Phantom Menace 25th: Dave Filoni argues that Qui-Gon Jinn is the most like Luke Skywalker

Dave Filoni surprisingly compared this Jedi to Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Image credit:
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Image credit: /

Star Wars is full of similarities. Similar characters are put in similar situations and are forced to make difficult decisions. However, Dave Filoni has drawn a comparison between to characters who are not typically thought of as kindred spirits: Luke Skywalker and Qui-Gon Jinn.

Why Dave Filoni argues that this Jedi is the most like Luke Skywalker

Back in 2022, a behind the scenes look at The Book of Boba Fett was released on Disney+ as part of the Disney Gallery series. It was a fascinating look at all of the work that goes into the series.

However, one key thing stuck out to me when I watched it and it still sticks with me. When Dave Filoni talks about the episode in which we see Luke Skywalker training Grogu, an episode he wrote and directed, he compares Luke to Qui-Gon. The full quote is below:

"I have always felt with Luke, that he is a step more on the Qui-Gon Jinn path even though he did not know Qui-Gon. But, Qui-Gon taught Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan taught Luke, so you can get that methodology there."

Dave Filoni

Filoni does not fully explain his thinking here, but if you look at a previous Disney Gallery episode for The Mandalorian, we can begin to piece together why Filoni makes this connection. I wrote about this episode before because Filoni ties the prequels to the rest of the saga in a really compelling way, but he has this to say specifically about Qui-Gon:

"Qui-Gon is different than the rest of the Jedi and you get that in [The Phantom Menace]. Qui-Gon is fighting because he knows he is the father that Anakin needs. Because Qui-Gon has not given up on the fact that Jedi are supposed to actually care and love and that's not a bad thing. The rest of the Jedi are so detached and they have become so political that they have really lost their way. And Yoda starts to see that in the second film but Qui-Gon is ahead of them all, that is why he is not part of the [Jedi] Council."

Dave Filoni

If we parse what Filoni says about Qui-Gon here and think about what defines Luke's character in the original trilogy, the similarity between the two characters comes down to what is in their heart.

Filoni is right that Qui-Gon is something of a maverick amongst the Jedi because he feels that the Jedi have become too much of a political entity. If you watch The Phantom Menace, he is literally the only one in the film who believes in the best of Anakin. When Anakin is first brought before the Jedi Council, he is immediately greeted with suspicion by Yoda and Mace Windu. Qui-Gon is the only one who saw that Anakin had a good heart and believed in that side of him, not the confusion and darkness.

Similarly, Luke believes in the best of Anakin once he discovers that he is his father. He is adamant in Return of the Jedi that there is still good in his father. His faith may waver slightly when Vader turns him over to the Emperor, but when their fight begins, he can once again feel the conflict within Anakin and knows there is still good in him. Ultimately, when Luke throws down his lightsaber in front of the Emperor, he rejects the dark side and essentially says, "I would rather die than believe that my father is completely gone." That is the ultimate Jedi act and one that Qui-Gon likely would have made in a similar situation.

Being a Jedi is not about how high you can jump or how skilled you are with a lightsaber. The fundamental difference between a Jedi and a Sith is that a true Jedi acts selflessly and compassionately and sees the best in others, while a Sith thinks only of themselves and assumes that everyone else does the same. That was the Emperor's true downfall: believing that Luke cared only about himself and not understanding the power of compassion.

While the similarities between Luke and Qui-Gon may seem oblique at best, they really are true. They are not necessarily similar in personality or appearance, but they both possess the most fundamental qualities of a true Jedi:

They are selfless, compassionate, and always see the best in others.

Next. Dave Filoni explains The Phantom Menace's brilliance. Dave Filoni explains The Phantom Menace's brilliance. dark