The oft-rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff movie is allegedly coming through the pipeline, and the latest Star Wars canon novel suggests Qui-Gon Jinn could be a character in the film. Earlier this year, reports said Lucasfilm was developing a standalone centering around the old Jedi Master, with Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry in talks to helm the project. Obviously, plot details are being kept under wraps for the time being, but the speculation is that it will cover the two decades Obi-Wan spent in exile on Tatooine watching over a young Luke Skywalker. The film's working title heavily implies the desert planet will be a key setting, and the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is one of the few time periods of Kenobi's life to not be covered extensively so far.
While Obi-Wan certainly has the potential to to be a very different kind of film for the franchise, the old Jedi Knight surely won't be the only character to appear onscreen in it. Every installment to date has introduced new individuals to the property, so it stands reason to believe this anthology will as well. However, there's also a distinct possibility a familiar face makes his return to the films after what would be an absence of more than two decades: Obi-Wan's former master Qui-Gon Jinn.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of A New Hope, the short story collection From A Certain Point of View was recently published, retelling that film's events through the perspectives of supporting and background characters. One of the chapters, titled "Master and Apprentice" details a conversation Obi-Wan had with the spirit of Qui-Gon while waiting for Luke to return from the ravaged Lars family homestead. The two have a lengthy discussion about Luke's future (including the proper time to tell him the truth about Darth Vader). Qui-Gon also admits he failed Obi-Wan by asking him to train Anakin before he was ready, feeling some responsibility for what happened. Though Obi-Wan says Anakin had the proper guidance he needed and went down a bad path on his own, both Kenobi and Jinn know there was more they could have done.
This section of the novel plays into the end of Revenge of the Sith, where Yoda revealed to Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon had discovered the way to become one with the Force, achieving immortality. When Qui-Gon first passed into the afterlife, he communicated with his allies through voice only (as seen in Clone Wars), but eventually learned how to appear in physical form in the "mortal realm." From A Certain Point of View mentions that Qui-Gon worked toward this goal over the course of a decade so his former apprentice would not have to spend his days in the barren wastelands of Tatooine alone. Apparently, this talk about Luke is not the only time they've spent together, as Qui-Gon visited his old friend many times to provide company and wisdom. It seems likely then, that Liam Neeson could have a supporting role in Obi-Wan, appearing in the same capacity of Alec Guinness in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Though the Lucasfilm story group has done an admirable job of ensuring the new Star Wars films do not require any outside homework to fully understand, they are known to plant the seeds for certain developments in the non-movie materials. For example, last year's Aftermath: Life Debt dealt with some of Han Solo and Chewbacca's backstory, revealing snippets of the duo's history through passages of dialogue. It's already been confirmed Ron Howard's young Han Solo origin story will in part cover Han's fateful first meeting with his Wookiee friend, tying back to the content in the book. By including a story that involves Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, the studio could be trying to prepare fans for Neeson's comeback to the galaxy far, far away years before it actually happens. It isn't likely Qui-Gon is a main character in Obi-Wan, but it makes a good deal of sense for him to have a small part, and it would be a nice way of connecting the prequels (which have arguably been shortchanged) to the new canon.
Even though there reportedly isn't a script for Obi-Wan in place, it's easy to predict certain plot points. It goes without saying that Kenobi was probably in a dark place personally during his exile, after losing so many people close to him. Obviously, Obi-Wan always stayed true to the light side and never wavered despite all he'd been through (which impresses Qui-Gon greatly), but it may not have been just his own steely resolved that made that happen. No doubt, he had frequent interactions with Qui-Gon, and that guidance could help at any time of crisis. No matter what Obi-Wan finds himself struggling with in his solo movie, his old master will surely have words of meaningful advice at key moments.
Of course, Qui-Gon having a cameo in a novel isn't confirmation he'll show up in a new movie, but Obi-Wan represents the best opportunity for the maverick Jedi to come back. It would almost be odd if Jinn was nowhere to be seen given the subject matter. Viewers would like to see Star Wars move away from pre-established elements, but this is a callback that is logical for the story at hand. Qui-Gon was only in one film before being struck down by Darth Maul, so it would be nice to see his mentor/student relationship with Obi-Wan further fleshed out in an upcoming standalone.
Source - Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019