A decade after he appeared as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Liam Neeson underwent the unlikeliest of later-career reinventions to become one of Hollywood’s most reliable and bankable action stars, despite pushing 60 when Taken was released. Over the next few years, he delivered a string of box office hits that all put a familiar spin on the same basic formula, and audiences couldn’t get enough of it.
Despite claiming in 2017 that he was done with the genre for good, Neeson has since appeared in action thrillers The Commuter, Widows and Cold Pursuit, while his latest effort Honest Thief follows very much in line with those aforementioned films, too. Even at 68 years old, the actor shows no signs of slowing down, and given the return to Star Wars of his former onscreen Padawan Ewan McGregor, there’ve been rumors that Qui-Gon could also be set for a brief comeback to a galaxy far, far away.
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Of course, the Jedi Master was killed at the hands of Darth Maul, but as we’ve seen plenty of times before, death is hardly an obstacle when it comes to Hollywood’s biggest franchises. In fact, in a recent interview, Neeson was asked about the possibility of a return to Star Wars, and from the sounds of things, he hasn’t exactly been keeping a close eye on recent developments.
“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’s character, Han Solo, and that there was a bit of trouble with that. What do you think? Are Star Wars fans finished with it?.”
A lot of fans would definitely be happy to see Liam Neeson thrown on Qui-Gonn’s robes for one final outing, but Star Wars has already faced well-deserved criticism for relying too heavily on the past at the expense of building towards the future, so it seems a bit unnecessary at this point in time to bring him back. When it comes to Lucasfilm, though, we also can’t rule anything out.