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The pod racing scenes appear to be incredibly dangerous, if not deadly for many of the participants. The pod race-cars move at a speed that could easily kill a standard human should the pod fail while moving. Furthermore, there are Tusken Raiders and murderous rivals to increase the degree of danger. With that in mind it seems utterly immoral, if not totally Sith-like, for Qui-Gon to risk Anakin's life, a child's life, in the race, unless he sensed via the force that he would certainly survive.

Sure, Qui-Gon had a mission and he was trying to protect the Queen, Naboo and so on, but he was a veteran and well-trained Jedi-knight, if he needed to come up with an alternate plan it could have been simple. He could have gone through the town robbing members of the underworld or something similar, at least it wouldn't have been as immoral. Qui-Gon seemed to sense that Anakin was totally bad-*ss, but its not clear that he knew Anakin would survive. From the movie, it appeared, that Qui-Gon just had a hunch, rather than force-acquired certainty. Tuskan Raider On the other hand, its been awhile since I've watched those scenes that lead-up to the race, and the novelizations often expand on the plot-points better.

Did Qui-Gon have some kind of force-inspired precognition that Anakin would survive the pod-race?

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    There's a deleted scene where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan have a side-bet that the kid is gonna plough into the wall at a bazillion mph on the first turn.
    – Valorum
    Jan 1, 2018 at 1:48
  • precognition is not required. Obi-Wan has faith in and wills "The force", he knew that it would be the power of the force that would get him through his mission, and Anikan to the finish line.
    – Iam Pyre
    Jan 1, 2018 at 6:27
  • @IamPyre 'The Force' lead to the downfall of the Jedi, its depicted as both good and evil at times. Indeed if Anakin had died it would have likely ultimately been better for the Jedi. It doesn't seem like it can be relied upon without actual precognition Jan 1, 2018 at 18:01
  • I don't remember any pod races or this character you call Qui-Gon...
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jan 2, 2018 at 11:55
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    @MarkRogers - The Jedi are brought to their downfall by the Sith and their machinations and their own failure to listen to what the Force has been telling them to do (e.g. not get into bed with the Senate).
    – Valorum
    Mar 9 at 21:41

1 Answer 1

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Precognition, no, but he's mindful that the Living Force has very clearly led them to this extremely Force-sensitive boy and presented them with a fairly simple and straightforward choice, either to trust in the boy's abilities or abandon him to his fate as a slave and seek support elsewhere.

But Qui-Gon could not sleep. It was this boy—this boy! There was something about him. The Jedi Master watched the soft rise and fall of his chest as he lay locked in slumber, unaware of Qui-Gon’s presence. The boy was special, he had told Shmi Skywalker, and she had agreed. She knew it, too. She sensed it as he did. Anakin Skywalker was different.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace - Official Novelisation

Shmi clinches it. She doesn't know anyone that could help them (and is basically useless to them), so it's fairly obvious that the Force wants them to go with Anakin's plan.

“I’m sure Qui-Gon doesn’t want to put your son in danger,” Padmé said suddenly, uncomfortable with the confrontation they had brought about between mother and son, trying to ease the tension. “We will find another way …”

Shmi looked over at the girl and shook her head slowly. “No, Annie’s right. There is no other way. I may not like it, but he can help you.” She paused. “Maybe he was meant to help you.”

She said it as if coming to a conclusion that had eluded her until now, as if discovering a truth that, while painful, was obvious.

Qui-Gon mulls this for a bit and ends up deciding that whatever they end up doing, he needs to be around the boy for a bit longer, to unravel why the Force has led him to this planet, at this time, to meet this person.

But this would not deter him from doing what he believed he must. He would know the truth about Anakin Skywalker. He would discover his place in the Force, both living and unifying. He would learn who this boy was meant to be.

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