As part of the on-going Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando (FL), many of past participants of the franchise have appeared live or piped in with video segments. Liam Neeson -- who played Qui-Gon Jinn in Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- did a pre-recorded speech to the fans.
He took time to thank the fans of the film and discuss his role. He also chose to throw a quote out there that got a hearty laugh and applause when he referenced one of the most divisive characters in the 40 years history, Jar Jar Binks.
"40 years! 40 years of story telling, mixing myth, mythology, legend, technology, and this extraoridnary cinematic form. I’ve been very honored to play QGJ in the Phantom Menace," Neeson said. "I’m actually here on location in the Canadian Mountain; we’re making a movie, a very official movie, about what happened to Jar Jar Binks. Spoiler alert: he did go to the dark said. May the Force be with you!"
Jar Jar was, of course, a major character in Phantom Menace, had a smaller role in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and then a brief cameo in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith -- where he has no dialogue -- attempting to provide comic relief but largely annoying traditionalists of the original trilogy.
The joke made by Neeson was perfectly timed as the two were in lock step in Episode I, with Jinn saving the life of the bumbling Gungan from a Federation transport, but also unrealistic as Jinn also died in the film and Jar Jar was part of his funeral procession.
A popular theory about Jar Jar is that his foolish actions are a cover for him being an actual Jedi. Having spent time with Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Padme Amidala it is conceivable that he received Force training, but also the idea is compounded by the leadership roles that Binks takes in the films.
He leads the Gungan army as a general in the climatic battle in Episode I against the Trade Federation. It evolves in Episode II, as he is now acting as a delegate to the Galactic Senate where he is empowered to give speeches to the group as well as play host to Obi-Wan and Anakin during the return to Coruscant.
Jinn was one of the most powerful and wise of the Jedi -- though not part of the Jedi Council -- and played a major role in overthrowing the Trade Federation and resolving the political conflict that the conglomerate created.
Despite being killed in action, Jinn is mention and seen in the two subsequent movies through flashbacks and voice-overs.
The next numbered installment comes later this year, which features a continuation of Rey's journey from Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and her meeting with Luke Skywalker, which was teased at the end. Star Wars: The Last Jedi currently has a 3.89 out of 5 on ComicBook.com's anticipation rankings, and you can find the synopsis below.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017, release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is slated for release on December 15, 2017.