Liam Neeson is getting closer to returning to the Star Wars universe in a move that would be rather surprising considering what happened with his character the last time we saw him on screen. But this being a new age in the franchise with the studio mining every last ounce of character development they’ve gotten from previous movies, anything is possible. Giant Freakin Robot had the original scoop that Neeson would be returning as Qui-Gon Jinn and that’s looking even closer to happening now.
This latest news about LucasFilm leaning back into more characters from the prequel trilogy include other names besides just Liam Neeson. We might still have some stories or shows with Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu or even Ray Park as Darth Maul. It’s all on the table for the studio who want to leave no stone or galaxy unturned when it comes to its previous characters. Considering the renewed popularity The Mandalorian has brought to the franchise and how many spin-offs are in the works, you’d almost feel bad if you played a character in this universe before and didn’t get a call from the studio wanting to talk a production deal.
As we already know, Liam Neeson met his end as Qui-Gon Jinn at the hands of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. If these new series were to happen around the character, it’s unlikely we get anything more than an origin story. How Neeson fits into that would remain to be seen. There’s some chance he comes merely as a cameo for a later version of the character with someone new playing him in a younger phase. There’s also some chance he’s part of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series which is set to reprise Ewan McGregor in the titular role. Considering Jinn was Kenobi’s mentor, a flashback scene (or many) could be in the cards for that series.
I very much doubt the Star Wars folks would retcon the events of Phantom Menace to have Liam Neeson actually survive. Even if they aren’t necessarily happy with the timelines and stories presented in those three prequel films, upending what’s essentially become canon wouldn’t make much sense at this stage of the game. They’ve attempted to stay mostly true to original stories, even the flawed ones.
Wherever we land with a Liam Neeson comeback into the Star Wars universe remains to be seen. Even if he didn’t reappear, there’s still plenty to get excited about in the works for LucasFilm. In addition to McGregor coming back, we know Hayden Christensen is stepping back into the Darth Vader role as well. That’s going to make this new set of series, following the events of Revenge of the Sith potentially amazing and franchise-altering. We’ll finally figure out things that happened in the time leading up to A New Hope.
Before anything with Star Wars happens, we can catch Liam Neeson next on a frigid rescue mission in The Ice Road and then as a government operative in Blacklight.