Liam Neeson to voice Qui-Gon Jinn in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

exclusive-Clone-Wars-LiamImage Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd

Liam Neeson is returning to that Galaxy Far, Far Away. EW has learned exclusively that the actor will reprise his Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace role as doomed Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn on Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Jan. 28 and again on Feb. 11. He’ll be voicing Qui-Gon, who appears to Obi-Wan Kenobi in visions, in a three-part arc about his former protégé Anakin Skywalker’s destiny as the Chosen One. 

Though The Clone Wars has featured a number of high-profile guest-stars, including Seth Green, George Takei, Michael York, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, and director Jon Favreau, Neeson is by far the biggest name yet attached to the series (airing Friday nights at 8:30 pm ET). Considering the backlash against The Phantom Menace, and Neeson’s string of post-Star Wars critical and box-office hits, to voice a character on The Clone Wars might seem to be an unexpected — and even brave — move. But his connection to the saga runs deeper. Neeson tells EW he wanted to return to Star Wars because he felt that “these characters resonate…even after all these years.” He adds, “Growing up, my heroes were cowboys; they were strong and mysterious, and it seemed like they always rode off into the sunset. For kids today, Star Wars has that same kind of magic. I really wanted to be a part of that.” And he still is.

To help you geek out in advance, here’s an exclusive clip from Neeson’s first episode as he, in spectral form, confronts his former Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. And be sure to check out our weekly Clone Wars recaps!

Comments (100 total) Add your comment
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  • tmoth41

    Sweet mamby jamby. Loved it! Can’t wait to see it on C.N. Thanks EW

    • harry

      awesome!!!

    • Roekest

      I couldn’t have said it better myself…

  • mE

    Why am i here?

    • Mitch Logan

      Big Bang -> Evolution -> Mommy+Daddy -> Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    • Max Scott

      what do you mean?

  • Ryan

    That is awesome! Although in Revenge of the Sith, Obi Wan does seem startled at the prospect of Qui Gonn speaking from beyond the grave. This series would be so much better if it took an alternate history route. I keep getting weighed down by the fact that every victory the good guys have is pointless.

    • harry

      wouldn’t you be startled if something in your dream came true in real life? I know I would.

    • Bomtron

      In ROFTS it’s possible that Obi Wan is surprised that Yoda also has been communicating with Qui Gonn and not that Qui Gonn is active in the Force.

      • neverAcquiesce

        It’s also possible that, depending on how these episodes play out, Obi-Wan views this as a dream/vision, or believes it to be a manifestation of the Force itself. When he hears Yoda’s confirmation at the end of Episode III that he too has communicated with Qui-Gon, Kenobi is astonished to learn that his interactions with his former Master were indeed genuine.

      • Mike d

        i mean with that has happened to obi wan in episode iii and the remainder of the clone wars you think the first thing on his mind is gunna be “oh ok i did speak to qui gon, kk not suprised.”

      • Jd

        Or maybe Obi-Wan is surprised that he can get another chance to speak with his former Master? I know that if I could talk with a deceased loved one i’d jump on every occasion i could get! I think its the same with Obi…

      • Mitch Logan

        And this time, it’s happening in a magic room.

  • Kevin1126

    I agree with Bomtron, when Yoda approaches Obi Wan about this at the end of ROTS, it’s Obi Wan that says the name Qui Gon before Yoda tells him who he is talking about, so that’s a possible explanation.

    • james

      that implies that any of this crap was well thought out ahead of time.

      • militant marker

        Exactly and we all know that it wasn’t.

      • Mitch Logan

        No, it implies that all of this crap is being well-thought-out AFTER the fact.

  • DavidJ

    As much as I might despise Phantom Menace, I have to admit Neeson WAS pretty cool in that movie as Qui-Gon. It’ll be kinda cool to see him again.

    • Tito

      How exactly was he cool? All of the Jedi characters in the prequel movies were extremely boring. Even Sam Jackson, an extraordinarily dynamic actor, had the charisma of a lukewarm bowl of oatmeal in these movies.

      • Frank

        Once you’re done with the snark, why don’t you tell us what you like.

    • KC

      what was so bad about Phantom Menace? i thought it was good and we got to see Anakan for the first time.

      • Melokesm

        I agree. I don’t think any of th movies were THAT bad. The worst thing for me was Anakin and Padme’s chemistry. I think the movies would have been so much better with a different actor being cast as Anakin…sorry Hayden.

