Obi-Wan Kenobi was a prolific, powerful Jedi that lived in the Republic Era, becoming a Jedi Master after being a padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn. Kenobi’s legacy surpassed his master, Jinn, but when it comes to combat, they are closer than one might think. So, if Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn fought while both were in their prime, who would win, and why?
Obi-Wan Kenobi would eventually win against his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. After Obi-Wan became a Jedi Master, he surpassed Jinn in almost every way. Their lightsaber forms were completely different, but in the end, Kenobi was the more powerful Force user, which is why he’d ultimately win.
There’s a lot more to it than just the use of Force or lightsaber skills. One must take their wisdom and origins into account as well, along with their combat experience throughout their lives. Let’s dive deep into the two awesome Star Wars characters to see why and how the student surpassed his master.
Obi-Wan Kenobi And His Powers
Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Force-sensitive human male, born in 57 BBY on the planet Stewjon. The Jedi Order recognized the child was very Force-sensitive – among the most Force-sensitive individuals at the time, so they took Obi-Wan to Coruscant, where he started training to become a Jedi Knight.
In the Jedi Temple, Obi-Wan Kenobi showcased the incredible talent and the ability to adhere to the Jedi Code perfectly. He trained under Master Yoda first – the greatest Jedi Master ever to live – and later became Qui-Gon Jinn’s padawan.
Jinn taught him a lot and heavily influenced Kenobi’s entire life, even after his master passed away and became one with the Force. Later, Obi-Wan grew into his potential, becoming one of the best Jedi masters ever, defeating various highly powerful opponents, such as General Grievous, Darth Maul, and even Anakin Skywalker. Let’s see what Old Ben could do.
After becoming a Jedi Master, one could safely say that Obi-Wan’s wisdom was incredibly vast. He learned from the best, and his ability to soak in knowledge led to him becoming one of the wisest Jedi Masters ever.
Even Anakin Skywalker himself said Obi-Wan was as wise as Yoda himself. While that’s a step too much for me – Yoda is just on another level – it really speaks volumes about how wise Kenobi had become over the years.
Ben was an incredibly prolific lightsaber wielder, surpassing many phenomenal swordsmen within the Jedi order. As Mace Windu once said, Kenobi was the only one who could repeatedly beat General Grievous, who had the speed to strike twenty times in a second.
Such amazing lightsaber skills came from years of training, adhering to the Jedi Code and the Light Side of the Force, and the combat style Kenobi used. At first, Obi-Wan specialized in Ataru, or Form IV, which includes high-volume acrobatics and a purely offensive approach to combat.
However, after witnessing Qui-Gon Jinn’s death due to Ataru’s lack of defensive prowess, Kenobi became a Soresu practitioner, known as Form III, or the Resilience Form. It’s a lightsaber combat form that focuses almost exclusively on defensive combat, repelling the opponent’s attack and exploiting the holes that open up in the process.
It is said that a true Soresu Master has no weaknesses in his game, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was confirmed by several high-ranking Jedi to be a true Soresu Master, including Mace Windu. The form is created in the era of blasters, and it allows the practitioner to repel a very high volume of incoming attacks.
There aren’t many Jedi nor Sith who could outduel Obi-Wan Kenobi with a lightsaber, especially in his prime. He was able to defeat Anakin Skywalker in combat, as well as Darth Maul – the guy who killed his master just moments earlier.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was heavily devoted to the Light Side and adhered to the Jedi Code. His calm demeanor, meditation, and defensive mindset often led to him using the Force in the shape of mind tricks to avoid physical confrontation. In his prime, Kenobi was one of the most powerful Force users alive.
Ben was a very Force-sensitive individual with a midi-chlorian count of 13 400, more than many powerful individuals such as Mace Windu (12 000), General Grievous (12 000), Darth Maul (12 000), and even his master, Qui-Gon Jinn (10 000).
For those who don’t know, midi-chlorians are microscopic, sentient organisms that serve as the conductors of the Force in all living things. The higher the count, the more Force-sensitive an individual is. A midi-chlorian count of at least 7 000 is required to be considered for Jedi training.
Note that the count doesn’t reflect one’s true power with the Force but the potential to get to a certain power level. For instance, Anakin Skywalker’s midi-chlorian count is the highest in history with 27 700, but he still lost the duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was simply more skilled, wise, and powerful – at least in that particular situation.
Qui-Gon Jinn And His Powers
Qui-Gon Jinn was a much different individual than Kenobi, but just as well-respected among the Jedi. He was born around 80 BBY on Coruscant, the planet where the Jedi Temple was located. As a Force-sensitive child, Jinn became a padawan to Jedi Master Dooku before Count Dooku turned to the Dark Side.
