How did Qui-Gon Jinn die?

A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) was a student of the living Force. Photo: Lucasfilm.
A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) was a student of the living Force. Photo: Lucasfilm. /

A human Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn was no mere youngling when the events that would ultimately lead to the Clone Wars and the fall of the Republic fell into place around him. Upon a routine mission to assist in negotiations for the planet of Naboo, Qui-Gon and his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, became embroiled in Darth Sidious’ plan to subvert power in the Senate. Unfortunately, Qui-Gon did not survive. He died in combat, stabbed through the torso by Sidious’ evil apprentice, Darth Maul.

The death of Qui-Gon Jinn is detailed in The Phantom Menace as it tells of the Jedi Master’s travels to Naboo, Tatooine, and Coruscant before a final assault on the Palace of Naboo. Qui-Gon admitted to the council on Coruscant that he believed the black-cloaked figure who attacked them following young Anakin Skywalker’s release to be a Sith Lord. His claim was dismissed, however, and he was sent back to Naboo to protect Senator Amidala as she attempted to retake her homeworld. There he engaged Darth Maul for the second time, fighting alongside Obi-Wan in an attempt to keep the Sith warrior from directly engaging the princess and her security-force allies.

After a series of clashes between the Jedi, wielding traditional lightsabers, and Maul with his double-bladed version, Master Qui-Gon found himself separated from his apprentice and forced to fight the Sith Lord one-on-one. After a stunning blow from Maul’s hilt catches Qui-Gon square in the face, the Dathomirian Zabrak ends his life with a follow-up stab.

This propels young Obi-Wan into a furious show of strength against Maul, and the Jedi apprentice eventually wins over the Sith. Unfortunately, the blow sustained by Qui-Gon is fatal, giving him only enough time to pass along his dying wish that Obi-Wan train the young Anakin Skywalker.

Fans of Qui-Gon Jinn need not mourn his passing. During the Clone Wars, the master of the Living Force reveals himself to Jedi Master Yoda. It is through this contact that Yoda discovers the power to return from death, and establishes a connection between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan that allows the third to speak with his former master and eventually learn the secret himself.

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