Obi-Wan Kenobi Delivers on That Star Wars Phantom Menace Cameo – The Hollywood Reporter
[This story contains spoilers for the series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi.]
It took a lot of patience on the part of viewers, but Obi-Wan Kenobi delivered on a season-long tease fans hoped would come to fruition.
Qui-Gon Jinn played by Liam Neeson returned to the franchise for the first time since 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The moment was shorter than most would have liked, given how much time has passed since the audience last saw Obi-Wan’s (Ewan McGregor) master, but all the emotions over seeing him once more were there.
Since the premiere episode of the six-part Disney+ Star Wars miniseries, there were teases that Qui-Gon might make an appearance, as Obi-Wan tried to connect with him a number of times throughout the adventure, but without any luck.
Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.
Lucasfilm Ltd./Courtesy Everett Collection
It was only in the very last moments of the series that Obi-Wan was finally able to see Qui-Gon’s Force ghost. Neeson only has a couple of lines, but he assures Obi-Wan he was there the whole time, his padawan was just not ready to see him. Qui-Gon was killed by Darth Maul (Ray Park) in The Phantom Menace. Yoda (Frank Oz) told Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith that he would teach him how to connect with his late master once more through the Force.
Neeson had said in recent years that he was “proud” of Phantom Menace, despite the initial criticisms from fans over the prequels. “I like the film. I am proud of it and proud to have been a part of it,” Neeson said in one interview. “I got to be a Jedi. I got to play with those wonderful lightsabers and stuff. It was terrific […] it really was.”
The once over-the-top criticisms over the prequels have vastly subsided, and the films are now largely enjoyed by fans. Obi-Wan star Hayden Christensen said in a recent THR interview that the tide had turned for him, meaning he felt far more appreciated and liked by fans now than he did when the prequels were released.
Qui-Gon was not the only cameo in the series finale. Fans also got to see Ian McDiarmid reprise his role as Emperor Palpatine. Just as Neeson’s was, the cameo is brief, but it is fulfilling and serves a purpose.