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I've given this a lot of thought, and I've decided this makes no sense. (Qui-Gon and Anakin's ghosts.)

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OK, I'm sure everyone has a theory on why Qui-Gon did not disappear after his death in TPM. Unfortunately, the only explanation I can come up with is that Lucas screwed up and couldn't come up with a logical explanation to fix it.

I have several problems with this. First of all, Qui-Gon apparently came back as a Force ghost to train Yoda and Obi-Wan on how to perform the same "trick." Well, problem #1 is Qui-Gon never disappeared - so how the heck did he become a Force ghost in the first place? Problem #2 is that if a ghost can provide Jedi training, why did Luke have to go to Dagobah when he could have just completed his training with Obi-Wan?

So this leads to problem #3. No, not why is Anakin's ghost at the end of ROTJ now a smirking kid. (I've given up trying to figure that out.) Why is Anakin appearing as a ghost at all? He didn't learn this trick from Qui-Gon. In fact, he acted kind of surprised after he killed Obi-Wan, so he obviously had no knowledge that Jedis could disappear like this.

Can anyone provide a reasonable explanation that somehow saves the greatest moment in ROTJ from now becoming a great big head-scratching moment?
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Originally posted by: rennervision
Can anyone provide a reasonable explanation that somehow saves the greatest moment in ROTJ from now becoming a great big head-scratching moment?

Yes. The PT bollocksed it up. It's got naff all to do with Qui-Gon Jinn and it makes no sense at all to say that Qui-Gon can only be heard, not seen (which I'm sure has been said at some point) and then him training others to do it. Buggers it up completely.

Renounce the PT, rennervision, for it is surely guff.
Don't you call me a mindless philosopher...!
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There is an "official" explanation, but I refuse to repeat it. Just make something up for yourself, it'll probably make more sense.
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When I first saw TPM, my original thought was that Qui-Gon didn't disappear because he was secretly a Sith Lord. Then when Obi-Wan found the clone army in AOTC, I thought it was going to be revealed that Qui-Gon was the one who actually placed the order. (It could've been a cool way for Lucas to save himself after forgetting to turn Qui-Gon into a Force ghost.) But instead, they mentioned some Jedi no one ever heard of before (Sifo-Dyas) and no one has ever mentioned again since. (Another great unexplained mystery from the PT in my opinion.)
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I'm suprised most of you even took the time to respond to this thread at all.

Qui-Gon Jinn stumbled on the way to retain his identity after death. He did this through his use of compassion. Being able to let go of all sense of personal self, he was able to retain his consciousness after death (when he was killed by Darth Maul).

While on the "other side" so to speak, he met up with a "Shaman of the Whills" who taught him a second technique that allows one to become one with the Force at will, something Qui-Gon hadn't learned before his death. He teaches both of these techniques to Yoda and Obi-Wan, who both do not die in the traditional sense. Obi-Wan was gone before Vader's blade touched him, and while Yoda was on his death bed, he chose to give himself to the Force before he actually died. That's why both of them disappear and why Qui-Gon does not.

According to Lucas Anakin -does- disappear, but it is not shown in the film. He says he did that to build suspense for wether or not he would be able to retain his identity, so that when he does appear a ghost it's more of an emotional release.

His final act of sacraficing himself to finally do away with the Sith for the sake of the rest of the galaxy, he was able to retain his identity. While Anakin never learned how to give himself to the Force, Lucas says that Yoda and Obi-Wan helped do that for him at the last moment.

Here is a cut scene from ROTS that gets into all of this a bit.
QUI -GON: (V.O.) Patience. You will have time. I did not. When I became one with the Force I made a great discovery. With my training, you will be able to merge with the Force at will. Your physical self will fade away, but you will still retain your consciousness. You will become more powerful than any Sith.

YODA: Eternal consciousness.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) The ability to defy oblivion can be achieved, but only for oneself. It was accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. It is a state acquired through compassion, not greed.

YODA: . . . to become one with the Force, and influence still have . . . A power greater than all, it is.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) You will learn to let go of everything. No attachment, no thought of self. No physical self.

YODA: A great Jedi Master, you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. Your apprentice I gratefully become.

YODA thinks about this for a minute, then BAIL ORGANA enters the room and breaks his meditation.

