Err...I was reading on your headcanons (I don’t have a request, just a question), and I just wanted to know—how do you, personally, feel about Qui-Gon Jinn? And do you think he was a decent master to Obi-Wan and that the former is too self-deprecating to notice? Or was it that Qui-Gon actually, with his unorthodox methods of teaching, molded Obi-Wan into his “I can’t take praise because I don’t deserve any of it” mentality?
OH BOY HERE COMES THE CAN OF WORMS, OPENED, FOR OUR (AND ANAKIN’S) DELIGHT.
I have…a lot of conflicting feelings about Qui-gon Jinn.
I think Qui-gon (if we accept the events of the Jedi ApprenticeI series as canon) had a ton of underlying issues surrounding the whole Xanatos betrayal thing^^. And because of that, the events of Jedi Apprentice unfolded as they did - Qui-gon’s extreme reluctance to take another student, his distance towards Obi-wan, the infamous Melida/Daan incident, the time he went rogue after Tahl’s death - etc, etc. Obi-wan’s apprenticeship was likely difficult, and their rocky relationship probably did not help Obi-wan’s latent personality traits. But I wouldn’t pin it all on Qui-gon alone, as much as he really needed to be taken to task by someone for his…distracted single-mindedness around his Padawan in certain situations. (And I don’t think this happened over the course of their entire relationship, but it did seem to surface at rather important junctures, *coughcoughAnakincoughcough*
I do think that relationship may have been the basis for some of the more extremes of Obi-wan’s self-effacing behavior, but let us remember that this *was* the child who offered to blow himself up to save Qui-gon and a whole host of others in the Jedi Apprentice series quite early on, before he and Qui-gon and truly established any kind of real relationship. So there’s a bit of a nature-nurture tug of war going on there. What would have been interesting to see would be what happened if Obi-wan had had a somewhat less strained apprenticeship with someone who was fully confident in their abilities and their choice in Padawan (*DookuHadHeNotLeftTheOrdercoughcoughcough* terrible cold going around these days ;)
Qui-gon, in many ways, was good for Obi-wan. Let it not be said that Obi-wan is without a rebellious, independent streak, as much as he tried to cover it up, and that served him well later on, even as he (in some ways) hung on to the Code and the Council (perhaps as a way of establishing himself apart from Qui-gon’s legacy). And certainly the young man had a solid foundation in Force use and lightsaber combat, given the fact that he was able to defeat (mostly) Darth Maul even before he was Knighted. While talented, someone certainly had to nurture that talent.
But yeah, Qui-gon did some damage, which is why, to my mind, Obi-wan is both a great dark side candidate and amazing in canon for the fact that he was just able to eventually…let go - of everything - the way he did. He has every excuse to be bitter and resentful and…just everything but he doesn’t (in canon). It’s one of the reasons I adore his character.
Of course, you can see the defensiveness creep up on him now and again, like on Mortis when Obi-wan proclaims that he “trained Anakin as best he could.” (Thanks a lot, Jinn.) Of course, Obi-wan didn’t think he would do well enough, obligated by his Master’s dying wish in that manner. My god.
That being said, Obi-wan’s humbleness was not always a bad thing. He certainly knew, to some degree, the nature of his abilities, even as he snarked and twirled his lightsaber in combat. (Defense mechanism? Maybe, but not without having a solid confidence that he knew what he was doing.) And in this, he was truly the embodiment of the best ideals of the Jedi, as described in one of my favorite passages ever from Matthew Stover’s wonderful, angst-inducing novelization of RoTS:
“This is Obi-Wan Kenobi: A phenomenal pilot who doesn’t like to fly. A devastating warrior who’d rather not fight. A negotiator without peer who frankly prefers to sit alone in a quiet cave and meditate. Jedi Master. General in the Grand Army of the Republic. Member of the Jedi Council. He is respected throughout the Jedi Order for his insight as well as his warrior skill. He has become the hero of the next generation of Padawans; he is the Jedi their Masters hold up as a model. He is the being that the Council assigns to their most important missions. He is modest, centered, and always kind. He is the ultimate Jedi. It is characteristic of Obi-Wan that he is entirely unaware of this.”
I’m not sure if that is the answer you’re looking for. tl;dr my response to your two questions would be “yes” because Obi-wan is both.
(^^and as an amusing side note to this, according to Legends Wikipedia, one of Dooku’s last words to Qui-gon was to warn him about betrayal - “Dooku proposed that Jinn had one weakness and that it was; his compassion for all life. Dooku warned him that it is an inevitability that betrayal would come from a friend.” One might consider that after Xanatos, perhaps Qui-gon was trying to emulate his own Master’s less-salient characteristics in some weird way? Something interesting to chew on with Anakin’s can of worms up there.)