When the Droid Control Ship blew up, the yellow Naboo starfighters regrouped and headed back to Naboo. I wanted to speak to them via comlink and tell them what I'd accomplished, but my communications were dead. All I could do was limp behind them in my poor fighter.
A little while later we landed in the palace hangar. A bunch of pilots and ground crew surrounded my fighter, ready to cheer for whoever was inside.
When I opened the cockpit and stood up, their mouths dropped open. I could just about read their minds: How in the world had a kid my age managed to get into the Droid Control Ship and blow it up?
The funny thing was, I was asking myself the same question. Um, earth to Ani: YOU'RE THE CHOSEN ONE!!!
They helped me down from the starfighter and told me the good news. When I blew up the Droid Control Ship, all the droids on Naboo powered down, and the Queen was able to corner the Viceroy. If only I could have seen his paralyzed face! Together, the Gungans and the Naboo had won the battle. The planet was free! My only regret: Padme wasn't in the passenger seat.
I hope Qui-Gon's OK, though. I'm sure I didn't come all this way just to see his dead body!
A grim-faced guard entered the hangar. He'd heard that the Jedis had defeated the Sith Lord (DUN DUN DUN). But in the battle, the older Jedi had been killed...
My beloved hero is dead!!! The one and only person who believed in me is dead!!! How can this be???!!!
So that was the horrific bang in my heart!
Later, he was given an outdoor funeral. It took place on the temple steps outside the plaza of Theed. The sun was almost done setting. A large crowd was there: Queen Amidala and her handmaidens, Qui-Gon's friends from work, the troops of the Naboo, and the Gungans, and of course, Jar Jar Binks.
Not to mention me and Obi-Wan.
Qui-Gon's body was perched on a funeral pyre. We watched in silence as Qui-Gon burst into flames. Then for some reason they released a flock of white doves. Obi-Wan told me later that it was some sort of ritual...
It was hard for me to watch. In the short time I'd known this gentle giant, Qui-Gon Jinn had been more of a father to me than anyone I'd met. I thought back to the day I'd first met him on Tatooine. How I'd taken him home to get out of the sandstorm. How I'd told him I suspected he was a Jedi Knight because of the lightsaber strapped to his belt. How he'd pretended he'd simply killed a Jedi and taken it from him. Like General Grievous. (Oops. Another blast on the future.) How I said no one could kill a Jedi.
And that tragic moment when he shook his head and said, "I wish that were so."
As if even then he'd suspected...*cries for 5 minutes straight*
Obi-Wan, if anyone, put a hand on my shoulder. "He is one with the Force, Anakin. You must let go."
"What are you doing here?" I demanded. "Are you here because you suddenly appreciate TCO? Because if you're here to pull some more crap on me and my diary, I might as well shove you into a pile of--"
Then I looked up into Obi-Wan's face. Whoa. His expression was open and concerned. Not hateful and combative. Good thing I saw his face before I started cussing at him. I could feel his caring as we shared the loss of someone we had both loved so much. With Qui-Gon's death, something had changed between us.
"What will happen to me now?" I finally asked.
Nothing could prepare me for his answer.
"I am your master now. You will become a Jedi. I promise."
Yay! Now there's one more thing I need to know. "And one more thing."
"Will you please stop writing mean things in my diary?"
My new Master smiled. "Oh, gladly, Anakin. Gladly."
So I could foresee that we would be buddies. And now we are! An unexpected friendship pulled into view at last.