Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Qui-Gon Checks For “Infections”

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What? Isn’t this an insignificant little scene where OMG, they bring up midichlorians???

Yeah, that’s right. And it’s really a terrific scene.

Anakin, being the excitable young boy he was in TPM, is up past his bedtime (though it did make me wonder just what Shmi was going to do if he didn’t listen to her; she didn’t seem like the corporal punishment sort). He’s talking to his new Jedi friend Qui-Gon outside of his hovel under a sky full of stars. What’s great about this scene is that it’s Anakin dreaming big dreams, full of exuberance and innocence. He looks up in wonder at the stars above him and declares that one day when he grows up, he’s going to visit all of them. An impossibility but Anakin ends up seeing quite a great deal of the galaxy, for better or worse. Most of us know that, which is what makes this scene poignant. Darth Vader, the second worst guy in the galaxy, was once this lad who really wasn’t all of that different from any other kid we might know. Or his son Luke for that matter. Jake Lloyd’s naturalistic way of handling the scene made that much more resonant.

Qui-Gon’s interaction with Anakin is interesting. It’s clear he already has an affection for the boy and Anakin seems to have found the father figure lacking in his life. Yet Qui-Gon being Qui-Gon can’t reveal what he suspects, so he has to tell a little white lie in order to test the blood from a cut on Anakin’s arm. We tend to think of the Jedi as good guys but as the OT showed, they are more than capable of deception when it’s for “the greater good.”

This scene also reveals that Anakin’s midichlorian count is way off the charts, even higher than Yoda’s. To me, this scene justifies the midichlorians, because otherwise, what’s so special about Anakin other than he’s a nice kid? Or about Luke or Leia for that matter, who presumably also have crazy-high midichlorian mojo?

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6 Responses to “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Qui-Gon Checks For “Infections””

  1. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I almost cried remembering this scene. It was a wonderful acting moment for both Liam Neeson and Jake Lloyd.

    Although Shmi wasn’t into corporal punishment, I noticed she could be quite firm.

  2. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    To me, 99% of Phantom is “Great Scenes of the Prequels”, and this is not an exception.

    • peacetrainjedi Says:

      Lol, this is so true! Pick just about any scene, really… 🙂 This particular blood testing scene is great on so many levels: acting, quotable lines, atmosphere, and world-building.

  3. Keith Palmer Says:

    There are certainly times I can imagine Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s reaction just after this scene doesn’t have to mean just “more midichlorians equals more power,” the way certain people who obsess over the thought of the Force being reduced to “midichlorian count” seem to think. There do seem to be undertones of a simple “what does this mean? What’s his real significance?” question, rather than “we’ve got a powerful keeper here!”

  4. Bob Clark Says:

    Qui-Gon’s moment with Obi-Wan here always reminded me chiefly of Dragon Ball Z, all those bits where Vegeta would look at somebody’s power level and scream about it. That and the scene in “Akira” where the Colonel and the head scientist look at Tetsuo’s power level. It’s a very anime thing, midichlorians.

  5. lovelucas Says:

    This scene should have calmed all those midichlorian critics. It’s a measurement to determine degree of Force sensitivity. Why, why are those haters using them as another reason to crucify George?

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