Ahsoka Showrunner Dave Filoni on Thrawn’s Return

AHSOKA Showrunner Dave Filoni Explains Why Lars Mikkelsen Had To Reprise His STAR WARS REBELS Role As Thrawn

Lars Mikkelsen, who originally voiced Grand Admiral Thrawn in the animated series Star Wars Rebels, has been selected to portray the character in live-action within the Ahsoka series. The decision to cast Mikkelsen as Thrawn in the live-action series was a deliberate one, and Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni recently shed light on the reasoning behind this choice.

Grand Admiral Thrawn is a character who made his debut in the pages of the 1991 novel “Heir to the Empire” by author Timothy Zahn. He quickly became a beloved figure in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and his popularity persisted even after the Expanded Universe was rebranded as “Legends.” Thrawn’s transition to official Star Wars canon occurred through the animated series Star Wars Rebels, where he played a critical role in the Empire’s struggle against the emerging Rebel Alliance. However, his ultimate fate in Rebels was a dramatic one, as he and Ezra Bridger were pulled into hyperspace by the enigmatic creatures known as the Purrgil, leaving their fates uncertain.

Now, with Thrawn’s presence confirmed in the Ahsoka series, Star Wars fans are eagerly anticipating his live-action portrayal. Although it remains to be seen how significant Thrawn’s role will be in the upcoming episodes of Ahsoka, it is clear that Lucasfilm has plans to further explore his character in stories set during the post-Return of the Jedi era.

Jacen Syndulla

In an Entertainment Tonight interview from Star Wars Celebration in April, Dave Filoni shared insights into why Lars Mikkelsen was the obvious choice for the role of Thrawn in live-action. Filoni acknowledged the challenge of casting the perfect voice for a character as iconic as Thrawn, as each reader may have envisioned the character differently while reading the novels. He explained that the search for the right voice led him to Lars Mikkelsen, who had previously voiced Thrawn in Rebels.

Filoni recounted a conversation with Jon Favreau, the executive producer of Ahsoka, during which Favreau emphasized the difficulty of surpassing Lars Mikkelsen’s portrayal. According to Filoni, Mikkelsen’s voice had become the definitive representation of Thrawn in his mind, making the decision to cast him in the live-action role a natural one. Additionally, Filoni mentioned Mikkelsen’s appearance, noting that not everyone looks convincing in Thrawn’s signature blue attire. However, Mikkelsen’s presence and stature, combined with the adjustment of his character’s eyes, made him an ideal choice to bring Thrawn to life on screen.

As the Ahsoka series continues to unfold, fans eagerly await the return of Thrawn from the neighboring galaxy. Given Thrawn’s strategic brilliance and leadership, it is possible that he will return with a formidable force to assert his claim as the heir to the Empire. How this storyline will intersect with the formation of the First Order and the broader Star Wars narrative remains uncertain. Still, it is expected that Thrawn’s character will continue to play a significant role in the evolving Star Wars universe.

Hera Syndulla

Set after the fall of the Empire, the Ahsoka series follows the former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano as she embarks on a mission to confront an emerging threat that poses a danger to the galaxy. Dave Filoni serves as the series creator and writer, alongside executive producers Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson, and Carrie Beck. The series features a roster of accomplished directors, including Dave Filoni himself, Steph Green, Peter Ramsey, Jennifer Getzinger, Geeta Vasant Patel, and Rick Famuyiwa. Currently, the first five episodes of Ahsoka are available for streaming on Disney+, with fans eager to see how Thrawn’s character develops in this live-action portrayal.

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