Michael's mind at Vito's funeral, just as you could stick Qui-Gon's line somewhere & everywhere in ROTS.

    GL's choice of music sounds very deliberate, it's clearly meant to emphasise two extremely important moments centred around the death of main characters, but I doubt he had to think too much about it - in both instances a dying character implores Obi-Wan Kenobi to do something about Anakin. Lazy, if anything, but if GL hadn't completely garbled his original vision of the PT - one focusing on Obi-Wan - the resonance between the two scenes via the musical choice could have had a far greater impact, and we could have found a deeper connection with Obi-Wan himself, perhaps as someone spending his life trapped by a sense of duty to pursue what must have seemed like a lost cause.
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