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'Star Wars': What If Obi-Wan Had Died Instead of Qui-Gon in 'The Phantom Menace'?

Fans of the Star Wars universe love to speculate about different scenarios with regard to the fates of different characters. The Marvel universe even has a show on Disney Plus called What If…? that puts different characters in the Marvel universe in different circumstances than the original stories intended. The show has done quite well and fans are enjoying the new spin. 

Since the Star Wars universe is one of the biggest franchises in the film industry with one of the most loyal fan followings of any fantasy world, perhaps one day they may do something similar. As Star Wars fans gear up for the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a series set to release on Disney Plus in 2022, Star Wars fans are taking a closer look at the characters of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn and what would happen if the arc of his character had taken a different turn. 

‘Star Wars’: Everything a Jedi should be

First introduced in A New Hope, Kenobi soon became a fan favorite. Depicted as a Jedi Knight who was brave, loyal, and was always willing to stand up to the forces of the Dark Side, even at the cost of his own demise. Still, long after his death, the fans’ love for him continued to grow as they saw what a terrific friend, talented and strong soldier, and wise teacher he had always been as portrayed in the prequels. For all intents and purposes, Kenobi was the ideal Jedi.

Qui-Gon’s final request

Qui-Gon takes on Obi-Wan Kenobi as an apprentice after he completes his training with Jedi Master Yoda. In The Phantom Menace, his mission was to protect Padmé. He ends up finding young Anakin Skywalker, a slave on Tatooine owned by junk dealer Watto. He believes that Anakin is the Chosen One. 

He then proceeds to start Anakin’s training, even though the council was skeptical. Qui-Gon is later involved in the Battle of Naboo, where he is killed by Sith Lord Darth Maul. With his dying breath, he makes Obi-Wan promise that he will train Anakin, believing him to be the one who will bring balance to the Force. Anakin later becomes one of the darkest Sith Lords born from the Dark Side, Darth Vader.

What if Obi-Wan had died instead of Qui-Gon

Fans have speculated about a different outcome to this Star Wars story on Reddit. What if Obi-Wan had died instead? This would leave Qui-Gon to train Anakin himself. Many have speculated that perhaps he wouldn’t have turned to the Dark Side and the entire arc of the story would have been completely different. In an alternate timeline, things may have looked much different if we swapped one Jedi’s death for the other.

The Jedi council was reluctant to allow Anakin to be trained. They allowed Obi-Wan to train him only because it was the dying wish of Qui-Gon. If he hadn’t died, perhaps the council would not have allowed him to be trained. Also, with Obi-Wan gone, there would be no one to guide Luke all those years later. So the Star Wars universe would have looked very different in this alternate timeline. Maybe Luke would never have been born, or Leia for that matter. Maybe we would never have seen Han Solo or Chewbacca without Luke befriending them. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever fate this alternate reality had in mind for Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon, it’s clear that these two very important characters had everything to do with the way the story played out. If these two characters had swapped places, there are an infinite number of possible scenarios that might have played out. 

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