[This story contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi.]
Qui-Gon Jinn is back.
Star Wars fans were overwhelmed Wednesday when Liam Neeson returned to a galaxy far, far away at the end of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series at Disney +.
At the close of the Star Wars miniseries, Neeson returned (in the form of live action, as did the voice of the Star Wars character: The Clone Wars) to the franchise for the first time since Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. (1999) as the Jedi knight Qui-Gon Jinn. It had been mocked since the premiere episode that Qui-Gon could appear, but there was never any guarantee. And given the time that has passed since Neeson last played the character, it was hard to determine his interest in putting on his Jedi robe once again.
The Oscar-nominated actor told The Hollywood Reporter that his decision to return to the franchise was for several reasons.
“I certainly didn’t want anyone else to play Qui-Gon Jinn, and I wanted to show my respect for George. [Lucas] and that mythical world he created, “Neeson told THR.” Besides, Ewan [McGregor] he’s a friend and I loved working with him during The Phantom Menace 25 years ago. ”
Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson in STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE, 1999. Lucasfilm Ltd./Courtesy Everett Collection
In the 1999 film, Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan’s master, and through a series of events, the Jedi couple found Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) in Tatooine. Shortly after helping secure Anakin’s freedom, Qui-Gon died during a lightsaber duel with Darth Maul (Ray Park).
Neeson has noted in past years that he was always a fan of the film and set aside initial criticism, which has since been dampened with a generation of fans very fond of The Phantom Menace, The Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
“I like [Phantom Menace]”Neeson told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM Radio Andy in 2020.” I’m proud of that and of being a part of it. I have to be a Jedi. I have to play with these wonderful lightsabers and stuff. It was great, Andy, it really was. “
As for Neeson’s return to the franchise, fans have been waiting breathlessly since Yoda (Frank Oz) told Obi-Wan in The Revenge of the Sith that he would teach him how to connect with the ghost of the Force Awakens. his late master. On Wednesday, that planted seed finally blossomed.
The entire Obi-Wan Kenobi series is now airing on Disney +.