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Before the Saga Night of Ghosts (Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Oneshot)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Night of Ghosts

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi; Qui-Gon Jinn

    Genre: General, Friendship, Mildly Spooky

    Summary: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon debate the existence of ghosts.

    Night of Ghosts

    The wind howled like a vengeful spirit across the cold, dark Oriai plains that seemed empty and desolate despite the tribespeople gathered around a blazing fire at the heart of a camp of circular tents built from the long yellow grasses of the plains. These tents Obi-Wan knew from nose-wrinkling experience had a pungent scent that seemed to arise from the grass itself but did an admirable job blocking out the wind that slammed against the flaps, demanding admittance like an irascible traveler.

    Oria was a rural planet sparsely populated by tribespeople who seemed determined to reduce that sparse population still further through regular, bloody conflicts between neighboring tribes. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were on the cusp of negotiating a tentative peace settlement between three tribes who had been warring intermittently for four generations, but no treaties would be signed tonight for tonight was devoted to a different, spookier celebration.

    Tonight was the Night of the Ghosts, a night all the tribespeople of Oria agreed was sacred to the spirits of the unrestful dead who prowled the plains, eternally unable to find peace after violent or abrupt ends. The Oriai, a species that had evolved thick fur to protect them from the merciless winds of the plains, dyed it garish colors in the hope of scaring off these disturbed spirits and formed tight, defensive rings around their campfire as if seeking strength and solidity in numbers against foes that were no more than phantasms. Around their fires, adults played tricks on one another, hoping their screams would frighten away the unquiet spirits off the plains or told ghost stories to wide-eyed children whose terrified shrieks were supposed to be the most effective at warding off roaming spirits.

    “Strange, isn’t it?” Obi-Wan asked his Master as a series of particularly shrill noises emerged from a cluster of children being told a horror story by some adult Obi-Wan couldn’t help but regard as irresponsible. No doubt these children would be haunted by ghostly nightmares for a month after this celebration. “The lengths beings will go to in order to convince themselves that life endures after death?”

    “Hmm.” Qui-Gon didn’t look at Obi-Wan but instead stared into the campfire’s flickering flames, making Obi-Wan wonder what fleeting figures he saw there, even as he asked, “What makes you so certain life doesn’t endure after death, my young Padawan?”

    Obi-Wan bit back a caustic comment about how he believed he would have noticed ghosts if they wandered about as freely as the Oriai believed and instead took refuge in the Jedi philosophy in which he had been raised. “Because we become one with the Force.”

    “Ah, and what does it mean to become one with the Force?” Qui-Gon did turn to look at Obi-Wan now, his face half in shadow in the firelight.

    “It means that you cease to be yourself as you merge into the Force that knits the galaxy together.” Obi-Wan was nonplused at being asked questions with answers he had been made to memorize since he was a youngling, but he supposed that was the inevitable consequence of having a maverick for a mentor.

    “The Force that knits the galaxy together because it creates everything and is in everything–including all life,” Qui-Gon added to Obi-Wan’s words with a faint smile.

    “Oh.” Obi-Wan was silent for a moment as he pieced together the puzzle his Master was explaining. “You’re saying since the Force is in all life and since we become one with the Force when we die, life does endure after death?”

    “I’m saying the Jedi belief is that it does in some form.” Qui-Gon’s eyes shone with gentle amusement in the dark emptiness of the plains. “We’re just like the Oriai in that way.”

    “We’re not like the Oriai, Master.” Obi-Wan shook his head, irked by the notion that he might hold any beliefs as irrational as the Oriai idea of ghosts. “We don’t believe in an individual consciousness, an individual spirit, surviving death. We don’t believe in ghosts.”

    “Yes, we don’t believe in them, but that doesn’t mean we know they don’t exist.” Qui-Gon’s gaze had drifted to focus on a group of children being told a shriek-inducing ghost story.

    “I know they don’t exist.” This time, a piqued Obi-Wan couldn’t bite back a snide remark. “I’m sure a disturbed spirit would’ve bothered me by now if they did exist.”

    “Perhaps not all spirits are disturbed.” Qui-Gon’s attention seemed to have drifted back to the dancing shapes in the fire. “Maybe some are peaceful spirits who wouldn’t want to bother you.”

    “All the ghosts in horror stories are unquiet spirits determined to share their misery with living beings.” Obi-Wan frowned, beginning to have a creeping suspicion that he was being teased by his Master who could have a wicked sense of humor.

    “That’s true.” There was a chuckle in Qui-Gon’s voice that seemed to confirm he was indeed teasing his apprentice. “Of course the horror stories wouldn’t be very scary for children if they didn’t feature unquiet spirits inflicting havoc on the galaxy, would they?”

    “You’re trying to scare me, aren’t you?” Obi-Wan shot his Master an accusatory glare, realizing that there were indeed bumps on his flesh that he would have to blame on the chilly wind and certainly not any discussion of ghosts he didn’t believe in.

    “Never, Obi-Wan.” The chuckle wasn’t just in Qui-Gon’s tone now. It was emerging rich and deep from his throat as if in counterpoint to the shrieking children.

    “Good.” There were shivers slinking up and down Obi-Wan’s spine but he would deny them to his dying day. “I’m too old to be frightened by ghost stories, Master.”

    “Oh, you’re never too old to be scared by ghost stories.” Qui-Gon rested a warm hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder, and Obi-Wan felt the shivers slip away from him as suddenly as they had come.
     
    Kahara, BRE, divapilot and 2 others like this.
  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Deep thoughts as usual so shortly after Samhain/ Halloween.

