In recent years, Liam Neeson has become a surprise action star. The Taken franchise seems to have thrown him into this unexpected trajectory, with films like The Commuter, Cold Pursuit, and his most recent release, Honest Thief. But Neeson’s first trek into action came with the release of 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, where the actor played Qui-Gon Jinn. In a new interview, now-action-star Neeson discusses whether or not he’s been asked to return to the Star Wars universe
Talking with Collider, Liam Neeson was asked if he has been approached to return as Qui-Gon Jinn, and it doesn’t exactly sound likely. Neeson said, “I’ve done the voice for Qui-Gon Jinn in a couple of the animated versions of it. I can’t remember the names of them. Myself and Sam Jackson did our Jedi knights for those. I think I did two of them. But on film, I haven’t been approached, no. I haven’t really been following them, to be honest. I don’t know if they’ve come to an end. I heard they did a film of Harrison [Ford]’s character, Han Solo, and that there was a bit of trouble with that.”
Liam Neeson also asks the interviewer Christina Radish if Star Wars fans are finished with the franchise, to which Radish replies that Disney+ could do a limited series about various characters, to which Neeson simply replies, “Yes.” In the interview, Radish does ask Neeson if he would like to revisit any of his past characters, to which Neeson says that despite being too old, he would like to return to the character of Michael Collins, which he last played in 1996.
Earlier this year, Liam Neeson defended Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, saying, “I’m very proud of the film, I got to be a Jedi, got to play with those wonderful lightsabers and stuff, it was terrific.” Neeson eventually said, “I liked the movie.”
To those hoping for Qui-Gon Jinn’s return, Liam Neeson’s seeming lack of interest in the franchise probably isn’t a good sign. It seems that the last time Neeson did play Qui-Gon Jinn was in 2014 for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, although his voice did appear in 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Despite his newfound interest in action films, Neeson hasn’t explored science fiction that much. Outside of the Star Wars world, his only other sci-fi film was 2019’s Men in Black: International.
Even though Liam Neeson died in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, we all know that death doesn’t really mean anything anymore in the Star Wars universe, after “The dead speak!” But it certainly seems like Radish was trying to get Neeson to admit whether or not he might return as Qui-Gon Jinn for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+.
Earlier this year, Joby Harold was hired to write the new series, his first time writing for television. Harold was hired after the original writer Hossein Amini left the project and it was rumored that the scripts had been discarded altogether. With the scripts this much in flux, it’s still quite possible that Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn could be written into the upcoming series, which is currently scheduled to start filming in Spring 2021.
If Liam Neeson were to return to the Star Wars franchise, it does seem like the Obi-Wan Kenobi series would be a good place for it to happen, or potentially his own series, if he was interested. Disney+ already has a number of new Star Wars series on the way, with a series about Rogue One’s Cassian Andor planned for release in 2021, and with the Obi-Wan Kenobi series still scheduled for 2022. Beyond that, there’s also a new series centered around female characters from Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland on the way in the future.
Liam Neeson’s return to the Star Wars universe would certainly be exciting for fans, but as of right now, it doesn’t seem as though Neeson or Disney has made any steps towards making it a reality.