Liam Neeson won’t be returning for his own Star Wars spinoff, and while this is a wise decision, a Qui-Gon Jinn TV show still needs to happen.
Star Wars actor Liam Neeson recently confirmed he has no plans to return for a Qui-Gon Jinn spinoff series; and while this is a smart move on his part, a Qui-Gon-centered project should still happen. Neeson has returned to the role of Qui-Gon Jinn in other Star Wars TV shows, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, and a brief appearance as a Force ghost at the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Apart from these cameos, Neeson has not appeared in a starring role since Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, so it’s understandable fans want to see him get another chance in the spotlight.
Neeson himself is not interested in a spinoff, however. Speaking in a recent interview, he admitted he’s struggling to keep up with the franchise given the speed it expands. “As much as I admire them,” he observed, “There’s just so many of them now. So I’ve lost track, unfortunately.” It’s disappointing news, but it shows that ever-growing franchises aren’t of interest to every actor, simply because they demand a massive investment in time.
A Liam Neeson-Led Qui-Gon Jinn Spinoff Wouldn’t Work
Liam Neeson is right in avoiding a Qui-Gon Jinn spinoff because there would be too many limitations for it to work. Qui-Gon Jinn was killed in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, so he can only appear afterward as a Force ghost, which would be minimal. Star Wars has long established that Force ghosts should only appear every once in a while, with this being especially true for Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force ghost. Both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Obi-Wan Kenobi showed how difficult it was for Qui-Gon to communicate with his old friends, and it took even longer for him to finally manifest an image of himself.
This makes it difficult for Qui-Gon Jinn to appear at all post-Phantom Menace, and it almost certainly eliminates the possibility of a starring role. So while Liam Neeson can still make occasional appearances as a Force ghost, especially if Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 ever happens, it would be best for him to stick to voiceover cameos for anything else. Neeson could play Qui-Gon Jinn in a live-action Star Wars TV show set before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, but he would be noticeably older than he was in that movie. All of this leaves only one viable option for a Qui-Gon Jinn TV show happening without Liam Neeson.
Star Wars Should Tell More Qui-Gon Stories From Before The Prequels
The best way to do a Qui-Gon Jinn spinoff is to tell more stories about his life before the events of the prequel trilogy. Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi episode 2, “Justice,” offered a fascinating glimpse of Qui-Gon’s life as a Padawan, as well more insight into his relationship with Dooku. Star Wars novels have dabbled with Qui-Gon’s history as well, including some books in the old Expanded Universe that explored the backstory of Dooku and his Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn. More recently, and in canon, Claudia Gray’s Master & Apprentice explored Qui-Gon’s relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and showed why he was well positioned to recognize the coming of the Chosen One.
Stories like these would be great material for a Qui-Gon Jinn TV show, and setting them before the prequels could allow a younger actor to play Qui-Gon in live-action. Liam Neeson could still voice Qui-Gon for animated stories set close to Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, but there are several opportunities to focus on different times in Qui-Gon’s life. Pre-Phantom Menace stories would continue to shed new light on how Qui-Gon became the man he was, as well as enrich his connection to other Star Wars Jedi characters. Liam Neeson may be avoiding Star Wars spinoffs, but a Qui-Gon Jinn TV show should absolutely still happen.