Apprentice to Journeyman

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Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan Fanfiction
Title: Apprentice to Journeyman
Author(s): Susan Smithson
Date(s): 21 November 1999
Length: 50.894 words / 303k
Genre: slash fanfiction
Fandom: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
External Links: Apprentice to Journeyman(Master and Apprentice)
Apprentice to Journeyman (AO3)

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Apprentice to Journeyman is a Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan slash story by Susan Smithson.

Summary: What is it, really, to live and grow as a Jedi? What is it, really, to learn over the course of years what love is?

The story was listed in the rec category BIG Stories at Mac & Anna's Place.

Reviews and Recommendations

A long, luxurious read that takes you along with Obi-Wan as he grows from child to man, from naïveté to love. Detailed beautifully, I found myself greatly enjoying the journey, feeling everything that Obi felt. Lovely.[1]
Obi-Wan's journey from just after puberty to adulthood.

This is such a fascinating, unique story in this fandom. Most Star Wars prequel fics seem to focus entirely on Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's relationship, romantic or otherwise, or on a specific adventure and very few of them stretch over a significant period of time. This fic, by contrast, spans a decade and is focused on Obi-Wan's personal growth and maturity, from a child who thinks he is a man, to a man who truly is an adult.

The characterizations are fantastic, as is the action. What I really liked most, however, is the way that Obi-Wan learns that love does not equal sex, and vice-versa. It's a subtle lesson that is rarely seen in fic, but an important one that really makes this story work. Combined with Obi-Wan's gradually increasing confidence and maturity and Qui-Gon's steadfast and heartfelt guidance, you have an intriguing and ever evolving relationship.

I will say that the latter half of the story is weighed down by two overly long sex scenes (which, of course, could be a bonus for some folks, but which didn't work for me), but overall the story is a potent, highly satisfying one for anyone interested in a serious look at what love means and whether or not a true, healthy relationship can develop between a teacher and a student.[2]
I haven't been this impressed by a story in quite some time, and given the quality of fic in this fandom, that's saying a great deal. Beautifully written, mature and lyrical, and full of impressive characterization, this fic follows the development of the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan over the years, as their roles change and evolve. This fic has remarkable depth, and is a long, involving read. Truly, not to be missed.[3]
When Susan posted this story, I felt like I was finally reading the story I'd been waiting for since the fandom began. It's very long, luxuriously slow and sweet as she takes us through Obi-Wan's growing years, Qui-Gon's teaching of him, and the delicious development of their love, all in a context of Jedi life and learning that feels as authentic as anything I've seen in the fandom.[4]
It's long. It's long, and good throughout, and really, what more can one ask? This fic isn't afraid to take things slowly. So often, stories are in a hurry to get to the good bits, and end up feeling rushed; this one shows a relationship as it grows and matures, until the conclusion feels natural and right. Getting there is half the fun, and Susan Smithson proves it. Slash.[5]
I meant to rec this as soon as I read it, but I'm the worst procrastinator. It's been rec'd everywhere else already, but I will too, because it's an instant classic, a must-read for TPM. Luxurious, long and thorough, with the most wonderful characterisation of Qui-Gon I've ever read. In this story he's the perfect Jedi Master, with all that entails, but also so very human - kind, wise, and powerful. I was enchanted. I can't wait until she writes more.[6]
Long, slow, almost luxurious retelling of Obi-wan's maturation, Apprentice to Journey is an already oft-told tale, but told right, with a compelling plot, rich characterization of Obi-wan, and an enormously satisfying resolution. By Susan Smithson.[7]
apprentice to journeyman, by susan smithson. qui/obi, nc-17, sw:tpm. a novel-length, pretty, contemplative, mildly angsty first-time piece about falling out of infatuation and into love. very long, very growth-oriented, a little top-heavy (that is, if the "top" is the ending). not flawless, but enjoyable and meaty.[8]
You can settle in for a long, wonderful read with this story, as it follows Obi's path in growing up. Her Qui-Gon is brilliantly done - I fell for him all over again.[9]
So, yeah, a few other people have recced this particular story, but darn deserves to be recced... TPM - Susan Smithson's Apprentice to Journeyman wherein you get to see the Master/Apprentice relationship with all the judgement, maturity and respect for the relationship and the people involved -- as well as love as it should be between two individuals. I adore her Qui-Gon and watching Obi-Wan grow up is sheer pleasure. 1/23/2000[10]
Long Stories: Apprentice to Journeyman by Susan Smithson. A long story, but well worth reading. The story of Obi-Wan as he grows and changes, to finally realize who and what he is.[11]
Apprentice to Journeyman by Susan Smithson. In my opinion simply the best story all round on M/A. Would undoubtedly be the choice of many for that title had their been a vote. The story chronicles Qui-Gon's tutelage of Obi-Wan over the years. Along the way, the intricate tenets of the Jedi, Qui-Gon's spiritual and physical magnificence ----- his immense strength of character, unflinching sense of honour, sacrificial nobility as an utterly selfless and dedicated teacher, sheer masculine beauty (mmm, yummy) as well as Obi -Wan's gradual enlightenment towards the truth on love and desire are unraveled before our eyes with phenomenal skills. Superbly intelligent treatment of plot and characters. Flowing, exquisite prose. Exceedingly uplifting and moving. Guaranteed crying yet with no cheap shots at jerking tears whatsoever. Susan herself calls it a long good read. Understatement of the year! [12]


  1. ^ Nynaeve. Nynaeve's Rosetta Stone: Nyn's Fanfic Recs, via Wayback. (Accessed 04 October 2014)
  2. ^ jane_elliot in: Epic Recs. Apprentice to Journeyman by Susan Smithson (NC-17), 13 September 2010. (Accessed 04 October 2014)
  3. ^ Destina Fortunato. Star Wars Fiction Recommendations, updated June 13, 2002. (Accessed 04 October 2014)
  4. ^ marzilla in tpm_flashback. Apprentice to Journeyman by Susan Smithson, 05 September 2004. (Accessed 17 April 2015)
  5. ^ MaggieFic: The Recs, 28 August 2000. (Accessed 20 April 2015)
  6. ^ Julad . anhedonian recommendations, 2000. (Accessed 22 April 2015)
  7. ^ Sandy Herrold. All Jewels Have Flaws: Older recs: 1999 and before. (Accessed 24 April 2015)
  8. ^ Cimorene. Recs: Star Wars, via Wayback. (Accessed 20 May 2015)
  9. ^ Eshva. The Forest of Eshva: TPM slash recs (Qui-Gon friendly). (Accessed 03 November 2015)
  10. ^ Maygra de Rhema. Maygra's Musings - Recommendations 2000. (Accessed 26 November 2015)
  11. ^ Amy Fortuna's Recs Page, (accessdate 13 December 2015)
  12. ^ Obiphil's Master of the Galaxy, Story Recs, Wayback: 19 February 2001. (Accessed 14 June 2020)