Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan : Fic characterization stuff...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by female_obi_wan, Mar 25, 2003.

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  1. female_obi_wan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2002
    star 3
    Well, I've been thinking about those two a lot recently, and you may know what I'm like when I think. ;)

    I write (and read) a lot of JA fanfiction, and it seems the portrayal of Qui and Obi varies a lot. I often have trouble deciding how to write them...like, in one fic Qui will be kind and loving, and the next sort of distant and showing less emotion. And I've seen loads of different takes on Obi.

    Any JA/TPM writers out there who want to share the way they write the boys and why? I like characterization threads. :D
  2. Padawan_Jess_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    Ah, yes, my favorite Master/Padawan team! :D Nice thread idea!

    Okay, well I usually write Obi as sort of being like a hero/tragic hero. He is so complex, with so many emotions. I write Obi as being the one that is insecure, quiet, self-sacrificing, and the need to be loved. :D All the JA fans know what I meant by that. But also, in my fics, Obi-Wan's sense of humor never fails him. I like to write him tragically, because he is so complex. He is not one the sleeves kind of emotion person. I also torture him a lot. :D

    As for Qui, I usually write him as the father type to Obi. Sometimes I'll say right out in the fic about how much he cares for Obi, and sometimes I'll just hint it. But I love Qui as the slightly emotionless on the outside, but bursting with fatherly love on the inside. :D
  3. Padawan_Jess_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    Shoot, double post. Sorry. Erm, so follow what I said before up there. *points* I love Obi and Qui. :D
  4. FELICIA_ZEZILI Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 3
    My favorite Obi-Wan to write is Obi with attitude. I don't know why but it's just fun. I think it really depends on the nature of the story and the events that take place.
  5. KrystalBlaze Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2002
    star 5
    Hmmm... that's a tough question. Anyone who's read my works knows I've hardly ever portrayed Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan as really "loving" openly. It's usually in their thoughts. I write them outwardly as being clam, cool, and collected. They never have any really big outbursts of emotions. It's something that I like.
  6. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Hummm, writing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Well, it depends on the story. If I'm doing a humorous piece, I will write Obi as a jittery teenager with massive insecurities, somewhat clingy with his friends and shy around Qui-Gon. I write Qui-Gon as being bemused by his overactive teenage boy but with a sense of humor (you could see it in TPM so I figured he had one) and a bit overprotective, and stubborn as a mule when he thinks he is right.

    Angsty/sad stories - I usually write Obi-Wan as insecure, guilt-ridden even if it isn't his fault, rule-bound (sometimes rule-strangled), but he is competant at his role as a Padawan or Knight, mostly compassionate (depends on the story) and smart. Does his job with honor and perservence.
    Qui-Gon, I also write as being insecure and guilt-ridden, more compassionate than Obi but not by much, sometimes impatient, feels things deeply but doesn't know how to express them, stubborn (see a pattern here) and sometimes clueless as to how Obi is feeling (usually while Obi is hiding his feelings oh so very well). Also smart and compassionate. An honorable man.

    I like both characters so well that I don't really set one or the other up as the bad guy (I use a third party that they can unite against). No one is perfect. And since the frailties of the characters are what make them so interesting, I usually try and set them up to explore those frailties.

    Move along...move along
  7. ZaraValinor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 4
    IU like to write Obi and Qui as if they were just like any other person but they just have these remarkable powers. Any one will be struck with insecurities occasionally and they all have their strengths. In my Obi/Qui stories I try to show how one another covers for each others weaknesses. When Qui's got issures, Obi-Wan's there to support. They'll have their arguments like any parent/child, but it's basically because they care for one another.
  8. Various Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2002
    star 2
    Maybe you should scale down the emotional range a bit. I mean, these are still guys we're talking about.
  9. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    I like to see more Jedi-ish Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. ;) Jedi always strike me as being largely very self-controlled, but they do have emotions, and feel things deeply. So I would tend to characterize them as being more of the strong and silent types. ;) Well, except when Obi-Wan is like 13. :p
  10. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    various - I had to do a double-take at your comment about guys not being emotional. Are you kidding? The guys I know are very emotional (and I'm talking the straight guys here) - they cry in the movies when they think no one can see, try and be stoic and fail miserably, get overexcited when their favorite team has just scored. Or maybe it's just the crowd I'm hanging around...

