Despite only ever appearing in the Star Wars saga once on the big screen back in 1999’s The Phantom Menace, Liam Neeson’s Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn is hugely popular among fans, with the actor now revealing that he too looks back at the experience fondly; even wielding his old lightsaber on occasion. In a recent interview, Neeson showed off the prop lightsaber that he has mounted to a piece of wood and noted that the prop carries a plaque which is stamped with the original title for The Phantom Menace; “The Beginning.”
“This has been to Tatooine and back many, many times. If I turn it this way, it’ll show a certain lightsaber that I used in the film The Phantom Menace. It was originally gonna be called ‘The Beginning’ and it says on it, July-October ’97. So that was my lightsaber as Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi Master, just plugging that. So that’s the one.”
Liam Neeson even took the opportunity to clarify a long-held theory about the iconic weapon, namely that it has a button, and is not activated by using Force telekinesis. “And everybody thinks, ‘Oh yeah, you turn it on with just your thoughts, right?’ I say, ‘No, it’s a red button. There it is. It’s just a red button,'” the actor joked.
Word of Liam Neeson’s return as Qui-Gon Jinn has begun to spread thanks to the upcoming Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. In a recent discussion about the role, Neeson was quick to assert his eagerness to go back to a galaxy far, far away. “Sure, I’d be up for that, yeah,” Neeson said with a smile on his face when asked whether he would like to be involved in the Obi-Wan series.
Neeson was also quick to highlight that he has provided the voice for the character in the past but has never been asked to revive the legendary Jedi in live action. “I’ve done the voice for Qui-Gon Jinn in a couple of the animated versions of it,” he said. “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.”
If his clear and concise response to returning the role of Qui-Gon Jinn was not enough, then surely holding on to his lightsaber with such pride is a clear indication that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the perfect opportunity to bring Neeson back to the franchise.
Obi-Wan Kenobi brings back Ewan McGregor as the title character and will be directed by The Mandalorian’s Deborah Chow. Currently Disney+ and has yet to reveal a premiere date, but filming is scheduled to begin in March 2021. Hayden Christensen will also reprise the role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader with the plot picking up 10 years after the former Jedi Knight is seduced by the dark side of the force. If anything, Qui-Gon Jinn needs to be brought back as a Force ghost so that he can see the result of freeing that little kid from a life slavery all those years ago. This is on you, Jinn.
Neeson showed off his treasured lightsaber while appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden.