Despite being excited for Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan series on Disney+, Liam Neeson admits that he’s a little confused by all the new Star Wars spinoffs.
In a recent interview, Liam Neeson spoke candidly about the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff series currently in production with Ewan McGregor. Neeson, whose latest film The Ice Road was recently released on Netflix, joined the Star Wars saga as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. This first entry in the prequel trilogy also introduced Ewan McGregor as Qui-Gon’s Padawan learner and a younger version of Sir Alec Guinness’s iconic Jedi Master.
Originally conceived as a single theatrical film in the same vein as the other Star Wars spinoff movies, Rogue One and Solo, rumors of an Obi-Wan-centric project had been doing the rounds on fan forums as early as 2013. While Ewan McGregor had been formerly approached to reprise his role from the prequels in 2015, he was required to maintain confidentiality until the formal announcement of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show at 2019’s D23 Expo. Set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, which saw the destruction of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, the series will also see Hayden Christensen return to his role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.
While several details about Obi-Wan Kenobi have emerged over the past few months, many are keen to see if Neeson is also set to provide a cameo as a force ghost of Kenobi’s former mentor. During a recent interview with Collider, Neeson was asked if he was surprised by how many people ask him about the series and if he ever did “get that call from Disney”. Check out Neeson’s response below:
“It’s called Obi-Wan, right or Obi-Wan Kenobi? I haven’t been approached to be honest. I know there’s so many spinoffs now. I am a little confused, I must admit… I remember being in Belfast, in the theater, having a day off and going to see it, the first one, I think it was Episode IV, I believe. With Harrison, Mark and Carrie of course… And it was just totally unique, incredibly entertaining. Never once did I think I might be a part of it somewhere down the line, but it’s still going strong. And as I say that there’s all these spinoffs and I’m not surprised there’s a spinoff of Obi-Wan and Ewan’s there. I look forward to seeing it very much.
Given that canonically Qui-Gon was the first Jedi to join with the Force in a way that allowed his consciousness to return after death, Neeson’s potential return as a Force Ghost has been one of the most persistent fan theories about the series. While the actor’s admission that he has not been approached by Lucasfilm will disappoint many fans keen to see him return as the Jedi Master, it will probably be unlikely to put an end to the rumors anyway. After all, as many avid fan theorists will be the first to point out, Ewan McGregor had been actively denying his return as Obi-Wan for four years before it was officially confirmed.
Whether or not Qui-Gon does return, Neeson’s confusion about the growing number of spinoffs in the franchise is understandable. Since Disney first purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, they have been responsible for producing more live-action Star Wars content under the brand name in nine years, than had ever been done in the decades under George Lucas’ guidance. The sheer volume of content currently being produced, with stories set across many differing eras, is a treasure trove for devoted fans but raises questions for casual viewers who may not be so familiar with the ever-growing Star Wars timeline. One thing is for certain, though, when Obi-Wan Kenobi does finally air on Disney+, it’s sure to be watched by both hardcore and casual fans alike.