BAIL ORGANA: Excuse me, Master Yoda. Obi-Wan Kenobi has made contact.
I wouldn't be surprised if this scene is put back in to a future release. Perhaps the timing didn't work out for Liam to record the lines for the theatrical release. Although I have heard accounts that they tried the scene with a placeholder voiceover and decided it just wasn't needed.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Yes, you have proven that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to you.
Your focus determines your reality.
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It doesn't make much sense to you either. You just think it does...
Don't you call me a mindless philosopher...!
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If you think about it the only ghosts that should be seen at the end of ROTJ are Yoda and OB1. Anakin didn't know how to become one with the force (unless lucas has some half assed explanation in his upcoming CG clones series) and Qui Gon didn't even know Luke.
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Of course Anakin knows how to become one with the Force. He was conceived by the Force. He's the friggin' ONE. If the ONE wouldn't know how to become one with the Force, I don't see how someone else could.

Or maybe he quieted his mind before he died and some midichlorians told him. I'm sure it's something like that.

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I think it's safe to say that if I ever get around to creating my own fan edit of TPM, I'm going to eliminate that funeral pyre scene. Problem solved. Unfortunately, if I do that I'll be deleting the only quotable line from the whole movie - the one about how the Sith has a master and an apprentice. No more, no less.
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I just explained that the official explanation on that was Obi-Wan and Yoda helped Anakin become one with the Force.

And yes, I do think that this does make sense to me.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Ummm... yeah. And I'm going to have to side with THX. The best word I can come up with for the official explanation is "convoluted."
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It is one of the biggest life mysteries portrayed in the saga, maybe it's supposed to be complicated and thought provoking.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Your explanation kind of falls in line with what the comic of ROTS did. In the comic, Yoda tells Obi-Wan that they can learn the trick, but that only a Jedi can learn it. A Sith can never learn it. Upon reading that and then seeing the movie, I was just a little more pissed since there's no way Anakin could have ever learned it. Now I suppose if we take your explanation Gomer, then yeah, OB and Yoda could've taught Anakin at the last minute. Or we could all just accept the real truth:


George screwed up and came up with these other things to explain it. There's nothing complicated or thought provoking about it. It was, quite simply, a screw up.
F Scale score - 3.3333333333333335

You are disciplined but tolerant; a true American.

Pissing off Rob since August 2007.
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I realize he was fleshing a lot of this out as he went, but I think in the end it makes better sense that one would expect given that fact.

I don't think that Yoda and Obi-Wan taught Anakin how to retain his identity, he did that on his own when he gave his life to save his son and for the greater good of all beings in the galaxy.

I think the intention is that Yoda and Obi-Wan were able to help Anakin become one with the Force before he actually expired. He loses consciousness in front of Luke, but off camera, before he actually dies, Obi-Wan and Anakin assist him in becoming one with the Force.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
I realize he was fleshing a lot of this out as he went, but I think in the end it makes better sense that one would expect given that fact.

Given that he had over fifteen years to "flesh it out," it should've made perfect sense.

I don't think that Yoda and Obi-Wan taught Anakin how to retain his identity, he did that on his own when he gave his life to save his son and for the greater good of all beings in the galaxy.


Per RotS, the maintenance of identity is supposed to be a skill, a technique -- not something that is intuitively acquired solely by the good nature of your actions. If giving your life for the greater good of all beings in the galaxy* is enough to make one a ghost, then we should've seen a spectral Jek Porkins flying at Hoth and Endor.

I think the intention is that Yoda and Obi-Wan were able to help Anakin become one with the Force before he actually expired. He loses consciousness in front of Luke, but off camera, before he actually dies, Obi-Wan and Anakin assist him in becoming one with the Force.


Maybe he swoons in front of Luke, then wakes up in the shuttle and tells Luke the secret of a perfect chilled blue milk. But before he can tell Luke what aerosolized blue milk will do to Yuuzhan Vong, Yoda and Obi-wan show up and insist on giving Anakin a two-hour lecture, followed by an hour of practical work. This lecture is so interesting, both Anakin and Luke forget that the former is slowly dying. Anakin eventually drowns from the fluid collecting in his lungs, a painful and frightening death -- and the final revenge of the Jedi.

Or maybe he just became a ghost because that's what dead Jedi do, regardless of derivative products like the PT. (No matter their provenance, the PT is ultimately derivative of the OT.)

* NB: Vader gave his life for his son, not for all beings in the galaxy -- who he had been burning through at a prodigious rate for 20 years.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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This is my answer to that question.

