What if Maul had killed Obi-Wan instead of Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace?


In terms of death in Star Wars, every fan knows it often isn’t permanent. In the past, people have returned in the form of Clones, while others return as Force Ghosts. The Phantom Menace saw Qui-Gon die at the hands of Darth Maul. But what if the scenario was reversed, and it was his student instead who was killed?

As Master Yoda tells Anakin in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,  “Death is a natural part of life.”

While he is correct, how different would the future Sith Lord’s life be if his mentor and best friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi had died during the Invasion of Naboo?

More from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

In our ‘what-if?’, we’ll dive into the events of the prequels at an original angle. We’ll examine how Anakin’s life changes under Qui-Gon’s guidance and how Kenobi’s death haunts Jinn’s every moment.

The Original Duel of the Fates

During The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon is killed by Darth Sidious’s apprentice. Maul strategically separates the teacher from his student. He forced Jinn into combat while Kenobi watched as his master was needlessly slaughtered.

After the funeral, Obi-Wan is granted a new status. Anakin becomes his Padawan. The Council hesitated to give the boy his new station as a Jedi.

Reversed Timeline – New Outcome

Instead of Qui-Gon dying during the battle with Maul, Obi-Wan is killed in the same way. Angry over his student’s death, Jinn slaughters the assassin and sends him down the garbage chute.

At Kenobi’s funeral, the Jedi Knight speaks with Duchess Satine who questions him about the return of the Sith. He advises caution and that Obi-Wan’s death wasn’t in vain. Also, the Jedi join Queen Amidala and Boss Rugor Nass in celebrating the newfound peace between the Naboo people and the Gungans.

Attack Of The Clones – Anakin And Qui-Gon Reunite With Padmé

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /

Ten years pass and Anakin grows into a thrill-seeking teenager. Skywalker is well-behaved, until the situation calls. He and Qui-Gon receive an assignment: protect Senator Padmé Amidala.

The Jedi pupil and Jinn are broken off into two separate tasks. The Master will track down the assassin while his student plays bodyguard to Padmé. Before leaving, Qui-Gon pulls his student aside and advises him to find his mother if the visions resurface.

Jango Fett, Kamino, And Finding Shmi

Most of the story unfolds as it does in the original version of Attack of the Clones. However, instead of Shmi dying, Anakin saves her from the Tusken Raiders. He returns her to her husband and stepson and decides that she should remain with them.

The moisture farmer’s wife says goodbye to her son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law. As the pair board the ship, they find a message from Qui-Gon. They head to Geonosis where they get caught.

Love Confession And Capture By Dooku

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Photo credit: Marvel Comics/Jody Houser /

Anakin and Padmé are captured by Jango Fett, who escaped Kamino despite Qui-Gon going after him. As they’re being lead to their death, the senator confesses to her bodyguard she loves him. Before they can kiss, they’re bought before Dooku who has also captured Qui-Gon. The count taunts them before Anakin breaks free of his captor and attacks the Sith apprentice. In the fight, the inexperienced apprentice’s arm is removed.

Yoda arrives and engages in a brutal fight with his former student. Padmé and Qui-Gon are forced to watch. Anakin lies on the ground as his severed arm rests beside him. In the chaos, Dooku escapes to report the situation to his master.

Return To The Jedi Temple And The Secret Wedding

Despite Jedi being sent to the planet, Anakin, Qui-Gon and Yoda miss the chance to fight in the Battle of Geonosis. To recover, Yoda returns them to Coruscant. Padmé is also treated but is discharged before her lover and friend. She goes to see Skywalker who proposes. She accepts and they tell their joyous news to Qui-Gon who agrees to be a witness for them.

The couple, R2-D2, and Qui-Gon venture back to Naboo where a secret wedding ceremony is held. Afterward, the alert is issued that the Clone Wars have begun.

A New Apprentice

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In the early months of the war, Anakin is promoted to Jedi Knight and receives his own Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Qui-Gon accompanies the pair on various missions, but only because he promised Padmé to monitor her husband.

Ahsoka and Padmé come to share a close sisterly bond and they share the same goal: annoy Anakin as much as possible. During this time, Skywalker’s student learns of the marriage, but agrees to keep it quiet.

Padmé’s Pregnancy

Three years pass and the war doesn’t get any easier for Anakin and Padmé to sneak around. Padmé learns she’s pregnant during Anakin, Ahsoka, and Qui-Gon’s mission to Mandalore to stop Maul. While she contacts the Padawan and the Master and tells them the news, she waits tell Anakin until he returns home.

