Who is the most powerful clairvoyant in all of Star Wars? Palpatine liked to brag about how much he had "foreseen," Luke made some questionable decisions based on future Force visions, and Anakin Skywalker's entire downfall is caused by a self-fulfilling glimpse into his own destiny. When you consider how often and how many characters in Star Wars had visions of the future, you gotta wonder: Were there other characters who saw the future, but just weren't as chatty about it?
Since the release of The Rise of Skywalker, we've all been trying to make sense of how the Force got balanced and whether Anakin truly was "the Chosen One." But what if we're leaving one very important player out of this? Maybe Qui-Gon Jinn was right: Anakin was "the Chosen One." But, what if Qui-Gon also knew that meant Anakin would turn to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader? In other words, what if Qui-Gon saw the whole future?
The notion that certain statements in the Star Wars prequels can be slightly retconned through a different perspective is not my idea. In The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine saying "the Dark Side of the Force is a pathway into many abilities some consider to be unnatural" takes on a different meaning, and makes us wonder if the Palps of the prequels was perhaps a clone of some distant original Palps.
E.K. Johnston's recently published Star Wars novel Queen's Shadow flips the script on what you thought you knew about Padmé Amidala's handmaidens and advisors. When Sio Bibble says "You must contact me!" he actually is speaking in code and is telling Amidala not to contact him, because they are planning on retaking the city. Also, most of Padmé's handmaidens were also, constantly speaking in code, too, especially when Padmé herself is disguised as a handmaiden and giving orders. "We're brave, your highness," wasn't just some random thing. Everything the handmaidens and Padmé said to each other in The Phantom Menace has another hidden meaning.
So, what does that have to do with Qui-Gon? Queen's Shadow is a good example of how prequel canon can be subtly changed without changing a word. The same could be true for the most pivotal Jedi in the Skywalker saga. Without Qui-Gon taking Anakin off of Tatooine, the rest of the story doesn't happen. And it's not like Qui-Gon does this randomly. He is determined, pretty early on, that Anakin is the real deal.
Question your Qui-Gon assumptions
The Phantom Menace and the rest of the Skywalker saga never reveals exactly what Qui-Gon believed would happen. We've all guessed the same thing: Qui-Gon expected Anakin to grow into a great person and bring balance to the Force by being nice and fair to everyone. But there's not actually any evidence that Qui-Gon believed that Anakin was a great person, he simply believed Anakin was "The Chosen One." He also described Anakin as a "vergence" in the Force, suggesting that Qui-Gon's interest in Anakin was 100 percent connected to the idea that Anakin was a blend of light and dark. This makes Qui-Gon's interest in Anakin pretty similar to the way Palpatine sought out apprentices: In theory, both Palps and Qui-Gon know you can't balance the Force with someone who is all good or all evil.
We also know from on-screen evidence that Qui-Gon was in the habit of defying the wishes of the Jedi Council and questioning contemporary Jedi dogma. Obviously, Qui-Gon was deeply invested in being a Jedi, but his definition of what that meant was a little more loosey-goosey than the rigidity we saw from the rest of the prequel-era Jedi. Obi-Wan might be a hothead in his youth, but next to Qui-Gon, he's downright stoic. The point is, Qui-Gon might have believed or guessed that the notion of "the Chosen One" would come with some Dark Side baggage.
Qui-Gon is the key to Force ghost knowledge
In the timeframe of the Skywalker saga, Qui-Gon is the Jedi who introduces (or reintroduces) the power of becoming one with the Force, and still communicating with those who are "alive." In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda tells Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon has been teaching him how to become a Force ghost and that Yoda will teach this power to Obi-Wan.
In The Clone Wars Season 6 (episodes 11 through 13, "Voices," "Destiny," "Sacrifice,"), we actually see what Yoda goes through to obtain this power. Retroactively, this seems to heavily imply that Yoda — thanks to Qui-Gon — realized that the Republic would probably fall, and things would get much worse before they got better. Yoda didn't specifically know how this would go down, or to what degree Anakin would cause it to happen, but he was playing a much longer game by Revenge of the Sith, and that's at least, in part, explained by Yoda's Force connection with Qui-Gon's spirit.
How much did Qui-Gon know?
The final season of The Clone Wars reveals that freaking Darth Maul was aware that Anakin Skywalker would directly lead to the downfall fo the Jedi and the destruction of the Republic. Maul wasn't aware of these things because Palpatine slipped him a note, he, like other Force-users, saw into the future. Similarly, in The Rise of Skywalker, we learned that Leia ended her Jedi training because she saw a future in which her son became evil. So, to restate, everyone has visions of the future, why do we think Qui-Gon didn't?
Even if Qui-Gon didn't know that Anakin would go goth, start dressing in all black, and flirt by using lines about how much he hates sand, he must have known something about Anakin's fate. Everything we learned about Qui-Gon taught us he was too good of a Jedi to have not possessed these powers. The specifics of Anakin's dark fate were probably obscure to him, but from the moment Qui-Gon found Anakin, he was very clearly convinced Anakin was "the Chosen One." But, in Qui-Gon's book, that didn't mean Anakin was only a savior, but a destroyer, too.