While a great deal of Star Wars fans only follow the movies and TV shows, the expanded universe has massively stretched out the scale and scope of the franchise for those that want to become more invested in the mythology through comic books, novels, video games and countless other forms of media.
As well as providing another lucrative revenue stream for one of the world’s most popular brands, it’s also given some minor supporting characters and fan favorites that didn’t get enough screentime the opportunity to headline their own adventures, as well as providing some connective tissue towards the long-running movie series.
Qui-Gon Jinn is one such name that’s found a second life in the expanded universe following the demise of Liam Neeson over two decades ago in The Phantom Menace, and now a new Star Wars novel has confirmed that the Jedi was the only person capable of thwarting Palpatine’s ascent to power. But be warned, it does involve taxation bills for those that decried the movie’s reliance on trade negotiations to power the story.
The novel, titled Queen’s Peril, sees Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan looking over the previously-mentioned taxation bills, and Qui-Gon quickly figures out that Palpatine is using it as a means to mount an invasion of Naboo in an effort to leverage political power, which ties directly into the reason the two Jedi were sent to Naboo in The Phantom Menace.
Not only was he one of the wisest members of the Order, but it seems that his keen interest in mundane paperwork also allowed him to figure out Palptatine’s motives long before the rest of the galaxy caught on. So not only did the fate of Anakin Skywalker’s future rest on the battle between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Maul, but also the entire narrative of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.
If Qui-Gon had survived, he would have been armed with the knowledge and capabilities to stop Palpatine seizing control of the Senate and the rise of the Empire, and as a result of his death, it took the Jedi a whole lot longer to figure out the villain’s true motives.