Even Liam Neeson can’t resist the appeal of a lightsaber.
The “Star Wars” actor told Conan O’Brien on an episode of his “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” podcast posted last week that he and co-star Ewan McGregor couldn’t help making the iconic lightsaber swooshing noises while filming with the props on the set of “The Phantom Menace.”
“The first time I actually had to pull the lightsaber ― and there’s only a handle ... and maybe a little bit of aluminum tube with green tape. Mine’s was green because I’m an Irish Jedi and Ewan’s was red or something,” said Neeson, who played Qui-Gon Jinn in the “Star Wars” prequel.
“So the first time we got to pull them to start a little fight,” Neeson continued, “we both automatically [made the noises].”
That’s when George Lucas chimed in.
“Uh, let’s cut that,” Neeson recalled the director saying. “Boys, we can add that in later.”
“Of course, we knew that,” Neeson concluded.
The actor’s story lines up with one from McGregor, who also admitted to making lightsaber noises on the set of the films.
“It was quite difficult not to make the sound,” McGregor said on “The Graham Norton Show.” “And also, when it goes away, because it makes that nice noise when it goes down.”
Neeson, who shared his displeasure with the direction of the “Star Wars” franchise earlier this year, has previously said that he’d only return to his character if it were for a movie. In his interview with O’Brien, he added that the “cult” of “Star Wars” has been diluted by the number of movies and spinoffs.
You can watch more of O’Brien’s interview with Neeson, filmed prior to the actors strike, in the clip below.