Depending on your age, there’s a decent change you either have fond nostalgia for the Star Wars prequel trilogy or revile it with all the vehemence of an Imperial officer staring down Rebel scum. The films are being looked at with a slightly kinder gaze nowadays, as Disney’s sequel trilogy forces people to acknowledge that maybe the prequels weren’t quite as bad as they remembered.
But beyond any controversies over Jar Jar Binks, there were some aspects of the prequel films that were just plain good. Case in point: Disney+ will premiere its Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series next month, which will see both Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen reprise their prequel trilogy roles as Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader respectively. Darth Maul continues to be a pretty well-loved piece of the prequel trilogy mythos as well, though he unfortunately will not be appearing in the series.
Liam Neeson open to returning to Star Wars as Qui-Gon Jinn, but only for a movie
Another beloved character from the prequel trilogy was Obi-Wan’s mentor Qui-Gon Jinn, played by Liam Neeson. Qui-Gon was the one who discovered an enslaved Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine and recognized his potential, but who was slain by Darth Maul before he got the chance to train the boy. With all these returning characters, of course the question was going to come up: would Liam Neeson ever return as Qui-Gon? The answer is yes…but with a catch.
“Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so … if it was a film. Yeah, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit, I just like the big screen, you know?” Neeson told ComicBook.com. “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. It was a terrific experience, shooting that film in London.”
It’s enough to keep hope for the character’s return alive, though it is a little sad to hear that he most likely won’t be appearing in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. Revenge of the Sith left off with Obi-Wan learning that he might be able to contact his former master as a Force Ghost, so the timeline would have worked out for the series. Who knows, maybe Neeson will surprise us yet with a voiceover or something. He did that for The Rise of Skywalker, though admittedly that was a movie so it passed his litmus test.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to hope that one day we’ll see Qui-Gon Jinn onscreen again.
Rupert Friend (Grand Inquisitor) teases “wonderful cameos” in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
However, just because we most likely won’t see Qui-Gon in Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t mean it won’t have familiar faces. Just ask Rupert Friend, who plays the Grand Inquisitor, a Jedi hunter and student of Darth Vader who originated in the Star Wars Rebels animated series. The Grand Inquisitor will be out searching for Jedi to eradicate and will likely play some part in the titular hero being drawn out of his hermitage in the desert of Tatooine.
Per Den of Geek, Friend talked about the Star Wars prequel series while promoting his new series Anatomy of a Scandal. “If it’s possible to be any more excited than folks already are, I would be,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most thrilling additions to the Star Wars canon. I think Ewan McGregor is doing things with that role that is a dream for fans of the original films. We can’t obviously have Alec Guinness back, but I just think Ewan was absolutely born to play that part.”
Friend also said that there will be “wonderful cameos from people I obviously can’t tell you, easter eggs galore.”
This is no surprise. As it stands, we know that Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are reprising their prequel roles as Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru from Revenge of the Sith. Then we’ve got McGregor and Christensen at the top of the bill. Temeura Morrison may show up; he not only played Boba Fett in the new Book of Boba Fett series but also Boba’s clone granddaddy Jango Fett in the prequel movies. Obi-Wan Kenobi is set during a time when there are still Jango clones wearing the Stormtrooper armor walking around, so that one’s not a stretch.
Beyond that, Samuel L. Jackson has talked quite a bit about wanting to return as Mace Windu, and he’s already pretty tight with Disney due to his long tenure as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’re not counting anything out here.
The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere May 27 on Disney+. After that, new episodes of the limited series will air on Wednesdays.