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Quinlan Vos is a hit-or-miss character in the Star Wars universe. Some fans disliked him because of the old comics that have now formed part of the Legends continuity while other fans found him intriguing. He has a different story in the Canon continuity that makes him a bit more tolerable.
We’re going to look through Quinlan Vos’ life and dive into every aspect of it, his relationship with the Jedi Order, and his romantic relationship with Assajj Ventress.
Bottom Line Up Front: Quinlan Vos was a Jedi Master in the Clone Wars era. He was known to be a bit of a renegade, bending the rules of the Order on many occasions. Because of this, he was often selected for covert missions.
His ultimate mission was to assassinate Count Dooku in an attempt to end the war, but it ultimately failed and led to his fall to the Dark Side.
Before encountering Dooku, he sought Assajj Ventress out for help. The two of them fell in love, but Dooku killed her, and her death led Quinlan Vos back to the Light Side. He rejoined the Order and presumably died as a result of Order 66.
Quinlan Vos was a Kiffar male born on the planet Kiffu. Kiffar were a near-human species, and a few of them were known for having abilities in psychometry.
Also known as retrocognition, this allowed Quinlan to touch objects and see the memories of others who had touched them. Quinlan was an excellent tracker because of this.
He was recognized to be Force-sensitive, so he was sent to be trained by the Jedi Order. He began his training under Jedi Master Tholme, a human male who had become a Master before the Clone Wars. Quinlan Vos wasn’t a typical Jedi student as he often broke rules and tested boundaries.
Becoming a Jedi Knight
He eventually became a Jedi Knight, and the Council often sent him on missions regarding the criminal underworld because of his psychometric abilities. He made a great detective because of them, and he often went undercover.
He was the Jedi responsible for training Aayla Secura, a Twi’lek Jedi who played a pivotal role in the Clone Wars. He found her on a mission in Ryloth and discovered that she was Force-sensitive.
The two of them formed a close bond, but Aayla had to let go of her attachment to Quinlan to continue with her growth as a Jedi.
As Quinlan did many missions in the underworld of Coruscant, he formed a friendship with one of the police inspectors, Tan Divo. After Order 66, Tan Divo kept silent regarding whether Vos was dead or not due to this friendship. Quinlan Vos was one of the only Jedi he liked as the Jedi never followed the laws.
Vos wasn’t known to be part of too many huge battles in the Clone Wars due to his work undercover most of the time. However, a notable mission was when he worked alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi to capture Ziro the Hutt.
Ziro had escaped Republic imprisonment, so the two Jedi were sent to find him as they suspected Jabba the Hutt got him as part of a revenge plot.
The capture mission failed as they tracked Ziro to Teth where they found him dead in front of the bounty hunter, Cad Bane. Bane never killed Ziro, but the Jedi chased him down to arrest him as well due to his past crimes. Cad Bane escaped and the whole mission ended in a failure.
A Major Mission
Two years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi decided that killing Count Dooku was the fastest way to end the war. They gave the mission to Quinlan Vos as they believed that his unique skills would make him the best fit for the job.
Quinlan Vos pleaded with the Jedi Council that he should have a partner accompany him as killing Count Dooku would be a difficult ordeal. Instead of sending another Jedi with Vos, Master Yoda encouraged Quinlan to search and find Assajj Ventress.
She was an old apprentice of Dooku’s that Darth Sidious ordered Dooku to cast aside. Ventress had escaped from Dooku and was working as a bounty hunter at this point.
Vos posed as a bounty hunter and sought Assajj Ventress out. When he found her, they joined together on missions, slowly building trust with each other. They both kept their Force-sensitivity secret, but it wasn’t long until the truth came out.
A Blooming Romance
Over time, the two of them started developing romantic feelings for each other.
Every now and then, Quinlan would contact Obi-Wan Kenobi to inform him on how the mission was going, and Obi-Wan would warn him that Ventress was a big flirt. She developed genuine feelings for Quinlan, however.
After a mission they did that went particularly badly, Quinlan Vos informed Ventress that he was a Jedi. He told her about his plans for killing Count Dooku and how he needed her help to do it. Ventress agreed to help him.
However, she insisted that he needed to lean into the Dark Side of the Force to get the job done. Quinlan protested at first but eventually agreed.
The two of them traveled to Ventress’ homeworld of Dathomir where the Dark Side was particularly strong. She trained him to use his anger as a weapon to fuel his power.
While it didn’t work at first, her mention of Dooku killing Quinlan Vos’ Jedi Master is what set him off. She gave him a series of trials which he passed and made her deem him ready for meeting with Dooku.
Attempting to Kill Dooku
On their first attempt to kill Dooku, the Count proved too powerful for them, and they were easily beaten. Dooku informed Vos that he would be a much better teacher than Ventress as he could sense the Dark Side within Quinlan. He knocked the Jedi out and imprisoned him. Ventress escaped.
Count Dooku tortured Quinlan Vos and revealed that Assajj Ventress was actually the one that killed his former Master. This drove Vos into a rage and led him to fully embrace the Dark Side and accept Dooku as his new Sith Master.
