Kenobi Ridiculously Turns 1 Qui-Gon Jinn Line Into A Joke

Often reminiscent of the Star Wars prequels, Obi-Wan Kenobi references a memorable line made by Qui-Gon Jinn by twisting it, oddly enough, into a joke.

Warning: contains SPOILERS for episode 1 of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

A memorable quote from Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) is remembered in a Obi Wan Kenobi joke, which seems weird considering the weight of the line Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Qui-Gon Jinn was pragmatic and mission-oriented, knowing where his resources and abilities realistically stretched when helping others, even if it caused him pain. While landing on Tatooine to repair his ship, he encountered a young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), who eventually asked Qui-Gon if he was safe. Star Wars’ Tatooine to free the slaves. Qui-Gon explained he wasn’t, but the admission clearly affected him. Still, Qui-Gon later reaffirmed this to Anakin’s mother, Shmi (Pernilla August), explicitly stating, “I did not come here to free slaves.”

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In Obi Wan Kenobi’In Episode 1, the Organas throw a party with their extended family. Leia’s (Vivien Lyra Blair) parents have a conversation with her uncle, Duke Kayo Organa (Gabe Fonesca), about the benefits and consequences of the Galactic Empire. Leia’s father, Bail (Jimmy Smits), remarks that “There are still issues that we need to address. Slave labor, taxation on the Outer Rim…” Kayo, meanwhile, laughs at this, saying dismissively, “I didn’t come here to end slavery, Bail. I came to eat your food. Save the bleeding heart for the Senate.”

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast Guide: Every New & Returning Star Wars Character


The answer straddles the line between being a callback and blatant fanservice (although it’s not the worst example of star wars fan service in relation to Chewbacca’s medal). While Kayo’s comment expresses how indifferent he is to the issues raised by Bail rejecting him, explicitly referring to slavery as he does is an obvious reference to the Qui-Gon Jinn quote. Reminders, Easter eggs, and even a little fan service in Obi Wan Kenobi aren’t the problem, because it’s expected and even entertaining if done right. However, referring to Obi Wan Kenobi an offhand joke seems tacky given the weight of Qui-Gon’s quote in Phantom threat.



Yet Kayo’s rejection of slavery, while corny, serves to vividly illustrate the difference between the noble Qui-Gon Jinn and the Empire’s spoiled rulers like Kayo. Part of what made Qui-Gon’s slavery quote memorable was the insight it provided into his character and mission. Qui-Gon Jinn’s desire to free Tatooine’s slaves was understandable, as such a mission aligns with the Jedi code to maintain peace and harmony in the galaxy. What stopped him from doing so was his priority of bringing Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) to Coruscant, among other factors like the influence of the Living Force and the rather difficult nature of just freeing Anakin. But it was clear by Qui-Gon’s delivery of the line that he would have freed Tatooine’s slaves if only he could.


Despite the shaky execution of this one phantom menace reminder quote, Obi Wan Kenobi overall manages to integrate its star wars references wisely. Hayden Christensen’s appearance of Vader in Obi Wan Kenobi at the end of Episode 2, for example, serves to both boost viewers’ anticipation and reinforce Vader’s importance to the series. Other well done star wars references include Kenobi’s The opening scene of Order 66 and Obi-Wan’s nightmare consisting of flashbacks from the prequels. Obi Wan Kenobi effectively manages to tell a compelling story star wars story that brings new insights into familiar characters, and its upcoming installments show promise.


Next: An Image Of Obi-Wan Kenobi Sets Up A Qui-Gon Jinn Cameo Perfectly

Obi Wan Kenobi continues Wednesday on Disney+.

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