What If… Qui-Gon Had Survived the Battle of Naboo?

Maul is pacing in front of the energy field, Qui-Gon Jinn is meditating. Obi-Wan is eager to finish the battle.

The energy fields open up. Qui-Gon and Maul begin to fight again and Obi-Wan runs to aid his master. The eagerly field closes again, he’s so close.

Maul and Qui-Gon are fighting. Maul hits Qui-Gon in the face with his lightsaber hilt. The Jedi Master stumbles as Maul spins…

Qui-Gon manages to avoid Mauls killing strike but is wounded, a limb lost. The Jedi Master falls to the floor and just as Maul is about to finish the job Obi-Wan intervenes.

The rest of the fight plays out the same as the film but Qui-Gon survives. Obi-Wan is granted the level of Jedi Knight and Anakin becomes Qui-Gon Jinn’s new Padawan Learner.

As Qui-Gon’s apprentice, I believe that Anakin’s training would have been very different. Obi-Wan and the Jedi Council trained Anakin as if he were any other Padawan learner, not taking into account his older age and relationship with his Mother, Shmi.

Had Qui-Gon survived I feel that he would take all of this into account and trained Anakin in a way that would, to the rest of the Jedi Order, be unconventional.

We already know that he doesn’t match to the beat of the Council’s drum at times and this method of training would cause clashes with the Council but it wouldn’t be about what the Jedi think is best but what would be best for Anakin.

I have heard it said a few times, especially on the Idiots Array PODCAST that the Jedi Council has the means to free Shmi and relocate her, and if they had, perhaps Anakin’s training would have gone better. He would have still had that connection and he wouldn’t have been overcome by missing her as much as he did in the ten years between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Qui-Gon would have known this and acted on it, freeing Shmi and having her close-by, not all the time mind-you, but enough to keep Anakin emotionally settled. But maybe the Council wanted Anakin, a child brought to them in special circumstances, a prophetic Chosen One and they choose to act like he’s not special? So they say that an unexperienced, recently initiated Jedi Knight should take him as an apprentice.

Obi-Wan’s lack of experience in being a teacher led him to be quite patronising towards Anakin, even into his adult years Obi-Wan treated him like a child whilst he was still his teacher. Qui-Gon never came across as that kind of teacher, in any of his interactions with either Obi-Wan in his mid-twenties to Anakin at the age of nine.

Part of me think that Qui-Gon would have left the Jedi Order at some point, perhaps to train Anakin in the way he saw fit without interference from the Jedi Council. Had this happened, the influence of Palpatine would have never reached Anakin and it’s doubtful, with a more understanding and experienced teacher, an altered method of training and the removal of outside influences, Anakin would never have fallen to the Dark Side.

Would this have ended the Clone Wars? It’s doubtful. Palpatine’s scheme would have come to fruition anyway. Order 66 would have been carried out but with Dooku by his side, I have doubts that the Jedi Temple would have fallen in the same manner. A number of Jedi verses Count Dooku would have resulted in the Sith Lords demise.

Even if they stayed in with the Jedi, Qui-Gon would never allow Anakin to become close with Palpatine or agree to send him on his own with his boyhood crush, removing two of the major factors that led to Anakin’s turn.

Of course, this is all speculation into alternate timelines that we’ll never see nor read and that’s ok, just something that’s been milling around in the brain-pan for a while.

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