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The Real Reason George Lucas Killed Qui-Gon Jinn In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

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Qui-Gon Jinn’s ultimate purpose in George Lucas’ narrative may have been to make a point about the very real threat of the reemerging Sith in the first film, but that doesn’t change the fact that Qui-Gon is a fierce fighter and that his final battle is one of the best moments in all of “Star Wars” lore. The epic duel is amazing to watch as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his Master take on Darth Maul (Ray Park).

The trio flips around the royal palace on Naboo as the two Jedi try to take down an opponent that does not blink. (You never noticed that about Darth Maul’s scenes? Neither did we, at first.) In the end, Qui-Gon goes down first, only for his Padawan to triumph over his Sith opponent. Despite Qui-Gon’s abrupt death, Lucas clarified that his ending wasn’t purely to make a point about Sith skills. “We needed to establish that,” he said, “but at the same time, we wanted the ultimate sword fight, because they were all very good.” A bit later, Lucas added, “I had the fight continually move locations so that we had some room to do it on various sets, and that was really a callback to the Douglas Fairbanks / Errol Flynn movies, where you have a really long, intense sword fight.”

Lucas also revealed a forward-thinking element of Qui-Gon’s death when he said, “It sort of predisposes the sword fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan later on. There’s real purpose to it. You have to establish the rules and then stick with them. The scene illustrates just how Jedi and Sith fight and use lightsabers.”

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