Actor Behind Surprise Obi-Wan Kenobi Cameo Discusses Star Wars Return

WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE OBI-WAN KENOBI FINALEFrom the very first episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the grizzled Jedi master was trying to communicate with the man who taught him the ways of the Force. While in seclusion on Tatooine watching over Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan was trying his hardest to get in touch with his master Qui-Gon Jinn, who was killed by Darth Maul years prior. Finally, as Obi-Wan went off on his own after ensuring Luke’s safety in the series finale, Qui-Gon himself appeared to Obi-Wan as a Force ghost to guide him on the next steps of his journey. Of course, the return of Qui-Gon meant the live-action return of Liam Neeson to the Star Wars franchise for the first time in more than 20 years.

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While Neeson has lent his voice to such Star Wars projects as the Clone Wars animated series and The Rise of Skywalker, the Kenobi finale saw the legendary actor don the Jedi robes once again. Qui-Gon is a beloved character despite his lone appearance in The Phantom Menace, and fans have been clamoring for his return ever since. Neeson told The Hollywood Reporter that a few different factors played into his desire to be part of Star Wars once again:

“I certainly didn’t want anyone else playing Qui-Gon Jinn, and I wanted to show my respect for George [Lucas] and that mythical world that he created. Plus, Ewan [McGregor] is a pal, and I loved working with him during The Phantom Menace 25 years ago.”

Liam Neeson Will Be Back as Qui-Gon Jinn Before the End of the Year

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As mentioned, Neeson has voiced the character of Qui-Gon a handful of times over the last 20 years, and the actor is set to do so again in the near future. A new animated series titled Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi was announced at Star Wars Celebration last month, and will feature six different stories about well-known Jedi. One of the tales will focus on a young Qui-Gon under the tutelage of Count Dooku, and it’s been confirmed that Neeson will be part of the episode in some form or fashion. The series is heading to Disney+ this fall, so it won’t be much longer before Neeson is back in the Star Wars universe.

When it comes to future live-action appearances, it becomes a little more difficult to see where Neeson could reprise the role of Qui-Gon in the future. Neeson’s brief cameo at the end of Kenobi served as a great send-off for both he and Ewan McGregor, but that doesn’t mean it will be the end of the line for both characters. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently said that while Kenobi was intended as a limited series, a strong audience response could warrant another run of episodes. If that were to happen, Obi-Wan continuing to be mentored by the Force ghost version of Qui-Gon would make sense to include in future stories. Since there’s no guarantee that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon will be back, seeing Neeson and McGregor share the screen one last time will go down as an indelible part of Star Wars history.