    I like your Qui Gon as you already know. He is a wise teacher with a direct approach. He never talks in riddles, but instead invites Obi-Wan to see subjects from a different angle. And there is always great humour with an occasional wink or big grin, not only great Force philosophy.
     
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  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @AzureAngel2 Once again, thank you so much for your kind comments! :) I'm always so glad to hear you say that you love my Qui-Gon since he's one of my favorite Star Wars characters, and I always want to do him justice when I write him. I definitely picture Qui-Gon as being a wise, gentle teacher with a direct approach so I'm so happy that shone through in this story. I definitely like the idea of him encouraging Obi-Wan to see situations and subjects from different angles and I really enjoyed being able to showcase that in this story. Also I can never resist giving him that twinkle of humor so it makes me so pleased to know that works for you too:D
     
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  4. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Terrific little glimpse into the dynamic between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. When you think about it, it's really the fact that Obi-Wan was trained by a maverick who taught him how to test the waters, how to bend, and if necessary, break the rules, that made Obi-Wan the perfect person to later be the survivor of the Jedi. Without the training in how to question the rules, Obi-Wan would never have survived by himself after the purge and he would never have been able to protect and later, train, Luke. Here's a perfect example of Qui-Gon being the consummate teacher. Obi-Wan already knows the "answers" (or so he thinks); Qui-Gon teaches him to ask the correct questions. Then figure out the answer for himself.

    Your setting is impeccable, the little details like this:
    bringing to light the personality of these beings. Also, I loved this detail:
    So many times writers forget to add scent. I read somewhere that you should always go back and make sure that somewhere in the last three pages that you wrote, you added a scent. (scurries off to my own writing to make sure I followed my own advice:p)

    And here is the kicker of your story:
    Oh, isn't that everything? The galaxy doesn't revolve around you. Just because YOU don't acknowledge something doesn't make it less real. Your viewpoint is not the only legitimate one. Your faith isn't the only way to look at the universe. Your concept of how life works isn't one size fits all. And I love how Qui-Gon actually phrases this: Yes, we don't believe in ghosts. Ghosts are not real -- but that's just because we haven't seen one yet.

    How fitting that Qui-Gon says this, as he becomes the granddaddy Force Ghost. I guess some ghosts are real after all, huh?;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @divapilot, thanks so much for your kind and detailed comment! I'm so glad that you found this to be a terrific glimpse into the dynamic between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon since the idea of writing a ghost story in honor of Halloween came to me and just wouldn't leave until I wrote this.

    I do think that Obi-Wan being trained by a maverick did provide some flexibility and open-mindedness that prepared him well for being one of the last surviving Jedi.

    I always like to picture Qui-Gon as the ultimate teacher who knows how to teach Obi-Wan to ask the right questions and then come to his own conclusions when Obi-Wan thinks he knows the correct answers so I'm so glad that shone through in this story.

    I really enjoyed coming up with the setting for this story and trying to bring it to life with little details so it makes me so happy you appreciated the scent of the tents and the hints into the personalities of the native species.

    The line you highlighted at the end was a real favorite of mine, so I'm really happy to know that it jumped out for you as well because I think that is such an important idea: being able to appreciate that your viewpoint, your beliefs, your perspective aren't the only legitimate ones, and that there are many other valid viewpoints, beliefs, and perspectives out there that need to be treated with respect and understanding.

    And, yes, I thought this story became especially interesting with the knowledge that Qui-Gon will go on to become the Granddaddy of all Force Ghosts and Obi-Wan himself will become a ghost. The Force can have a funny sense of humor[face_laugh]
     
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and divapilot like this.
  6. BRE

    BRE Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2009
    @divapilot Has given pretty much a perfect view that puts into words my thoughts on the one-shot, particularly the characterization of Qui-Gon and the deeper meanings behind how it helped Obi-Wan survive the Purge, but I'll add my own comments anyway.

    As always, I really enjoyed the one-shot. The quiet, reflective moments of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are something we didn't get to see in TPM, so I enjoy reading about them from yourself, as I did with your Qui-Gon/ Dooku one-shot. The dialogue was enjoyable and, while I'd have enjoyed a little more exploration of Oria and the tribespeople, the scene was set well and I got a good idea of the culture there. As with your Vaowai creations, I'd enjoy seeing the Oriai again in a future story.

    You taught me a new word - "irascible", so thanks for that!

    Mod edit: Please review Fanfic's Concrit policy before commenting on stories. Thanks. If you have any questions, please contact a fanfic mod.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2020
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  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @BRE Thanks so much for commenting and in such detail! I'm so glad that you liked the characterizations of Qui-Gon and found this story offered insights into the deeper meanings that helped Obi-Wan survive the Jedi Purge.

    I agree that we don't get to see much of the quiet, reflective moments of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in TPM since there is so much plot and action in the movie, so it is great that fan fiction has a chance to explore some of those quieter moments of reflection. I'm glad that you liked the dialogue and that you found the culture and scene set well. Maybe one day I will write a companion piece that can explore Oria and its tribespeople in more detail.

    I'm always happy to teach someone a new vocabulary word as well:D
     
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and BRE like this.
  8. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I know this is a one shot but I kind of wanted Qui-Gon to tell Obi-wan a ghost story, or at least think up an elaborate prank to demonstrate that maybe, just maybe, not everything is quite how it appears to be.
     
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  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Kit' Thank you for commenting! There's always a chance those ideas could form the basis of another story[face_thinking]
     
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