Following the release of 2019's The Rise of Skywalker and the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, the future of Star Wars seemed a little uncertain.
Disney's sequel trilogy was met with mixed reactions; and apart from Lucasfilm's ambiguous announcements about upcoming films and future trilogies, the next phase of storytelling from that galaxy far, far away was unknown.
Thankfully, that all changed with Disney+ and Lucasfilm's first live-action series — The Mandalorian — under the direction of Iron Man director Jon Favreau and Lucasfilm Animation's Dave Filoni.
Lucasfilm now appears to be all-in on the Disney+ model with a bounty of new series in the works and an agenda to bring its animated characters to live-action. Season 2 of The Mandalorian not only introduced fans to a live-action Ahsoka Tano via actress Rosario Dawson but also Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze portrayed by her long-time voice actor Katee Sackhoff.
This has led fans to question just when other popular animated characters would receive their own live-action debuts.
LIVE-ACTION THRAWN AND EZRA BRIDGER ANNOUNCEMENT
According to a rumor from LRM Online, Mena Massoud from Disney's live-action Aladdin has been cast as Ezra Bridger while Lars Mikkelson is set to play the popular Star Wars villain Grand Admiral Thrawn for an upcoming live-action Disney+ project.
Both characters were introduced to Star Wars canon in the Lucasfilm animated series Star Wars Rebels, which ran from 2014 through 2018.
Massoud has teased the possibility of him playing Ezra on social media and has long been a fan-favorite to play the Jedi Padawan from Lothal. The character was previously voiced by Taylor Gray.
Lars Mikkelson provided the voice for the Empire's Grand Admiral Thrawn throughout his character's run in the series. This is similar to Katee Sackhoff having voiced Bo-Katan for years before actually portraying her in person on-set.
In addition, Mikkelson isn't the first in his family to play a live-action Star Wars character. His younger brother Mads Mikkelson played Galen Erso in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
A REBELS SPINOFF SERIES IN THE WORKS?
The final season of Star Wars Rebels ended with Ezra Bridger and Thrawn being taken into hyperspace by the purrgil. Fans know that Ahsoka and Sabine Wren were intent on searching for them; and in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka made it known that she was still searching for Thrawn.
That has led fans to wonder if Ezra Bridger is alive within the timeline of The Mandalorian or if Ahsoka is still looking for him as well. It's clearly a story Lucasfilm intends to tell, but whether it's in the form of a new Rebels spinoff or in the upcoming Ahsoka series remains a mystery.
However, this isn't the first time Rebels characters have made news in recent weeks.
In Star Wars: The Bad Batch's debut episode, fans saw young Kanan Jarrus escape from clones affected by Order 66. Then, in Episodes 11 and 12 of the series, fans witnessed young Hera Syndulla's origin story.
Since The Bad Batch went out of its way to revisit these Star Wars Rebels characters, it's clear the studio is laying the groundwork for a story involving the crew; and with only three episodes remaining in the series, fans may get a confirmation sooner than later.