Why Does Obi-Wan Get All the Pain in TPM H/C Fic?
by Alias Solo
Obi-Wan Kenobi's had a rough life.
He's been poisoned by Xanatos and crushed by falling rocks. He's been mauled by wild beasts and assaulted by unknown microbes. He's been bonked on the head, blinded by glare, and burned all over by explosions. He's suffered unrequited love and low self-esteem. And that's just in stories I can think of off the top of my head.
Qui-Gon Jinn, on the other hand, has been doing awfully well for a fellow who's canonically dead. Oh, there's the odd case of space flu, the occasional blaster wound, (and of course Blackrose's brilliant JAOA series) but ninety percent of the time it's Qui doing the comforting and Obi having the hurt. Even in TPM fix-its, Kenobi tends to make Jinn good as new, while pushing himself to the brink of death.Thus putting Qui-Gon back in the comforter chair.
AND I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY!!
I absolutely see why fic-writers have put the padawan under rocks, knives, blaster shots, whips, and so on. As Lucy has so astutely observed, you always hurt the one youlove. Yet Qui-Gon is as well-loved as Obi-Wan, if a trifle less widely. Why is there no Qui-Gon Torture Oasis? At the Jedi Hurtaholics Archive, why do Obi storiesoutnumber Qui tales by 25 to 5? Why am I continually frustrated in my quest for a good cry over a battered Master Jedi?
After some thought, I've come up with a few possible explanations for this state of affairs:
1) Few people love Qui-Gon
<BZZT!> The existence of the QJEB, the QGJDL, the Council of Denial, and a few other Onelist groups suggest otherwise.
2) Since he's smaller/younger/less experienced, Obi-Wan is just more likely to get hurt.
<MUTED DING> This is more plausible, and has a certain logical appeal. Yet one could also argue that, since Qui's older and, as a caretaker, liable to try and protect hisapprentice, HE is more likely to get hurt. And really, who weighs odds when she's plotting a story? If someone liked the boys exactly equally, this sort of reasoning might help her decide who was going to be hurting and who was going to be comforting,but I have the feeling that most TPM fans have some inclination, however slight, in one direction or the other.
3) Since Obi-Wan is smaller and younger, it's easy to make him vulnerable.
<MUTED BZZT!> Granted. But what about the poignancy of a role reversal? The anguish of seeing the master's mighty frame racked with chills, that tanned, noble brow turned to alabaster, those powerful hands trembling with weakness? The Jedi calm shattered by delirium? The Force-strongconfidence blurred by the confusion of illness? (We won't even get into the pectorals gleaming with feverish perspiration. Yep, my taste runs more to Qui-Gon, why do youask?) Am I the only Qui-fan who longs to feel the sweet pain of such a scene?
4) But Qui-Gon's so GOOD at comforting!
<DING!> This I get. But isn't he going to get caretaker burnout? Isn't only fair for him to get a turn as the coddle-ee rather than coddle-er?
5) Hey, he died in the movie! That was enough!
<BZZT!> Mulder gets hurt on the X-files, too. Has that prevented the composition of large amounts of Muldertorture? My possibly erroneous impression is no.
6) Most Qui fans don't like h/c.
<REFLECTIVE SILENCE> This seems like the only possible conclusion, and one with which I can't really argue. After all, I have no particular reason for loving to see Qui-Gon get comforted, so no one else should need a reason to prefer NOT seeing or writing it.
In summary: There isn't a lot of Qui-Gon h/c because not a lot of people want to write it. Hardly a profound revelation, but I hope you enjoyed the ride.
Thus endeth the rant.