It appears, for the moment, that the future of the “Star Wars” universe is on television. While Disney’s trilogy of sequel movies did big business at the box office (despite dramatically different fan responses to the three films) spinoff movies like “Rogue One” and “Solo” gave the entertainment giant plenty of headaches. That, plus an industry-wide streaming push, led Disney to temporarily focus its “Star Wars” efforts on TV projects.
“The Mandalorian” was a massive success on Disney+, earning strong reviews for bringing “Star Wars” in new directions while maintaining what fans love about the franchise. “The Book of Boba Fett” was slightly more polarizing, but many were thrilled to see the beloved bounty hunter fleshed out in his own story.
But Disney’s next “Star Wars” show is one of its most anticipated projects yet. “Obi-Wan Kenobi” features Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master from George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, alongside Hayden Christensen, who returns as Darth Vader. The series has attracted plenty of buzz for its star power, leading fans to speculate about other “Star Wars” actors anchoring their own Disney+ series.
One name who can be crossed off that list? Liam Neeson.
In an interview with Comicbook.com to promote his new film “Memory,” Neeson recalled his experience playing Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequels, saying he has nothing but fond memories from his “Star Wars” experience.
“Qui-Gon, I can’t believe it’s 24 years since we made ‘The Phantom Menace,’ I just cannot believe where the time has gone,” he said. “It was a terrific experience, shooting that film in London.”
When asked if he’d be interested in returning to the role, Neeson’s answer was a tentative yes, albeit with a catch. Even as the line between film and television continues to blur, Neeson firmly believes that “Star Wars” should continue to be a theatrical experience.
“Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so … if it was a film,” he said. “Yeah, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit, I just like the big screen, you know?”
It looks like Neeson will not be joining the legions of movie stars who made the jump to the small screen any time soon. Though the actor forgets that he himself reprised the character as a voice actor for a brief cameo on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” In 2011, he lent his voice to the animated series for scenes in the episodes “Overlords” and “Ghosts of Mortis” when Qui-Gon appears in a vision. And he returned again in the 2014 episode “Voices,” in which the Force Ghost of Qui-Gon guides Yoda on the path toward learning how to keep his spirit intact, and able to make visits on his friends, after death. But perhaps a live-action appearance on a TV show is too much of a stretch?
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will premiere on Disney+ on May 25.