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In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon is looking for a way to obtain the parts to repair the queen's ship. He discovers that junkdealers have a weakness: Gambling on pod races. Then he states:

Qui-Gon Jinn: Greed can be a very powerful ally.

And he really do take advantage of it, instigating it on Watto several times...

Later, on Revenge of the Sith, Yoda is giving advice to Anakin, who is troubled by Force visions of his wife dying. Yoda then warns him:

Yoda: Careful you must be when sensing the future Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.
(...)
Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is.

So, greed, the same ally so well used by Master Qui-Gon, is also a quick path to the dark side.

Isn't it a counter-sense? Wasn't Qui-gon flirting with the dark side by doing so?

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    Qui-Gon is exploiting Watto's greed (i.e. using Watto's greed as his ally), which is not greed on Qui-Gon's part. Anakin's fear of loss is a shadow of his own greed. – Null Feb 6 '15 at 18:22
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This is explained in a little more detail in the official novelisation. Watto's greed is his key weakness. The fact that Qui-Gon encourages this greed is certainly on the naughty side (Yoda wouldn't approve) but it also proves necessary given Watto's natural defence against Jedi mind control.

Qui-Gon rose, walked to the window, and stared out through the thick, diffuse glass at the clouds of windblown sand. “Podracing,” he mused. “Greed can be a powerful ally, if it’s used properly.”

later

Anakin was so excited he barely heard what the other was saying. The Jedi Master knew it would be up to him to employ whatever mix of cunning and diplomacy was required to achieve their ends.

Greed was the operative word in dealing with Watto, of course, the key that would open any door the Toydarian kept locked.


In the later conversation between Yoda and Anakin, it's made clear that greed in Jedi is to be strenuously avoided because of the likelihood that it will lead to the Dark Side of the Force.

Since Watto isn't a Jedi (that we know of), he can be as greedy as he likes.

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    that we know of... good one! – LcSalazar Feb 6 '15 at 18:27
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    @LcSalazar - There is no idea so stupid, that some EU novel or comic hasn't considered it – Valorum Feb 6 '15 at 18:28
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    @Richard Hey now, Skippy is by far the greatest character ever. :( – CBredlow Feb 6 '15 at 18:31
  • I'm kind of disappointed Skippy doesn't belong to Jar-Jar – Dacio Feb 6 '15 at 19:48
  • +1 for calling it a weakness. Any weakness in your opponent is an ally to you, and any weakness is you is an enemy. – jpmc26 Mar 26 '15 at 1:55
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The reason for this discrepancy is that they weren't talking about the same thing. When Qui-Gon says "greed can be a very powerful ally," he is referring to the junkdealers' greed, specifically Watto's. Notice how he used Watto's greed against him. As you said yourself, his greed and propensity for gambling is a weakness.

Yoda's advice in Revenge of the Sith is cautioning Anakin against his own greed. And Yoda is right—it is Anakin's attachment to Padmé and fear of losing her that sends him to the dark side in the first place.

So, no, Qui-Gon was not "flirting with the dark side," because he wasn't the one being greedy.

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Greed, like every other emotion, can be a great ally or enemy. It depends upon the situation. Which is why being attuned to the Living Force is important.

And Yoda is right—it is Anakin's attachment to Padmé and fear of losing her that sends him to the dark side in the first place.

One could make the same argument for Yoda and the rest of the Jedi Order and Padme. The Jedi's attachment to the Order led the main Council members to make many mistakes that helped contributed to their own downfall.

  • I can't think of an instance where someone's own greed proved to be to their advantage. – Valorum Mar 14 '15 at 18:05
  • The greed of CEOs and bankers have provided benefit for them. – user18984 Mar 15 '15 at 9:57
  • User18984 - Just you wait until the revolution, Comrade. – Valorum Mar 15 '15 at 10:00

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