Ventress attempted to rescue him but found out that Vos had given in to the Dark Side and had become the apprentice to Dooku. She left him there, but she was heartbroken to do so.
Vos became known as Admiral Enigma, and he did missions for Count Dooku that involved him using all his knowledge of the Republic and Jedi forces.
They eventually staged a rescue mission of him that would return him to the Jedi Order. As he got back to the Jedi Order, he was still loyal to Dooku. So, he secretly sabotaged many of the Jedi’s plans.
The Jedi then sent him back to assassinate Count Dooku after realizing that he was working for him undercover. Vos asked Ventress to help him one more time in this as he saw killing Dooku as a way to get to Darth Sidious and end the Sith threat entirely.
This whole ordeal ended with Dooku attempting to kill Quinlan Vos. However, Assajj Ventress sacrificed herself to save him after letting go of all her anger and experiencing peace through the Force. Her sacrifice turned Quinlan Vos back to the Light Side and he spared Count Dooku just before killing him.
Quinlan Vos was accepted back into the Jedi Order, and he continued to fight for the Republic for the rest of the Clone War. He was on Kashyyyk when Order 66 was given, and it’s assumed that he was killed by the clone troopers along with the rest of the Jedi.
- Quinlan Vos is accepted into the Jedi Order and is trained by Master Tholme.
- The Jedi recognize Quinlan’s psychometric abilities and send him on many covert missions with most of them involving the criminal underworld.
- Master Tholme dies, and Quinlan doesn’t yet find out who killed him.
- The Jedi Council tasks Quinlan with assassinating Count Dooku to end the war.
- He meets Assajj Ventress and attempts to recruit her to help him. The two of them fall in love while doing bounty hunting jobs to gain trust with each other.
- Quinlan reveals his plan to Ventress. She agrees to help him but insists that he needs to tap into the Dark Side to kill Dooku.
- She trains him on Dathomir and lies about Dooku killing Master Tholme. The anger from this allows him to draw from the Dark Side.
- Quinlan Vos and Assajj Ventress attempt to kill Count Dooku. They fail, and Dooku Captures Quinlan.
- Dooku reveals that it was Ventress who killed Master Tholme, leading Quinlan Vos to fully accept the Dark Side and accept Dooku as his new master.
- Quinlan does missions for the Separatists under the guise of ‘Admiral Enigma’.
- Vos returns to the Jedi undercover and sabotages many of their plans.
- The Jedi send him to assassinate Dooku once again. While Dooku is about to kill him and Ventress, Ventress sacrifices herself to save Quinlan.
- The sacrifice of Ventress turns Quinlan Vos back to the Light Side, and he spares Dooku.
- Quinlan becomes a Jedi General and is presumably killed during Order 66.
Quinlan Vos Themes
Toying with the Dark Side
One of the defining aspects of Quinlan Vos’ character is how he toyed with the Dark Side. The Jedi teach that you shouldn’t mess around with the Dark Side under any circumstances. It’s a force that will always bring you down, never up.
Quinlan Vos had to learn this the hard way. It was an uphill battle from the moment Assajj Ventress started showing him the ways of the Dark Side. Because he was already open to it, falling deeper into it became increasingly more natural. We can see this happening with most Jedi who play around with using it.
Anything to trigger his anger would have sent him into a rage and made him more powerful. That power is the best feeling for Dark Side users, so they seek it out constantly.
Near the end of her life, Assajj Ventress explained to Quinlan how the Dark Side just leads to never-ending hunger. It will never satisfy anyone, no matter how much power you have. That’s why she let it go and found peace just before being killed by Dooku.
Thankfully, Quinlan Vos was redeemed, and he rejoined the Jedi Order. However, they got people to watch over him for the first while, just to make sure that he could be trusted.
Relationship with Assajj Ventress
Assajj Ventress had a long-running story arc in the Clone Wars. It started with her being an enforcer of Count Dooku. As his apprentice, she was sent to do his brunt work while being trained in the ways of the Dark Side. Dooku planned to use her to overthrow Sidious and become the Dark Lord of the Sith himself.
This plan never worked, and Dooku cast her out. She became a bounty hunter, and the final days of her story involved her falling in love with Quinlan Vos.
Jedi weren’t supposed to form attachments, so Quinlan’s love for her caused massive conflict in his heart. However, love persisted, and he continued to form a close emotional bond with her. This was a vast contrast from the cold and calculating character that Ventress was at the beginning of the Clone Wars.
It was their love that brought Quinlan Vos back to the Light Side of the Force. Her sacrifice of herself to save him showed him selflessness that the Dark Side would never bring.
Quinlan Vos wasn’t the first Jedi to fall in love and break the rules of the Jedi Order. However, he was arguably the first Jedi to fall in love with a Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter.
The Phantom Menace
The character of Quinlan Vos stems from a short scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He’s a side character on Tatooine that witnesses a young Anakin Skywalker speaking to Sebulba.
While his character wasn’t established when the movie came out, a bunch of comic books were made about him afterward, leading George Lucas to love the character that the comics created.
