Star Wars: What if Qui-gon Trained Anakin? Would Anakin Have Turned to the Dark Side?

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We know that the history of Star Wars has already been decided because Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force and became Darth Vader after Darth Sidious tempted him with the power to save Padme from death. Of course, we know that the one who wanted to train Anakin from the very start was Qui-Gon Jinn, who ended up dying at the hands of Darth Maul in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. As such, the responsibility of training Anakin fell to Obi-Wan Kenobi. But what if Qui-Gon survived and trained Anakin?

Qui-Gon Jinn would have been a father figure to Anakin instead of treating him like a brother or a friend like Obi-Wan did. He would have also trained Anakin to be more like him instead of trying to restrict him. However, we don’t know whether or not Anakin would have still turned to the dark side under Qui-Gon’s teachings.

Undoubtedly, Anakin turned to the dark side for a good reason, as that was supposed to happen according to the will of the Force. Still, we can’t help but think about the possibilities that could have happened if history had changed a bit. Then again, this is all but wishful thinking on our part. So, with that said, let’s look at what could have happened if Qui-Gon Jinn had trained Anakin.

What if Qui-Gon Survived and Trained Anakin?

One of the things that were always clear when we first met Qui-Gon Jinn and the younger version of Obi-Wan Kenobi during the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was that they were two different people. Even though Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan’s master, he didn’t do things by the book, which Kenobi always talked to him about. Obi-Wan once told Qui-Gon that he would have been on the Jedi Council if he didn’t always defy the council’s wishes.

Nevertheless, Jinn was a unique Jedi with his way of doing things and his beliefs. He believed in the Living Force, the cosmic energy that gave life to the Force. Essentially, the Living Force itself was the fundamental unity of all of the different entities of the universe, including the light and dark sides of the Force. Qui-Gon also studied the ancient texts of the Jedi and was one of the few who believed that he understood the true will of the Force and what the ancient Jedi prophecies meant. 

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That was why Qui-Gon was quick to say that Anakin Skywalker, a boy he met on Tatooine’s remote outer rim planet, was the Chosen One prophesized by the ancient texts of the Jedi. As such, he wanted to have the boy trained, only for the Jedi Council to tell him that Anakin was already far too old to be trained. Nevertheless, we know that Qui-Gon decided to train Anakin himself regardless of what the Jedi Council told him.

Of course, we know that Qui-Gon Jinn never had the chance to give Anakin formal training because he died in the Duel of the Fates. Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon in their duel, which meant that Obi-Wan Kenobi had to be the one to train Anakin even though he wanted to obey the will of the Jedi Council at first. Still, he trained Anakin because that was what his master would have wanted. And because Obi-Wan both loved and respected Qui-Gon, he gave in to his master’s dying wish.

It is without a doubt that Anakin became a powerful Jedi. But he turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader because Darth Sidious tempted him with the power to save his wife, Padme Amidala, who he saw dying in his dreams. As such, Anakin turned to the dark side and destroyed the Jedi Order.

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Anakin’s fall to the dark side was one of the things that greatly affected Obi-Wan Kenobi during the events of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. He believed that he had failed Anakin as a master and that it was his fault that Anakin turned to the dark side. But what if it had been Qui-Gon Jinn who trained Anakin? What would have happened?

Qui-Gon Jinn would have been a father figure to Anakin instead of teaching him as an older brother or a good friend. We also know that Qui-Gon’s personality is more similar to Anakin’s than Obi-Wan’s. They are both renegades in their way of thinking and aren’t necessarily obedient regarding the standard way of doing things. Both Qui-Gon and Anakin don’t do things by the book.

On the other hand, Obi-Wan tends to stick with the rigid and traditional way of doing things. He may have loved and respected Qui-Gon, but he never liked how his master didn’t do things by the book. As such, Kenobi rose to become a wise Jedi Master with a way of thinking that was in line with the will of the Jedi Council. That was why there were instances where Obi-Wan and Anakin argued about what needed to be done, as they both had different ways of approaching certain situations.

But Qui-Gon would have allowed Anakin to become more liberal in his approach. He wouldn’t have tried to keep Anakin boxed into the rigid ideals of the Jedi Order and would have allowed him to become his person. After all, Qui-Gon was always a renegade in the Jedi Order, as he didn’t always agree with the council’s will. And there’s a good chance that Anakin might have developed the same personality and habits under the teachings of Qui-Gon.

There’s also the possibility of Anakin getting trained as a holistic Force user instead of as a Jedi. In Episode I, Qui-Gon hinted that he would have trained Anakin himself even if it meant leaving the Jedi Order. That’s because he believed in the boy’s status as the Chosen One so much that he was willing to let go of his status as a Jedi to train Anakin in the ways of the Force. If that had been the case, Anakin would have learned more about the Living Force and the light and the dark sides of the Force instead of getting boxed into the fundamentally flawed beliefs of the Jedi Order.

Remember that the Jedi Order believed that bringing balance to the Force meant that it was important to eliminate the dark side. But as we learned in the story of the Father, Brother, and Sister during the events of Star Wars: Clone Wars, balance in the Force isn’t the absence of the dark side. Instead, balance meant having both the light and the dark sides of the Force come together in a manner that allowed both sides to exist in harmony with one another.

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As such, Anakin would have learned the importance of this harmony between the two sides of the Force, and he would have been able to become a more holistic Force user instead of keeping himself boxed into what the Jedi wanted him to become.

Would Anakin Have Turned to the Dark Side?

Even though we believe that Qui-Gon Jinn would have been a better teacher to Anakin than Obi-Wan, there was no guarantee that Anakin would have never gone over to the dark side of the Force.

Anakin would have still fallen for Padme, as he loved her ever since the first time they met one another. But while he and Padme may have been able to love one another more freely, there was still the fact that Anakin feared losing her more than anything in life. And that was how Palpatine could lure him to the dark side by tempting him with the power to save Padme’s life.

It might be true that Anakin would have been able to understand both sides of the Force more under the teachings of Qui-Gon Jinn, but his feelings for Padme were always stronger than anything he ever felt in his life. That was why he always lost his composure in situations that involved Padme’s safety. And we aren’t sure how well Qui-Gon would have been able to handle Anakin’s feelings for Padme.

As we saw in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Kenobi thought that he had failed Anakin because he wasn’t the proper master and was the one who allowed him to fall to the dark side. But the truth that Obi-Wan understood in his confrontation with Darth Vader in the final episode was that Anakin would have fallen to the dark side regardless of how well Kenobi taught him. Anakin’s fall was inevitable because it was always tied to his feelings for Padme.

So, with that, Anakin would have fallen to the temptations of the dark side even if Qui-Gon had taught him the ways of the Force. Obi-Wan’s teachings were flawed, but so were Qui-Gon’s as well. And there would have been a good chance that Sidious, as cunning as he was, would have still been able to find a way to take advantage of the flaws of Jinn’s teachings to tempt Anakin to join the dark side.

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