Why Liam Neeson Won’t Play Qui-Gon Jinn in a Star Wars TV Series

The Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi? Liam Neeson says no.

Star Wars: Qui-Gon Jinn Liam Neeson
Photo: Lucasfilm

Ever since the announcement that Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen would be back for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, fans have been campaigning for one other Prequel Trilogy actor to rejoin the galaxy far, far away. That’s Liam Neeson, who played Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan’s ill-fated master in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. While Qui-Gon has remained an important figure in the overall Star Wars lore, appearing in several novels and comics since the continuity reboot, Neeson has yet to truly reprise the role beyond a short voice cameo in The Rise of Skywalker.

Obviously, with McGregor and Christensen about to return to our television screens for a new adventure set 10 years after Revenge of the Sith, the timing seems right to bring back Neeson as the Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn, too. But the actor disagrees.

When asked by Comic Book whether he’d ever reprise his Star Wars role again, Neeson quickly confirmed that, while he’d love to do it, he’s not interested in appearing on TV: “Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so … if it was a film. Yeah, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit, I just like the big screen, you know?”

This isn’t the first time Neeson has shut down rumors about appearing in Obi-Wan Kenobi. He told Entertainment Tonight in 2020 that he wasn’t interested in being in any more Star Wars projects after his turn in The Phantom Menace for the simple reasons that he did not really enjoy science fiction and wanted to explore new experiences instead.

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“The first Star Wars, I was in that, that was 22 years ago, and I enjoyed that, because it was novel and that was new. I was acting to tennis balls, which were ultimately going to be little fuzzy furry creatures and stuff. That was interesting, acting-wise, to try and make that seem real, but that was the last. It’s quite exhausting.” Neeson also said at the time that while he admired the technical achievements of big Hollywood productions like Star Wars and superhero movies, he had “no desire to go into the gym for three hours every day to pump myself up to squeeze into a Velcro suit with a cape.”

It sounds like Neeson’s opinion has changed a bit in terms of doing more Star Wars. He’s game, but only for a movie. In other words, it could be a while before we see Qui-Gon Jinn on screen again. 2023’s Rogue Squadron, directed by Patty Jenkins, is set after the Sequel Trilogy, which would be a weird time to reintroduce Neeson in the flesh. Plus, reported creative troubles behind the scenes may mean this movie doesn’t even hit that release date in the first place. Could Taika Waititi or Kevin Feige’s mysterious Star Wars movies make more sense for a Qui-Gon return? Who knows, although we might learn some new things about these films at Star Wars Celebration in May.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Neeson is fibbing a bit in order to protect a secret cameo in Obi-Wan Kenobi. It wouldn’t be the first time an actor has lied to preserve a big surprise in a Disney project…

We’ll find out what’s what when Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney+ on May 27.