The Obi-Wan Kenobi finale reunites the Jedi Master with an old friend, but the Disney+ series raises questions as to how exactly they returned.
The following contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 1, Episode 6, “Part VI,” now streaming on Disney+.
From the start of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the show teased Qui-Gon Jinn’s return to the live-action Star Wars universe. While the character appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it’s been 23 years since Liam Neeson played the old Jedi Master. The moment finally came in the last scene of the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale when Qui-Gon appeared to his padawan, simply saying “Took you long enough.” However, the scene raises questions as to why he was a Force ghost, rather than just a voice.
The release of Star Wars‘ prequel trilogy made clear that keeping consciousness after death was a rare ability. Thousands of Jedi died throughout the Clone War, and yet none of them ever returned as ghosts or even as a simple voice. That changed with the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Overlords,” in which Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano awoke on a mysterious planet called Mortis and supposedly met the embodiments of the Force. The same idea returned in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The three-episode arc Clone Wars arc was easily the strangest in the entire show, with fans still debating its true meaning to this day. Amongst all the visions and surprising reveals, the ghost of Qui-Gon seemingly appeared to both Obi-Wan and Anakin, giving helpful advice as always. But it was left unclear if it was Qui-Gon or just a vision to help guide the Jedi, as reality and imagination often blended together on Mortis.
It wasn’t until Season 6 of the animated series that Qui-Gon’s true fate was revealed. His voice spoke to Yoda and told him to head to Dagobah to seek answers. On the swamp planet, Qui-Gon was able to have full conversations with Yoda, but could only appear as small orbs of light. The dead Master was asked, “Show yourself, can you?” to which he replied “I cannot, my training was incomplete.”
Yoda was then guided to the Wellspring of Life, a glowing planet which was incredibly strong with the Force. Here he faces a number of trials from mysterious Force Priestesses who help train Yoda to retain consciousness after death. It’s assumed that Qui-Gon began these trials long ago, but was not able to complete them before being killed by Darth Maul. That, in turn, explains why he never appeared during the prequels or anything after.
Yet with the ending of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon has seemingly found a way to appear as a Force-ghost. Most Star Wars fans assumed that he couldn’t complete his training without his physical body, but that clearly isn’t the case. It’s also quite possible he made this discovery with Yoda, as it’s known that he continued the old Jedi’s training after Revenge of the Sith. While Qui-Gon’s appearance may take Clone Wars audiences by surprise, there’s nothing to suggest it breaks the continuity.
With every new piece of Star Wars media, it’s clear that understanding the Force is an impossible task; there’s always more to discover. Qui-Gon was always obsessed with researching the Force, so it makes sense that he would be the first to appear as a Force ghost. And as for why he never appeared at the end of Return of the Jedi, it would be quite strange for Luke Skywalker to see some guy he never met, so it’s for the best that Qui-Gon waited until now to return.
All six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are now streaming on Disney+.
Ben has taken a ‘Film Production & Cinematography’ university course, and recently completed a ‘Scriptwriting’ masters course, both completed at Bournemouth University. Throughout the courses, he has worked on a number of short films and documentaries. And found that his passion lays in scriptwriting, where he can combine his love of movies, writing, and storytelling.
With taking courses involving film, Ben has extensive knowledge of movies both new and old, and keeps up to date on all the latest goings-on in the film industry. Especially within his favourite franchises, such as Star Wars.
In his spare time, Ben is usually watching movies, playing games and running D&D games for friends (and hopes to one day actually be a player).