This makes many people ask the question of what he was doing there at the time. Qui-Gon Jinn was looking for help to get a way off the planet, and another Jedi present could have potentially been a great help.
As Quinlan Vos was often sent on undercover missions, the most reasonable explanation for him not interacting with Qui-Gon is that he couldn’t blow his cover. Speaking to a Jedi may have jeopardized whatever he was doing on Tatooine.
Canon vs Legends
Quinlan Vos is one of the few Star Wars characters that had a fully fleshed-out story that was scrapped after Disney purchased Star Wars.
There were dozens of comic books about him that have now become part of the Legends continuity. These stories don’t exist and have no relevance to the Canon timeline anymore, unfortunately.
In Legends, Quinlan Vos refused to become a General in the Republic’s army. Instead, he went undercover and infiltrated Count Dooku’s group of Sith disciples. He trained under Dooku for three years in the hopes that he would find the Sith Lord that was responsible for the war (Sidious).
Throughout this time, he had to go through vigorous tests that exhibited his loyalty. He assassinated multiple people and drew closer to the Dark Side in everything that he did. He eventually gave up on his plan and returned to the Jedi Order, becoming a Jedi General.
He escaped Order 66 and went into hiding a woman named, Khaleen Hentz. She was his love interest and the two of them had a son, Korto Vos. His relationship with Assajj Ventress doesn’t exist in the Legends continuity.
Quinlan Vos’ prime special ability is his psychometry. This allows him to touch objects and see the memories of other people who touched those objects. On some occasions, he could even see memories through people. This is seen more in the Legend’s continuity, but it isn’t outrightly stated in Canon that he can’t do that.
He was an amazing tracker and detective because of this ability. Whenever there was a mystery that needed solving, Quinlan Vos was the first-choice Jedi for the job.
Vos was also a strong lightsaber duelist. Being a Jedi Master, he had years of experience and training and was able to comfortably take on many enemies in combat. He even managed to spar with Count Dooku for a short while, who was one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy at the time.
In terms of Force powers, Quinlan Vos often used Force jump and levitation. He was also able to mask the fact that he was aligned with the Dark Side. The only people that caught onto him were Assajj Ventress and eventually Master Yoda.
- “You look like a goddess of love and war and hope and ecstasy. Like a glimmering star that I have somehow been blessed to hold.” – Quinlan Vos describing Assajj Ventress in front of him.
- “I am not your kind. I do not feed off vengeance. I am a Jedi.” – Quinlan Vos continued trying to convince himself that he wasn’t falling to the Dark Side.
- “There’s no way to phrase this other than bluntly. Master Vos, the Council wants you to assassinate Count Dooku.” – The Jedi Council sees Dooku’s death as an end of the war.
- “Jedi aren’t without emotion. We’re allowed to grieve.” – Quinlan Vos explains some of the Jedi ways to Assajj Ventress.
- “Ugh. Smells like somebody died in here.” – Quinlan Vos accounting what the house of a Hutt smells like.
Question: Did Quinlan Vos Survive Order 66?
Answer: In Canon, it’s presumed that Quinlan Vos survived Order 66. He was listed as a priority target for the Sith Inquisitors who were tasked with hunting the remaining Jedi down. They never found him, however. So, he either died during Order 66 or he hid well and lived the remainder of his life out in peace.
In the Legends continuity, he survived Order 66 and lived the rest of his life out with his wife and son.
Question: How are Quinlan Vos and Assajj Ventress Connected?
Answer: Quinlan Vos was tasked with assassinating Count Dooku. He needed help to do it, so he sought after Assajj Ventress. She was an old apprentice of Dooku’s, so she was the perfect person to help him.
The two of them eventually fell in love through the process of training to fight Dooku. Dooku killed Ventress and she died in Quinlan Vos’ arms.
Question: Is Quinlan Vos Human?
Answer: No. He’s a Kiffar, which are a near-human species. The defining traits of the Kiffar are their face tattoos that align with whatever clan they’re from on their homeworld of Kiffu. Their blood is also a lot darker than human blood.
Question: Did Quinlan Vos Join the Jedi Again?
Answer: Yes. After turning to the Dark Side, Quinlan Vos returned to the Light Side upon Assajj Ventress’ death. He returned to the Jedi Order and served as a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic for the rest of the Clone War.
However, the Jedi didn’t trust him fully for obvious reasons. Initially, they had people watch over him in case he betrayed them again. He never did, and his final known battle was on Kashyyyk just before Order 66 was given by Palpatine.
Quinlan Vos is an incredibly interesting character. Although he turned to the Dark Side for a time, his main goal was always to seek out Darth Sidious and destroy him to stop the Sith from rising. His relationship with Assajj Ventress is what eventually redeemed her character.
Originally, she was a merciless killer. It was Quinlan Vos that made her see things differently, and she accepted peace through the Force just before she died. If they never had a relationship, that most probably wouldn’t have ever happened.
If you want to know more about Quinlan Vos and live through his story in more detail, you should read Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. The Clone Wars TV series only has one episode involving Quinlan Vos, so this novel is where his character gets fleshed out. It’s a fantastic read!
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