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Liam Neeson On Star Wars Fandom: "It's A Cult"

"There's so many movies and spinoffs, and I think, You're diluting the whole thing."


Actor Liam Neeson has once again shared his thoughts on Star Wars fandom and the series overall. He said the series has a cult-like following and that the numerous films and TV shows that have been released over the years are diluting the franchise overall.

Speaking to Conan O'Brien, Neeson--who played the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequels--said Star Wars "is a cult." He added: "There's so many movies and spin-offs, and I think, you're diluting the whole thing."

This is the second time this year that Neeson has weighed in on the Star Wars series. In February, he said something pretty similar, stating, "There's so many spin-offs of Star Wars. It's diluting it to me, and it's taken away the mystery and the magic in a weird way."

Neeson went on to tell O'Brien that he gets asked in public places like the airport for autographs due to his Star Wars celebrity. Young people come up to him, but Neeson observed that it's often the grandfather or the father who really wants the autograph.

"They become 11 year olds," Neeson said.

Neeson played Qui-Gon again in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi as part of a brief cameo. He's better known for portraying the character in The Phantom Menace, though Qui-Gon's time in the Star Wars film universe didn't last long, as he was killed by Darth Maul. In 2022, Neeson told ComicBook that would come back to play Qui-Gon again, but only if it was a new film, not a TV series. In reality, Neeson came back to play Qui-Gon in a TV series, not a movie.

The main Star Wars film series got two semi-recent spin-offs, Rogue One and Solo. For TV, there have been a bunch of shows in the past few years, including The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, and Ahsoka. There are more to come as well, including Andor Season 2 in 2024, The Acolyte, and Skelton Crew. The movie series, meanwhile, hasn't seen a new release since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, but three more movies are on the way.

It's not just the Star Wars series that some believe is getting overwhelmed with new releases. Fans have commented that there are too many Marvel TV shows to keep up with. In response to this, Marvel's Kevin Feige said Marvel TV shows will slow down and spread out.

Going back to Neeson, he shared a story about the first time he and co-star Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan, shot scenes in The Phantom Menace with lightsabers. Amazingly, Neeson said he and McGregor made the whooshing lightsaber sounds on set, prompting a response from director George Lucas.

"George said, 'Let's cut there; boys, we can add that in later,'" Neeson said with a laugh.

Neeson also discussed the scene in The Phantom Menace where Qui-Gon speaks with the junk dealer Watto to try to save Anakin. He said was thinking about how to perform the scenes with a CG character represented by a tennis ball, and his hair and makeup artist gave him some advice.

"You could be a monkey smoking a pipe, no one is going to be looking at you," Neeson said she told him.

Neeson's latest project is the action movie Retribution, in which Neeson drives a car and if he gets out, it explodes and kills him. The movie is in theaters now.

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