    obaona - I don't know. Even with my comments above, I thought some of the Jedi were pretty emotional. Qui-Gon's impatience with the Council (but who can blame him?), and laughing with Anakin through several scenes; Obi-Wan crying at the end of TPM, furious with Qui in the Council chamber; yelling at Anakin on the clone ship. I agree that Mace was pretty low key but there was fire in his eyes when he met Dooku.
    I guess it depends. They seem in control of their emotions through most of their day but get them started and watch out...BTW, loved your fics - you have major talent.

    However, I would have to agree that the overuse of emotion (especially inappropriate emotion) can be detrimental to a story about Jedi. It makes it almost unbelievable. I prefer the subtle touch when it comes to writing about our favorite Jedi.
  11. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    However, I would have to agree that the overuse of emotion (especially inappropriate emotion) can be detrimental to a story about Jedi. It makes it almost unbelievable. I prefer the subtle touch when it comes to writing about our favorite Jedi.

    I agree with that. Making them seem too sappy is a bad thing, but so is making them wooden. I write them with emotions just like the rest of us, just a bit more controlled, you could say. ;)
  12. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    Thank you, dianethx. [face_blush] I guess I just think that while Jedi do have emotions, they don't tend to burst out often (as with Obi-Wan in AOTC), unless they are really emotionally wrought and have good reason to be, like with Qui-Gon dying, or Anakin's mother ( ;) ).

    However, I would have to agree that the overuse of emotion (especially inappropriate emotion) can be detrimental to a story about Jedi. It makes it almost unbelievable. I prefer the subtle touch when it comes to writing about our favorite Jedi.

    Agreed. ;)

    [edit] Spelling. [face_blush]
  13. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Well, the question then becomes, how to write the Jedi in such a way that you portray them correctly and yet have a story that doesn't lie flat. Decribed emotion gets across the thoughts and motivations of the characters and yet our dynamic duo need to be relatively stoic, most of the time.

    There are a lot of examples of inapproprately written Qui/Obi characterizations - oh, so many (and some very popular ones at that). But, have there been any fics that you found were particularly good at writing our Jedi?
  14. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with you, dianethx. Notice how often that's happening? ;)

    Well, the first author that pops to my mind is Jane Jinn. She has them go through some pretty tough stuff, and even has them have outbursts, but I always found it very believable and Jedi-like. She's, well, never had Obi-Wan burst into tears just so that he can burst into tears. :p That woman knows plot. ;)

    I suppose in my opinion it has to do with how the author has them deal with emotions. I tend to view them has having them but controlling them pretty well (kind of like some Vulcans - Spock, anyone? :p He had a few outbursts of emotion, but he always either controlled so it never reached or influenced his actions (his duty, in the case of a Jedi) or was quickly controlled). Like . . . even Luke Skywalker gets angry (for brief, brief periods ;) ), but he generally just controls the emotion and releases it.

    What do you think? ;)
  15. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Thank you for such a compliment, Obaona! [face_blush]

    I've always tried to show that while, yes, our Jedi do have emotions, and sometimes very strong ones, they are capable of putting those emotions aside, or releasing them to the Force, and then going on and doing what has to be done. Duty first and all that. Okay, sometimes young Obi-Wan has a little trouble with that, but that's because he's young and still learning. However, I don't see him as somebody who cries easily, or who talks back to Qui-Gon, or whatever. I think he honestly strives to do his best as a Jedi in the way he's been brought up, and most of the time, he succeeds.

