Prior to his physical death, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn learned the means to retaining an eternal consciousness, learning much from a Shaman of the Whills. This Shaman of the Whills taught Jinn that the path to retaining ones' consciousness after death required absolute selflessness. Jinn later imparted these teachings onto Yoda, who—like Jinn—also learned much about eternal consciousness from five Force Priestesses; and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Shaman of the Whills traces its origins to the early drafts of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which George Lucas stated was a story told in the Journal of the Whills, a record of galactic knowledge. The Shaman of the Whills was first specifically mentioned in the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, in a now-deleted scene that featured the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn communing with Yoda. In the scene, which was never filmed, Jinn stated that eternal consciousness had been accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. A cut line from a later scene also had Yoda saying that the path to eternal consciousness was a secret of the "Ancient Order of the Whills."
The final three episodes of the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars—titled "Voices," "Destiny," and "Sacrifice"—expanded upon how Jinn learned the secret to eternal consciousness, and how he passed that knowledge onto Yoda. In the episode, Yoda learns about the secret from five Force Priestesses who had also trained Jinn, but no mention is made of a Shaman of the Whills. Despite this, the official Databank and the now-defunct Encyclopedia on StarWars.com still refer to Jinn as having learned from a Shaman of the Whills.