Liam Neeson’s Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn died in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” but that hasn’t stopped fans from hoping over the years that the actor might return to the franchise. Considering previously-thought dead “Star Wars” characters have popped up on screens (see Darth Maul in “Solo” and Boba Fett in “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett”), it’s entirely possible for Neeson to wield a lightsaber once again. The actor recently told ComicBook.com that he’s open to reprising Qui-Gon Jinn under one condition.
“Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so…if it was a film,” Neeson said about a potential “Star Wars” return. “Yeah, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit. I just like the big screen, you know? Qui-Gon, I can’t believe it’s 24 years since we made ‘The Phantom Menace,’ I just cannot believe where the time has gone. It was a terrific experience, shooting that film in London.”
Unfortunately for Neeson, the “Star Wars” franchise has shifted more aggressively to television over movies since the Skywalker saga wrapped up in theaters with the release of “The Rise of Skywalker” in December 2019. There are nearly a dozen “Star Wars” shows currently in development at Disney+, including “Ashoka” and “Andor,” plus a third season of “The Mandalorian” on the way.
Neeson told Collider last year that he was unaware about fans calling for Qui-Gon Jinn to return to “Star Wars.” The actor added at the time, “Sure, I’d like to [play him again] but I’m sort of wondering, is ‘Star Wars’ starting to fade away from the cinema landscape? Do we think?”
While “The Mandalorian” helped the “Star Wars” brand rebound, the film franchise has remained a big question mark following the hugely polarizing responses to theatrical releases “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Lucasfilm has a few “Star Wars” films in development, including one from producer Kevin Feige and another from Taika Waititi, but there are no further specifics.
Next up for the “Star Wars” franchise is the Disney+ series “Obi Wan-Kenobi,” starring Neeson’s “Phantom Menace” co-star Ewan McGregor in the title role. McGregor told Entertainment Weekly that he watched “The Phantom Menace” and the other two “Star Wars” prequel films (“Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”) for the first time since their releases in order to prep for his Disney+ series.
“It was interesting to watch our films because I hadn’t seen them since they came out, not at all,” McGregor said. “So it was cool to see and interesting to watch them and enjoy them without all of the noise that was around when they came out.”
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” premieres May 27 on Disney+.