Ahsoka, being as close to her master she is, protests, saying he needs to be told ASAP. The senator says she doesn’t want Anakin distracted when Obi-Wan’s killer is still out there. Qui-Gon promises not to tell his apprentice until they return from their mission.

Pending Parenthood And Palpatine Reveals Himself

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: John Wilson..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

Upon rescuing the Chancellor, Dooku is taken into custody and Anakin is reunited with his wife who informs him of her pregnancy. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon reports their mission to the council.

Anakin has nightmares of Padmé’s death in childbirth. While he’s reluctant to talk to Padmé about it, he also avoids the subject with Ahsoka when she checks in from Mandalore. Frustrated with her master’s lack of faith in her, she recommends speaking to Qui-Gon.

As time wears on, Qui-Gon consoles his friend and former student and promises they will find a way around his vision. He mentions they saved Shmi from death.

Palpatine tries to convert Anakin during a meeting where he reveals himself as a Sith.

Coming Forward With Information

The Clone Wars
Photo credit: Lucasfilm/The Clone Wars /

When Ahsoka returns from Mandalore with news of Maul’s demise, Anakin tells her of his nightmares. The Padawan is in shock but promises to support him. While her mentor is thankful, he instructs her to watch Padmé. The trainee knows better than to ask questions, knowing her master will go to the Jedi Council with information.

Knowing he has nothing to lose, Skywalker tells the council everything about Palpatine including that he’s a Sith and that he knows about his marriage to Padmé. This news surprises most of the masters present, but Yoda and Qui-Gon already knew. Windu is livid, but Yoda defuses the situation while receiving backup from Jinn. The others are torn but most agree with the Grand Master.

Qui-Gon says they have bigger issues to contend with in the form of the Sith Lord that has been under their noses the whole time. Yoda agrees and says they need a strike team to arrest him. Anakin pleads to help them, but Qui-Gon holds him back saying his family needs him.

Strike Team Away!

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Image Via Lucasfilm /

Anakin sits at home with Qui-Gon, Padmé, Ahsoka, and R2 waiting for news of the Chancellor’s arrest. An hour later, Yoda calls and tells them Sidious is dead but so are several masters from the strike team. he mentions that Windu was injured in the conflict. Skywalker rushes from the apartment. Ahsoka jumps up and runs after her friend.

Ahsoka catches up but Anakin tells her off for following him, but she bites back. He apologises, telling her he fears losing his family. Tano hugs him and tells him they’ll help, but first they need to examine Palpatine’s body since he was killed so brutally.

Examination and Labor

Arriving at the morgue in the Jedi Temple, Anakin and Ahsoka examine the Chancellor’s body and see that he put up a fight. Ahsoka almost faints when she sees the extent of her deceased brethrens’ injuries. Anakin sees her reaction and pulls her away, hiding her face from the horror.

As the pair walk out into the corridor, Qui-Gon contacts them to tell them Padmé has gone into labor. He explains he and the handmaidens are taking her to the closest medical facility. Without a second thought, the pair bolt towards the closest medical center.

Luke, Leia And A Safer Galaxy

General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISDOE IX
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISDOE IX /

Upon arriving at the medical center, Anakin is by his wife’s side the entire time as she gives birth. Ahsoka remains with Qui-Gon but is itching to be with her friends. The master reminds her that there will be plenty of time to be there for them once the baby is born.

After an hour, Anakin joyously announces Luke Skywalker and Leia Amidala Skywalker. This surprises Ahsoka and Qui-Gon and their reactions make Anakin laugh, the fear he had disappearing. The friends join the new dad in celebrating.

Anakin asks Ahsoka if she’d like to be Luke and Leia’s godmother. She tears up as she accepts. Qui-Gon agrees to be their godfather. Anakin admits that he wishes Obi-Wan were still alive to celebrate with them. Qui-Gon agrees as Padmé hands Luke to Ahsoka.

The infant looks up this godmother with admiration while his sister stirs in their mother’s arms. Ahsoka yelps when Luke grabs her finger. Anakin and Qui-Gon look over from their conversation with the father-of-two joking Ahsoka’s made a new friend. Padmé scolds him and says their young friend has made two new friends.

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What do you think of this ‘what if’ scenario? How would Star Wars have been different if Obi-Wan died instead of Qui-Gon?