In episode I, when Anakin mentions to Qui-Gon that he is a podracer pilot (and the only human one), Qui-Gon tells him that he must have Jedi reflexes.

Does he mean that because Anakin is human and should not be able to survive those races, let alone at that age? and does this imply that every podracer pilot have Jedi-like reflexes?

  • 11
    IMO: I believe it means, compared to the other species, human reflexes were too slow unless supplemented by the Force. The others didn't necessarily have Jedi reflexes, but a human wouldn't be able to podrace without them. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


The very short answer is "no". Although the other racers depicted evidently have reflexes that are faster than a human's, none of them have the reflexes of a trained Jedi, as evidenced by the fact that aside from Anakin, all of the other racers end up splattered on the track when forced to keep up with a real Jedi-enhanced racer.

“They have Podracing on Malastare,” the Jedi Master observed. “Very fast, very dangerous.”
Anakin grinned. “I’m the only human who can do it!”
A sharp glance from his mother wiped the grin from his face. “Mom, what? I’m not bragging. It’s true!
Watto says he’s never heard of a human doing it.”
Qui-Gon studied him carefully. “You must have Jedi reflexes if you race Pods.”
Anakin smiled broadly at the compliment. Jar Jar’s tongue snaked toward the serving bowl in an effort to snare another morsel, but this time Qui-Gon was waiting. His hand moved swiftly, and in a heartbeat he had secured the Gungan’s tongue between his thumb and forefinger. Jar Jar froze, his mouth open, his tongue held fast, his eyes wide.
- The Phantom Menace: Official Novelisation

Qui-Gon uses this expression to compliment Anakin (by comparing his reflexes to those of a Jedi) but at the same time he's also probing Shmi and Anakin to see whether they're willing to admit to him having any other Jedi-like traits.

“You must have Jedi reflexes if you race Pods,” Qui-Gon commented, then demonstrated his own by catching Jar Jar’s long tongue as the Gungan attempted to snatch another plum. “Don’t do that again,” Qui-Gon said, and let the tongue snap back into Jar Jar’s mouth. - The Phantom Menace: Junior Novelisation

  • 1
    Didn't most of the other racers have multiple limbs? Four arms would be handy to reduce reflex time when needing to adjust multiple controls. It's been a while, but I always thought the human handicap in that situation was simply having 2 arms instead of more and Anakin overcomes that with the Force.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 18:18
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    @Ellesedil - You might ask what the average number of limbs possessed by a podracer is...
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 18:19
  • 7
    That number likely changes throughout their career.
    – void_ptr
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 20:53

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