Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Qui-Gon contemplates the role of the Jedi and the Force and experiences a clear vision that guides him to the answers he seeks in Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1.

This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1.

Qui-Gon Jinn #1 Cover

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1

Writer: Jody Houser | Penciler: Cory Smith | Inker: Walden Wong | Colorist: Java Tartaglia | Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Editor: Mark Paniccia | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman

Star Wars: Age of Republic Qui-Gon Jinn #1 begins in a familiar place for Qui-Gon. He finds himself on the planet Bri’n attempting a negotiation between the Priestess of Wood and the Metal Clan. As with the negotiations in The Phantom Menace, the negotiations fail, but at least these negotiations actually began. Forced into a retreat, Qui-Gon takes an unwilling Priestess of Wood back to Coruscant to rethink strategy. While on Coruscant, Qui-Gon finds time to meditate in the Force and debate the way of things with Yoda. Qui-Gon Jinn #1 is an interesting study on the role of the Jedi in society and in relation to the Force.

The Role of the Jedi

Shortly after Qui-Gon’s returning to Coruscant, Yoda seeks him out. The diminutive Jedi Master senses turmoil in Qui-Gon. This is confirmed in their brief conversation. Qui-Gon admits that things said by the Priestess of Wood trouble him. He can live with the label of “coward,” but the title of “great warrior” is troubling. It misrepresents the Jedi. Furthermore, the Jedi seemingly lost their way while serving the Republic on Coruscant. He feels their actions reflect what has become their purpose: soldiers, servants of politicians, and unmindful of the Force.

Qui-Gon is very observant here. The Jedi are defenders of peace. They are also servants of the Force. Yet, somewhere along the way, service to the Republic in their name displaced them. This is a key issue and theme of both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. One can only wonder how things might have gone differently had Qui-Gon been around to advise the Jedi Council in such matters. Even Count Dooku sensed that Qui-Gon was right.

Qui-Gonn Jinn #1 - Qui-Gon and the Priestess of Wood

The Will of the Living Force

If there is one thing Yoda and Qui-Gon agree on in Qui-Gon Jinn #1, then it is that answers are sought through the Force. To that end, Qui-Gon takes a voyage to an unnamed an apparently unimportant planet. He let the Force guide him there. Once there, he discovers that this seemingly beautiful world suffers from dark side corruption. He then meditates.

His meditation provides an astute vision. Creatures, seemingly from the dark side of the Force, arise and attack him. As Qui-Gon joins the fight and defeats them. These creatures are then revealed as his fellow Jedi. In addition, Qui-Gon becomes one of the very beings he was fighting. It is a cautionary tale against unchecked violence. Without balance, the Jedi risk becoming the very thing they fight against.

Later, he and Yoda discuss what Qui-Gon learned. They agree on the importance of questioning what they know. However, there is still a gap between them about interpreting the dark side. Yoda is unwilling to bend in that regard. He misunderstands Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon believes in balance. There must be a check. Otherwise, one is doomed to consumption by the dark side.

Qui-Gon Jinn #1 - Yoda and Qui-Gon

Concluding Thoughts on Qui-Gon Jinn #1

Qui-Gon Jinn #1 does many things very well. For one, it provided a Force vision that is open to interpretation. While covered with a blanket of symbolism, this is a vision the reader can translate. Too often, Force visions in Star Wars lose their symbolic value to mysticism. Jody Houser did well in creating a vision that is understandable, relatable, and enlightening.

Qui-Gon Jinn #1 also turns convention on its head. First, there is the Priestess of the Wood. Her name, appearance, and concerns suggest a lover of nature. Naturally, most readers equate love of nature to pacifism. That isn’t the case here. The Priestess eagerly argued for Qui-Gon to kill every member of the Metal Clan. Of course, that isn’t the Jedi way. Speaking of the Jedi way, next is Yoda. Traditionally, Yoda is the fountain of Jedi wisdom. Yet, in Qui-Gon #1, Qui-Gon seems the superior in this manner. Still, Yoda is open to polite debate and discussion.

Despite its unconventional nature, Qui-Gon #1 has some wonderful callbacks. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s mission to Bri’n is an echo of their eventual mission to Naboo. Negotiations fail, and therefore, Qui-Gon retreats. His instinct takes him to Coruscant.  Once there, they look for allies among the Republic’s politicians. Perhaps the Jedi have a playbook for this type of thing, or maybe Qui-Gon is just that good a politician and negotiator in his own right (Obi-Wan had to learn it somewhere, right?). Regardless, it was a well written portion of this issue.

Qui-Gon Jinn #1’s story is a pleasure to read and it’s art is wonderful to behold. This is the first of the Age of the Republic comics Marvel is releasing. If the quality of this issue is any indication, readers are in for a treat.

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