Qui-Gon Jinn had somewhat different beliefs than the rest of the Jedi order. Although he respected the Order and their beliefs, he found the purpose of a Jedi not to be to blindly adhere to the Code and devote himself to trying to predict the future.
Jinn believed the true purpose of a Jedi is to live in the moment and find balance in the Force between the Light and the Dark Side. We’ll get a bit more into that later.
Over time, Qui-Gon Jinn got his won padawan in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Jinn was such a great Jedi Knight that he was even offered a place among the Jedi High Council, but Qui-Gon refused, wanting to continue his own path and train his padawan further.
Eventually, he died in battle at the hand of Darth Maul but was one of the first Jedi to keep his consciousness after becoming one with the Force. In his afterlife, he taught Yoda and Obi-Wan how that’s possible, which heavily influenced Luke Skywalker in the aftermath.
Qui-Gon Jinn was an incredibly smart man with independent thought, often finding his own views and thoughts about certain things, including the Force itself. Jinn himself calls his view “complex.” He believed in finding balance in the Force. However, Jinn knew that the Dark Side was too prone to corruption, which is why the balance could hardly ever be achieved.
That’s why Qui-Gon believed in the Chosen One to come and restore the balance. He believed that one must not give in to the Dark Side, as it corrupts the one who uses it. On the other hand, he believed the Jedi ought not to become too rigid, as it disbalances the Force in the other direction.
I’d say he was an incredibly intelligent, wise individual, who had strong opinions that might not be on the same page as the rest of the Order, but he respected the Jedi Code, always.
Qui-Gon Jinn’s former master, Dooku, was prolific in Form II, known as Makashi. However, Qui-Gon later turned to Form IV, known as Ataru – the same Form Master Yoda used the most.
Ataru is the Aggression Form, characterized by acrobatics, high-jumps, and swift use of the Force to attack and overwhelm the opponent. A Master of Ataru was incredibly hard to beat, and Qui-Gon was indeed a true master of the Form. He could rival Mace Windu in combat, which speaks volumes, knowing Mace Windu is considered second only to Master Yoda.
However, Ataru had its weaknesses, namely the lack of defensive strategy, which ultimately led to Jinn’s demise at the hands of Darth Maul. Seeing how Ataru wasn’t enough to protect his master, Obi-Wan transferred to Form III, Soresu, or the Resilience Form.
As I mentioned, Qui-Gon had unique stances concerning the Force that sometimes didn’t gel with the rest of the Jedi Order. However, nobody can deny how prolific he was when it comes to using the Force.
His midi-chlorian count comes in at 10 000, but I believe his wisdom, knowledge, and appliance of the Force made him a much more powerful individual than one would think. Eventually, his beliefs were proven to be somewhat true, as balance in the Force was prophesied and much needed.
Also, Jinn was able to do what few Jedi could – keep his consciousness after becoming one with the Force and transferring that knowledge to Master Yoda and Obi-Wan, who eventually passed it on as new teachings within the Jedi Order.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Qui-Gon Jinn: Who Wins?
In the end, the student becomes the master – literally and figuratively. After Qui-Gon Jinn’s death, Obi-Wan Kenobi became one of the most powerful Jedi ever, surpassing his master in almost every way – the power of the Force, lightsaber skills, wisdom, and legacy.
While Darth Maul exposed and killed Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan was able to defeat the powerful Sith Lord numerous times, cutting him in half in their first encounter. And, Kenobi wasn’t even in his prime yet. Also, his Force was stronger, both on paper (13 400 – 10 000 midi-chlorians) and in practice.
Even if their Force somehow neutralizes each other and it comes down to lightsaber combat, Obi-Wan’s Form is defensive and much more energy-conserving. In contrast, Jinn’s Form is aggressive and full of acrobatics. In the end, he would tire out first, allowing Obi-Wan to exploit his lack of defense and win.
I would say that prime Obi-Wan defeats prime Qui-Gon every time. However, we have to give credit to Jinn where credit’s due because, without him, Obi-Wan Kenobi would never become nearly as powerful or wise as he eventually did.
The student did surpass his master, but Qui-Gon Jinn’s influence will forever be etched into Obi-Wan Kenobi’s history, as well as the history of the galaxy. That influence and legacy could grow even more after the new Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series coming soon on Disney+, as rumors are circulating the Internet about a potential Liam Neeson/Qui-Gon Jinn return in the show.