All Jedi can turn into force ghosts. All of them.

However, your body only disapears if you are in a state of total peace/acceptance when you die.

Case in points:

Qui-Gon - Just stabbed in the chest, holding on for dear life telling obi-wan to train the kid. Body remains.

Obi-Wan - Takes a stance and lets the lightsaber hit him, killing him instantly. Body disapears.

Various Jedi in battles - They were either killed from behind, murdered, or killed in the arena. Not a lot of time for death preperations. Bodies remain.

Yoda - Died peacefully in his bed. He knew it was his time. He knew "night must fall." Body disapears.

Vader - We don't actually see him disapear, but we don't see him in the suit either. Take it as you will. He may not have been dead while in the hanger bay, but only lost consiousness. He could have disapeared peacefully in the shuttle leaving only his suit. Or not. Your choice.

Makes sense to me. Fuck you Lucas.
"I am altering the movies. Pray I don't alter them any further." -Darth Lucas
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Becoming one with the Force is described as a technique, retaining one's identity after death is described as being acheived through compassion.

I think this is very similar to the concept of wether or not you go to heaven or hell. If you are truly good, and acheive a state of high enough compassion, you are able to live on in the afterlife.

Part of the point of redeeming Anakin in the first place is to show that it's never too late to obtain that level of compassion.

To me this makes plenty of sense, and I'm sure Lucas intended people to come to their own conclusions as well, which would explain why he didn't spell it all out in the finished films.

So he would applaud your attempt to come to your own conclusions, and wouldn't tell you to fuck off.

To him questioning the great mystery is more important than finding an answer.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Qui-Gon did originally disappear, but the scene was cut down in editing.


EXT. THEED - CENTRAL PLAZA - FUNERAL TEMPLE STEPS - SUNSET

QUI-GON's body goes up in flames as the JEDI COUNCIL, the
QUEEN, SIO BIBBLE, Capt. Panaka, the HANDMAIDENS, and ABOUT
ONE HUNDRED NABOO TROOPES, TWENTY OTHER JEDI, PALPATINE, OBI-
WAN (standing with ANAKIN), JAR JAR, BOSS NASS, and TWENTY
OTHER GUNGAN WARRIORS watch. There is a drum roll that stops.
Doves are released, and the body is gone. ANAKIN looks to
OBI-WAN.

OBI-WAN
He is one with the Force, Anakin...You
must let go.

ANAKIN
What will happen to me now?

OBI-WAN
I am your Master now. You will become
a Jedi, I promise.

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This thread is a bit odd. Hmm, I always was under the impression that Ben did something special since he felt it was important to tell Vader that he would gain more power after death. Then, when he disappeared, Vader investigated to ensure that it wasn't a trick. This implies that it wasn't meant to be a common technique among Jedi. Seriously, Darth Vader had to have killed many Jedi up until that point. That's all according to the original movie though, and not the stuff that George Lucas threw around after that.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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Disappearing doesn't necessarily imply that one will return as a ghost. In the films, we've got at least one dead Jedi who doesn't disappear but does have some ghostly powers, and one dead darksider who blows up but doesn't have any ghostly powers. (He gets them in the EU, though.) Vader was probably familiar with the idea of Jedi disappearing at the moment of death; even if none of the Coruscanti Jedi did, he had probably seen other proscripted Force users die in such a manner, or read about it in his studies.

Even if Vader was aware that disappeared Jedi always reappeared as ghosts, he probably wouldn't have understood the "more powerful than you can possibly imagine" line. Ghosts aren't inherently powerful. What made ghost Obi-Wan powerful was the fact that he had bonded with Luke, a potential Jedi and the Son of the Suns. Had Vader known that Obi-wan's ghost would be coaching Luke at Yavin and giving him directions to Yoda's planet, he probably would've taken him alive.

Obi-wan's power was not inherent in his disappearance or his reappearance, but in who he knew and what he could maneuver that person to do.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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The way Lucas fleshed it out, it really had nothing to do with wether or not they knew Luke.

Qui-Gon didn't choose to become one with the force, he was killed by Maul, while Obi-Wan, Yoda and apparantly Anakin all disappeared and became one with the Force before they actually perished, that's why they could come back as apparitions, while Qui-Gon could only come back as a disembodied voice.

Before the prequels, I subscribed to the idea that it was only Luke who could see them through the Force.
Your focus determines your reality.