    And I think Qui-Gon has a very great capacity to love. Once he finally did accept Obi-Wan as his padawan, I think he did it whole-heartedly, for instance, and was not cold and uncaring to Obi-Wan. But his duty to the Force comes first. It is his entire motivation. He will literally do what he must. Even though he knows that others might not understand and might get their feelings hurt, he still -has- to follow the will of the Force. He is not capable of disregarding it, and I think we fans don't want him to, otherwise he'd lose his integrity and would no longer be the Qui-Gon we know and love.

    Obi-Wan follows the rules of the Council at first, but later in life he learns to follow the will of the Force, too, I think.
  16. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    You're welcome. :D :D :D

    And I agree with you. In the JA we often see that, I think. It shows Obi-Wan still learning, but it also shows that he's been trained in self-control since he was quite young. He's not a normal teenager.

    I also agree with you about Qui-Gon. He follows the will of the Force, and what it wills is often different from the the Council thinks. His standing up for Anakin is an example of that, and Obi-Wan's refusal to stand up for Anakin showed that he was still constrained and influenced by the Council more than the Force. And later on we see Obi-Wan taking Qui-Gon's place, and standing up for Luke in ESB. So that's an interesting parallel - Obi-Wan becomes rather like Qui-Gon in his old age. ;) Makes you wonder what Qui-Gon was like . . . :p


    [edit] Oh, and you succeed fantastically in showing those personality traits. ;)
  17. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I have to agree with Obaona. Jane's writing is lovely and I remember reading one of her fics several times just because I thought she had gotten the flavor of both of our favorite Jedi just right.

    The description of emotion is a very hard balancing act and one that I am still struggling with. How much to show and how much to hide - even with practice, it doesn't always work.

    Jane I must agree with your description of Obi-Wan (esp as a young teenager). Only a very good hand can write him well enough.
    As for Qui-Gon, yes, he does follow the will of the Force and yet a lot of writers seem to miss that point. Rather, they show him as gruff, unfeeling. I wonder if, in his younger days, it hurt him to know that other Jedi did not understand his absolute trust in the Force. Hummm...I think I'll keep that one in mind.

    Obaona - I think that there is one thing I will disagree with you on, however.
    Obi-Wan's refusal to stand up for Anakin showed that he was still constrained and influenced by the Council more than the Force. - I'm not sure that is the case. It is true that he is much more the Council's Jedi than Qui-Gon's. But it might be that he is feeling the far-off horror of billions dead (a terrible cloud over Anakin) where Qui-Gon is focused on the clear and bright moment. The motivations are unclear in TPM.
    And, yes, he did become more like Qui-Gon in his old age - arguing with Yoda as he does. Good for Obi, darn old meddling troll.
    As for what Qui-Gon would be like very old...Yoda??? (just kidding, never Yoda).

    Diane
  18. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    That's just your point of view. :p I don't know, I was just using that as an example. There's a great deal of argument about whether Anakin was supposed to turn to the dark the way he did, so Qui-Gon, by that theory, would be following the Force and Obi-Wan wouldn't. Sorta. ;) *is confusing self*

    However, that's off-topic. ;) Qui-Gon becoming Yoda? [face_laugh] *gets image of Qui-Gon shrinking*

    :p

    Another interesting aspect about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is that for some reason, I've always gotten the impression that Qui-Gon tends to be more optimistic and Obi-Wan the opposite, at least at the time of TPM. Thoughts?

    :)
  19. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Obaona - I don't think that is an impression but fact...LOL. Qui-Gon was always thinking that things would go his way (podrace, Anakin being trained by the Jedi, fighting the Sith "We'll handle this"). I'm not sure if that was optimism or sheer stubborness.
    Obi-Wan was naysaying a lot. "The council will never go along...", "the boy is dangerous", "And there's an even greater danger.." Boy, the guy needs chocolate or a girlfriend (but that would be another story). I kept thinking "lighten up Obi-Wan".

    However, the differences between the two Jedi would be less pronounced and I think less interesting if they had similar outlooks.
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