|Via Comic Vine|
What I really appreciate about him is how much of an outsider he is within his own ranks. Even his padawan, Obi-Wan, is like, "Ugh, you know, you could just play along and be on the Council." But he has his own agenda, which essentially seems to be just living in the moment and reacting appropriately. Granted, most of this is just told to viewers instead of shown, but seeing as this is George Lucas we're talking about, it could have been that much worse.
The character showed a lot of promise, kind of a window into the cracks that were forming inside the Jedi order, but he wasn't ever really given a chance to shine. Seeing as Lucas was really pushing for a chiastic structure between the prequels and the originals, of course, Qui-Gon would have to die**. In the originals, with Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi dying in the second act, the old Jedi still remained integral to the plot, guiding the young Luke to destroy the first Death Star. But with the prequels? Meh, Qui-Gon got that "old middle school 'friend' you used to bum smokes off of but kinda forgot existed and then you find out their lives never really improved once they graduated high school but hey, it would be nice to catch up!" treatment, remembered at the very last minute to explain how Obi-Wan could dissolve into the Force twenty years later. And they even waited to kill him until the third act!
I honestly felt bad for Liam Neeson, who performed admirably, considering the material with which he was expected to work. His delivery of some of the lines in The Phantom Menace didn't sound as hokey as they would have coming from a less-talented actor's mouth, and he really did embody the Jedi calm, even while fighting Darth Maul. I just wish we'd been given a better glimpse as to what was going on behind his eyes. Plus, Liam Neeson is Irish Sex on a Stick, so the more, the merrier.