When it became clear that the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series, Ahsoka, was going to be a sequel to Star Wars Rebels, everyone had one question: Who is playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the biggest, baddest Star Wars villains who has never been seen in live action? Well, at Star Wars Celebration 2023, series creator Dave Filoni finally made the news official. It’s Lars Mikkelsen, who did the voice on Star Wars Rebels. The news was broken in a special Ahsoka teaser trailer shown only at Celebration.
Mikkelsen joins Rosario Dawson as the title character, a former Jedi apprentice now off on her own in a galaxy far, far away, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, Ahsoka’s friend who vowed to search for their mutual friend Ezra Bridger. Bridger is played by Eman Esfandi, which was previously announced but has not yet been made official. And, of course, the leader of the Ghost crew, Hera Syndulla, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
“It’s wonderful,” Mikkelsen said about returning. The actor provided Thrawn’s voice remotely on Rebels but, at the time, Filoni asked him if he’s ever been to Los Angeles. Later he realized, that was the filmmaker thinking about bringing him in to return for the role in person.
Filoni said that Timothy Zahn, who created the character for his iconic book Heir to the Empire (a phrase specifically reused in the Ahsoka trailer) was contacted about the casting and use of Thrawn on the show, and that those talks will continue in the future. “He doesn’t have the Force but it doesn’t matter,” Filoni said. “He will outsmart you and trap you and play chess better than you.”
“I feel really, really privileged, Lars too, to bring [Thrawn] to life in this way and we want to make sure we get it right,” Filoni added.
Ahsoka comes to Disney+ in August. Watch the first trailer here.
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