Even before The Phantom Menace was released, Thomas started working on a Qui-Gon Jinn costume. He wore it to the Star Wars Celebration in Denver, and to the premiere of the movie at The Senator Theatre in Baltimore.
Here, you can see one of his experiments with coating lightsaber blades in reflective tape so that they would catch & reflect camera flashes. The idea was that people would take pictures of the costume, and when the pictures were developed, they would show what seemed to be a real lightsaber blade. This picture was taken with available light, so the illusion didn't work too well, this time.