The TV Tropes entry for "Voodoo Shark" says:

The prequels created one in the form of force ghosts. With the original trilogy, it was assumed that all Jedi (or at least sufficiently powerful ones) became "one with The Force" when they died. Then along comes Revenge of the Sith saying the Force Ghost thing was a technique Qui-Gon Jin discovered and taught to Yoda, who taught it to Obi-Wan. So then... How did Vader/Anakin learn it? (The obvious answer, that Obi-Wan taught it to him, runs into the problem that by the time he'd learned about it himself, Anakin was already his enemy.) And why didn't Qui-Gon or Yoda teach this technique to any other Master? For that matter why wouldn't Qui-Gon appear before his friend and Padawan, Obi-Wan? (A case of Real Life Writes the Plot in this case because Liam Neeson couldn't appear in further movies).

Why couldn't he appear in further movies?

  • As far as the question of how Anakin learned the ability, it was due to the assistance of Obi-Wan and Yoda ( ROTJ DVD commentary ). Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 15:01
  • 3
    He had to go find his daughter. Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


He was in an accident

Wikipedia explains that:

However, he was ultimately unable to appear [in Episode II] due to a motorcycle injury

This is confirmed in an ABC News article from the time, which details that:

The Oscar-nominated Irish actor suffered a fractured right pelvis, a chipped left pelvis, and multiple leg abrasions.

Apparently the motor cycle accident happened about noon 11th July 2000 and, as Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released in 2002, it's fair to say that production would have started well before then, meaning that Neeson couldn't be involved due to the serious accident.

So that addresses why he couldn't be involved, but

something doesn't quite add up...

The production of Episode II began before the accident:

After the mixed critical response to The Phantom Menace, Lucas was hesitant to return to the writing desk. In March 2000, just three months before the start of principal photography, Lucas finally completed his rough draft for Episode II. ...The final script was completed just one week before the start of principal photography. ... Principal photography occurred between June 26, 2000 and September 20, 2000 at 20th Century Fox Studios in Australia.


So, the final script was not completed until about 19th of June 2000. Yet, Neeson's accident occurred after that date!

Even more evidence about something else being involved is this later draft, which was last modified July 5, indicating that Neeson wasn't going to be involved - Qui-Gon is only mentioned, not actually involved!

Now, just to confirm that Neeson wasn't involved, although Wookieepedia correctly says that in Episode II:

Back at Coruscant, Yoda senses a terrible darkness in the Force as the slaughter continues (Qui-Gon Jinn's voice can also be heard saying "Anakin, Anakin, No!" during this scene)

IMDB explains that this was archive sound

Now, this article indicates that Neeson was very unimpressed with Episode II.

So, perhaps he couldn't be involved because of the motorbike accident, but maybe he didn't even want to be involved.

As for Episode Three, Neeson was involved, just not in the final version (kudos Praxis):

Liam Neeson has said that he recorded a cameo as Qui-Gonn Jinn, which was to feature in a scene with Yoda, further explaining the concept of a Jedi communicating from beyond the grave. In the script, the dialog (in which Qui-Gonn is heard, not seen) appeared in the scene in which Yoda is meditating on the secret asteroid base, just before Bail Organa informs him of Obi-Wan's return with Padme. The scene does not appear in the deleted scenes section of the DVD, however an unfinished version was included in the Blu Ray Release Box Set.


  • @Praxis fair enough; possibly it was edited? The article says he was aged 48 and he was born in 1952, so it would've been from 2000 Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:34
  • I wonder why he couldn't appear in Episode III? Especially if he would only have appeared as a Force ghost, requiring no stunt work.
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:35
  • 1
    Regarding Ep. III: "Liam Neeson has said that he recorded a cameo as Qui-Gonn Jinn..." From here. Feel free to include some of that, if you so desire. :-) Basically, he couldn't appear in II but could appear in III, but they didn't use his scene.
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:37
  • 2
    It's also worth noting Neeson voiced Qui-Gonn in The Clone Wars. Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 15:43

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