10

Jinn: I must speak with the Jedi Council immediately. The situation has become much more complicated.

(Anakin stops following Padme and turns back)

Padme: Ani, come on.

Jinn and Anakin wave hands to each other:

Anakin, following the handmaids, looks back questioningly.  Qui-Gon gestures encouragingly.  Anakin turns and continues.

What is Qui-Gon Jinn telling to Anakin by waving his hand like this?

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  • 10
    That way? Yes, that way.
    – Valorum
    Nov 29, 2020 at 18:31
  • 17
    I interpreted it as " Yes, go with them" Nov 29, 2020 at 23:37
  • 23
    The more interesting questions would be, is there any sensible interpretation other than "go with them"?
    – MaxD
    Nov 30, 2020 at 2:47
  • 7
    To me, that gesture says, "Go on" or "Go ahead". Nov 30, 2020 at 14:29
  • 3
    Can you please upload that gif to the site instead of hotlinking it? The ibb.co URL is not working for me.
    – TylerH
    Nov 30, 2020 at 16:40

2 Answers 2

61

That is a common gesture in American (U.S.) culture to, in this context, "move along".

Jinn is basically responding to Anakin's insecurity (being left off with people he doesn't know) to say something like "go on, you'll be fine".

https://www.google.com/search?q=shoo+gesture+gif&tbm=isch

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  • 6
    And yes, it is not always understood the same way in other cultures. Nov 29, 2020 at 19:52
  • 11
    I'm reasonably sure that Qui-Gon Jinn isn't an American.
    – Valorum
    Nov 29, 2020 at 21:37
  • 46
    @Valorum and he doesn't speak English either. Translation Convention applies to hand gestures as well as spoken language. Nov 29, 2020 at 23:12
  • 2
    What are some real life counterexamples to the US interpretation? What are some examples of places that don't even have an interpretation/meaning for this gesture? Nov 30, 2020 at 22:53
  • 2
    @Panzercrisis That would be a different question. But, just off the top of my head, in Japan wagging ones hand (or even just curling the fingers with the hand out) means "come here".
    – Dúthomhas
    Dec 1, 2020 at 0:21
25

In the original script (and both sets of novelisations), Jinn is 'nodding [for Anakin] to go ahead'. I assume the hand gestures have much the same meaning.

JAR JAR and ANAKIN start to follow, then stop, noticing that OBI-WAN and QUI-GON are staying with the SUPREME CHANCELLOR. QUEEN AMIDALA waves to the duo to follow her. ANAKIN looks back to QUI-GON, and he nods to go ahead. ANAKIN and JAR JAR join the QUEEN, PALPATINE, PADME, RABE and EIRTAE in the taxi. PALPATINE gives the Gungan and the boy in the back of the taxi a skeptical look. JAR JAR leans over to ANAKIN.

and

Then, to Obi-Wan’s surprise, the Queen waved at Anakin and Jar Jar to join her. He was about to stop them, when he saw Qui-Gon nod to Anakin. He arranged this with her before we landed, Obi-Wan realized.

The Phantom Menace: Junior Novelisation

and

Anakin started to follow, Jar Jar at his side, then stopped as he saw that the Jedi were still standing with Supreme Chancellor Valorum. Anakin glanced back questioningly at Qui-Gon, not certain where he was supposed to go. The Queen and her retinue slowed in response, and Amidala motioned for Anakin and the Gungan to join them. Anakin looked again at Qui-Gon, who nodded wordlessly.

The Phantom Menace: Official Novelisation

It's not really clear why this was changed on the day, but probably the director felt that a nod was too subtle a gesture whereas pointing is pretty clear (e.g. "you go that way").

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