In TPM, Obi-Wan is a 25-year old Padawan who according to Qui-Gon is not yet ready to take the Trials.

Of course, Qui-Gon changes his tune when he finds Anakin and wants to take the Chosen One on as Padawan instead, but since finding and training the Chosen One was quite clearly a huge deal to Qui-Gon, we can assume that his earlier assessment of Obi-Wan was what he really believed about Obi-Wan's readiness.

However, Obi-Wan in TPM certainly seems quite competent. He may not have been really ready to take on a Padawan of his own at that point, but he certainly seemed to have been powerful enough to defeat a Sith, and had plenty of emotional stability and staunch belief in the Force and Jedi Code etc etc.

As such, is there any info in the secondary sources (movie novelizations, Word of Lucas, old scripts etc) about why Qui-Gon considered him still not ready?

  • I do not have any written evidence to back me up since im at work,but as far as I remember,Qui-Gon himself always operated close to the dark side and Obi-Wan adopted his way when he was a padawan,eventually leading to Kenobi being kicked out of the order and (besides being rehabilitated later) destroying all trust between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon,so it could be the aftermath of previous events.
    – teair
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:35
  • 2
    @gruntswilldie - no, not nearly that. Qui-Gon only once got close to the dark side (after Tahl was killed). The rest of the time (as covered in my answer here) he was operating fully on the light side, merely not toeing the Council's line, but always respecting their opinion. Also, OB1 wasn't kicked out, he rage-quit. Sep 26, 2014 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


Becoming a Knight isn't about power, but about learning enough and being ready.

  1. Obi-Wan still had ... "much to learn, my young apprentice." according to Qui-Gon Jinn during the Naboo mission.

    While he was clearly proficient in many skills, he lacked some that Qui-Gon considered essential:

    QUI-GON : Don't center on your anxiety, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.
    OBI-WAN : Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future...
    QUI-GON : .....but not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan.

  2. That was not only Qui-Gon's opinion, but that of Master Yoda as well, as we see in the Jedi Council scene when they discuss training Anakin and ditching Obi-Wan as Padawan:

    YODA (to Obi-Wan): Ready so early, are you? What know you of ready?

    ANAKIN watches as QUI-GON and OBI-WAN exchange angry looks.

    QUI-GON : Headstrong....and he has much to learn about the living Force, but he is capable. There is little more he will learn from me.
    YODA : Our own council we will keep on who is ready. More to learn, he has...

  3. As another factor, Obi-Wan had a difficult personality, had troubled past with Jedi Order (no Knight wanted to pick him for Padawan and he ended up being shipped to AgroCorps; and in an unprecedented move, he abandoned the Order and his Master for a time after a woman he loved was killed). Qui-Gon likely felt that Obi-Wan needed further mentorship because of that, although there's no direct canon support for this.

  • It's also pretty clear that they get on well and work well together. Although Obi-Wan is ultimately quite keen to take the trials, it's clear that there's no major pressure to do so.
    – Valorum
    Aug 14, 2014 at 5:56
  • @Richard - "they get on well" isn't quite always the case Aug 14, 2014 at 5:57
  • There's certainly a friendship element to their relationship. Although qui-gon does make the odd jibe about him being young, they're very nearly equals in skill and ability.
    – Valorum
    Aug 14, 2014 at 5:58
  • in the clone Wars cartoons there is another woman that Obi had "past romance" with. Mandalore queen or some such. dont remember anymore so apparently Obi was quite a player in his youth.
    – Cherubel
    Sep 26, 2014 at 12:13

I don't have references to the secondary sources, but what I believe is that for Obi-Wan to defeat Darth Maul, instead of being calm as is expected of the Jedi he gave in, momentarily, to his anger at the death of Qui-Gon. Anger is frowned upon by the Jedi, so perhaps Qui-Gon sensed this previously in Obi-Wan.

Also we hear in Episode V that Yoda trained Obi-Wan at some stage, this could possibly have been after TPM for a while. When Yoda says Luke has no patience and Obi-Wan answers "Was I any different when you taught me?" we are told Obi-Wan was impatient too.

So perhaps those are two reasons that Qui-Gon could have had for feeling Obi-Wan is not ready.

  • 1
    Sorry, but what you describe is not correct. While giving in to anger is frowned up with the jedi, anger itself isn't. Actually the books officially state, that Mace Windu fights using the power of anger by channeling it. It's explicitly declared a dangerous technique, but not forbidden.
    – Vogel612
    Aug 13, 2014 at 14:57
  • @Vogel612 Mace Windu's Vapaad was a rather exceptional situation. I don't see anything incorrect about this answer, other then it being pure speculation.
    – jliv902
    Aug 13, 2014 at 18:21

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