Liam Neeson has vanquished many a foe as an action movie star. But long before he became an actor, Neeson came across one opponent he could never outmatch: middle-school students.

On Tuesday night’s episode of “The Late Late Show with James Corden”, Neeson shared that before he dedicated himself full-time to acting, he tried his hand at teaching. But he quickly determined he could not keep up with his pupils.

“I was teaching 11-, 12-year-old boys and girls and they had me wrapped around their little finger,” Neeson told Corden. “I just couldn’t control them. Let alone not educate them.”

“It’s not because they were wild or crazy,” he added, “it’s just because they were smarter than me. Street smarter than me.”

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Neeson said that by the time he’d finish a day of teaching he was exhausted. And though his sisters both went on to have successful careers in teaching, Neeson says that he didn’t inherit the same “gene” that made them such stellar educators.

Neeson also showed Corden a very special piece of “Star Wars” memorabilia he still has prominently displayed in his home more than two decades after appearing in “The Phantom Menace”. Mounted to a simple piece of wood that he says has been with him “to Tatooine and back,” is the lightsaber he wielded as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. The lightsaber, which he clarified cannot be turned on with a Jedi’s mind, but rather with a rather low-tech ‘on’ switch, holds a special place in Neeson’s heart.

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Cue fans hoping for Qui-Gon Jinn’s return to the “Star Wars” universe in one of Disney+’s many upcoming projects.