Liam Neeson Will Return To Voice Qui-Gon Jinn In Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi

There's more Star Wars animation blazing on the horizon! Joining "Star Wars: Visions" and "The Bad Batch," the "Tales of the Jedi" animated anthology sounds like a promising addition to the repertoire of LucasFilm Animation.

At Star Wars Celebration, moderator Amy Ratcliffe welcomed Dave Filoni (executive producer and executive creative director) to the "Tales of the Jedi" panel so he could reveal details, concept art, and exciting new footage from the upcoming "Tales of the Jedi" six shorts — which are animated in the familiar CGI style of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

On the anthology's genesis, Filoni explained that, "While working on 'The Mandalorian,' I would work on these stories. I wrote this one story and showed it to Carrie Beck [the producer]." At first it seemed that they may not find the money to bring the stories to life. Still, "she found a way to get this done. And I had to write more 'Tales.' It was a great project to take what I learned in live-action and apply to animation."

Ahsoka, Dooku, and Qui-Gon Jinn

So which Jedi did Filoni choose to explore? "I chose Ahsoka of course," said Filoni. "I like her. I raised her since she [was] 14. She's done some strange things, but she gets there. The other character I chose was Count Dooku." He then revealed an image of a younger Count Dooku. 

Filoni also showed concept art of a young Qui-Gon Jinn (who appeared in ghost form in "The Clone Wars"). Who's voicing young Qui-Gon? Filoni wondered aloud if he's even allowed to reveal it before remarking, "It's this guy you don't even know, Liam Neeson." The crowd roared. Filoni continued, "But it's not just him. I had his son play young Qui-Gon." He didn't specify which son, but the most likely candidate is Neeson's eldest son, Micheál Richardson, who previously starred alongside his father in the film "Made in Italy" (pictured above).

Charles Murray, a "Clone Wars" writer, had previously asked Filoni if he could direct an animated episode of "Clone Wars." Though he didn't at the time, Murray will now make his animated directorial debut on "Tales of the Jedi." Filoni revealed that Murray worked on the short about Count Dooku. Christopher Lee, who played Dooku in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, sadly passed away in 2015. The character was voiced in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" by Corey Burton, and while Filoni didn't confirm that Burton will be voicing Dooku for "Tales of the Jedi," it seems very likely that this will be the case. Burton's voice could recently be heard in "The Book of Boba Fett," where he voiced the live-action version of Cad Bane.

Exploring Ahsoka's past

As for Ahsoka, Filoni told "three separate tales that tell a large portion of her life." Filoni promised heavy stuff: one piece of concept art revealed Ahsoka facing a mysterious cloaked figure with a double red-bladed lightsaber (Inquisitor-styled) against the backdrop of a blazing village.

The Celebration Room arena was pleasantly surprised when Filoni played one of the Ahsoka tales (roughly 15 minutes). Without giving much away, the short "Life and Death" (directed by Nathaniel Villanueva) explores a significant slice of Ahsoka Tano's Togruta background, her parents, and her village. Composer Kevin Kiner's confirmed music is warm. Unsurprisingly, Filoni revealed the influences of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, which was also applied to his work with "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

After the short, Filoni shared that he considered a Plo Koon story, in reference to a brief shot in a "Clone Wars" cold opening where a small Ahsoka meets the Jedi master. He also spoke before of exploring Ahsoka's childhood recruitment into the Jedi Order. But somewhere along the way, Filoni decided to write about Ahsoka's mother, "because moms are important, we don't have much of that figure in 'Star Wars.'" In addition, the voice actress for Ahsoka's mother, Janina Gavankar (Iden Versio of "Star Wars: Battlefront II"), made a surprise appearance.

Filoni also shared the trailer for "Tales of the Jedi," which revealed footage that includes a younger Dooku wishing to bring peace to a province, Ahsoka training under Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka facing the aforementioned red-blade (now seen clearly with a skull-like mask), Mace Windu, and Yaddle (one of the few known Jedi masters of Yoda's species, who has rarely surfaced in onscreen canon since "The Phantom Menace").

"Tales of the Jedi" will release in Fall 2022 on Disney+.