Obi-Wan Kenobi's TV show will feature a number of returning characters and on-screen reunions – but the return of Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn won't be among that number.
Speaking to ComicBook.com (opens in new tab), Neeson all but confirmed that he wasn't involved in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus. Asked if he'd be open to reprising his role as Qui-Gon in a galaxy far, far away, the Taken and Derry Girls actor, who portrayed Obi-Wan's mentor in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, indicated that he would. However, Neeson added that he'd only return for a Star Wars movie – ending fans' hopes for a potential cameo (as a Force Ghost) in Obi-Wan's TV series.
"Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so ... if it was a film," Neeson responded. "Yeah, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit, I just like the big screen, you know?"
Star Wars fans had secretly been hoping that Neeson's Qui-Gon would have a bit-part role in Obi-Wan's standalone adventure. After all, there are plenty of examples of dead Jedi appearing to their former apprentices throughout Star Wars' illustrious history. Many had hoped, then, that Qui-Gon would appear before Obi-Wan at some point in the latter's upcoming TV series.
Sure, Neeson doesn't outright deny that he'll appear in Obi-Wan. However, his comments about only returning to the Star Wars franchise for a film role heavily suggest that he won't make an appearance in the show.
Still, there are plenty of other returning faces who'll crop up in Obi-Wan's six-episode run. Ewan McGregor reprises his role from the Star Wars prequel trilogy as the titular hero, while Hayden Christensen is back as Darth Vader. Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse will also return as Owen and Beru Lars from episodes I, II, and III, the duo who raise Luke Skywalker after Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side and became the legendary Sith Lord he's known as today.
Obi-Wan launches exclusively on Disney Plus on Friday, May 27. The show's first two episodes will air on that date, with the remaining four arriving weekly after that.
Analysis: Qui-Gon, but not forgotten
Qui-Gon Jinn may have only appeared in one live-action Star Wars production, but Neeson's turn as the Jedi Master was one of the better parts of Lucasfilm's prequel trilogy.
Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III are looked down upon by large swathes of Star Wars' fanbase, with the films' reliance on politics, heavy CGI effects, and laughable dialogue chief among fans' complaints. Neeson's Qui-Gon, though, was considered to be a highlight of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and he remains a fan favorite character to this day.
Qui-Gon has gone on to feature in a number of Star Wars comics since his initial appearance in The Phantom Menace; his backstory being fleshed out in various comic series and other Star Wars books and novels. The highly-respected Qui-Gon always ranks highly in lists about the most beloved and/or powerful Jedis of all-time, too, showing that fans still yearn for more of the character two decades on from his one and only cinematic appearance.
Despite Neeson's reluctance to feature in a Star Wars TV show, it seems that he could be coaxed back for a big screen adventure. That marks something of an about-turn for Neeson, too, who told Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab) (in February 2020) that he wouldn't consider returning to Star Wars in any capacity. It's unclear where, when, or how he'd show up in a future Star Wars movie, but Neeson's certainly left the door open on returning if he feels the project is the right fit.
Even if he doesn't, there's plenty of other Star Wars projects in the works. Standalone, live-action TV shows centered on Ahsoka Tano and Cassian Andor are on the way in 2022, while The Mandalorian season 3 will air on Disney Plus sometime this year. Hopefully, anyway.
Meanwhile, animated shows including The Bad Batch season 2 are also set to be released in the future. For more details on every Star Wars movie and TV show in development, check out our handy guide.