      • BobaGuest

        I don’t think any actor could have helped the chemistry. The dialogue between the two was so awful and unfeeling that I’m surprised to learn that not only has Lucas actually spoken to women, he has in fact fathered children. There is more sexual tension between Palpatine and Anakin.

  • Andrew Higginbotham

    im so excited to see qui-gon in the clone wars he looks so cool

  • sharley

    sweet!

  • matt

    I agree with u neverAcquiesce. It is totally awesome to see Qui-Gon in the clone wars. This season is truly back on track after all those political episodes. As they say it not how u start but how u finish and the clone wars is looking to be shaping up to finsh very strong indeed

    • oscar

      u are totally right and I agree with u.

  • Cory

    This (s)might give the show actually some good ratings. I would like to also see more of General Rahm Koto from the 2 Force Unleased video games make an apperance in The Clone Wars. Being that he severed in The Clone Wars. He helped wage war on the battle of Felusia.

    • Cory

      Sorry I ment,”KOTA.”

    • Damon

      The ratings for this series have already been wild; it’s the highest-watched show in Cartoon Network’s history, and one of the largest amongst key demographics. With what happens in tomorrow’s episode, and these two forthcoming ones, this will blow the series into the stratosphere.

      I’m in your camp about wanting to see Kota as well!

      • Steve

        Count me in for seeing Rahm Kota make an appearance as well.

    • hollywoodman323

      Its always had great ratings? not sure why you have idea it hasnt.
      Cartoon network has said repeatedly that they are very happy with the show cause it gives them higher raitings then any other program they have aired. And is consistantly week to week their number 1 show through out its entire run.

  • Eric

    Wow! Awesome! I only wished that they put him in Revenge of the Sith.

    • KC

      i agree Eric

  • Kenny Kraly Jr.

    great news.

  • SPF

    Excellent news! Qui Gon was one of the best things about TPM, although I am one of the few folks who seem to value the prequels for what they are.

    • Oxiborick

      Nah, I think most mainstream/general audiences enjoyed the prequels. Whining about them seems to be a hipster/nerd thing, not a general audiences thing.

    • Hannah Skeldon

      I loved the prequels to, Jar Jar was really the killjoy in Phantom Mennace IMHO, but I LOVED Qui-Gonn Jinn.

  • sdf

    star wars is so “over”. How many toys are you going to buy?

    • Ian

      Star wars is not so “over”. Stars Wars is one of the greatest movie franchises in the entire history of movies. George Lucas is a genius. Just because your not rich and famous, doesn’t mean that you can bag on the show.

      • Gunga Din

        You’re right, SW is the greatest movie franchise in the entire history of movies; and that’s where the problem lies. It’s a franchise! It has become little more than a money making machine, vomiting out merchandise at the cost of storylines.
        Just because we army of geeks blindly lap it up like lickspittles at the feet of Lucas does not mean it’s any good anymore.

    • Niix Starkyller

      Star Wars it’s a mythology which continues to resonate with kids, and ‘kids’ who aren’t kids anymore. It has the potential to be as culturally enduring as Dracula or Alice in Wonderland. And it doesn’t require your support to do so, sdf. Cheers, mate.

    • SteveINYC

      SDF – If Star Wars is “so over,” what’s “hot” in your opinion? Tron? Glee? People will be celebrating Star Wars long after all of us are dead, and long after your anonymous smugness is long forgotten in the day-to-day uselessness of your meaningless life. Until you create something that has legs decades later, I’d STFU.

    • Chris

      You don’t determine what we get to like.

    • Sandy

      Star Wars are so not over!

    • Oxiborick

      Dude Star Wars has ALWAYS been a money making franchise. I hate this crap where aging geeks point to some magical era in which Star Wars was innocent and not about merchandising. Lucas traded his director fee for A New Hope for the licensing rights. What do you suppose he had on his mind? The moneymkaing machine has been there from day one. >:D

  • Louie

    George lucas mangled the continuity a long time ago. might as well go with it.

    • Mitch Logan

      When it’s finally all over, it will all make sense.

      • Gunga Din

        ….we’ll all be dead by then, and some other money man will be reaping the benefits. Trust me on that one.

  • nick

    :O omfg

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