Thrawn was created for the beloved Heir to the Empire EU trilogy by writer Timothy Zahn. However, Dave Filoni has since taken Zahn’s character into animation in Star Wars Rebels.
In the animated tv series, Thrawn is voiced by actor Lars Mikkelsen and has not been seen since Ezra captured him and sent them both into unknown regions. Despite not being sighted since, he has been mentioned in other Star Wars projects.
Ahsoka’s introduction in The Mandalorian is most notable when she asks where Thrawn is, teasing the huge role that the Grand Ahsoka’sis set to play.
However, when Thrawn makes the leap to live-action in Ahsoka, the Grand Admiral could need to find a new voice to help bridge the gap.
No Galaxy Far, Far Away for ‘Perfe‘t Choice’ Lars’ Mikkelsen
In a new interview with Express, Thrawn actor Lars Mikkelsen debunked rumors that he is continuing the part in live-action.
Despite voicing the iconic character in Star Wars show Rebels, he has cast some doubt on whether he will play a part in the upcoming Ahsoka series.
Whether the actor is returning as the Grand Admiral has remained a mystery, and when asked by the publication, the actor “could only laugh evasively.”
He’s aware of the “ongoing fan campaign for his return,” but the actor shared that he has not had the offer to play the character in live-action.
However, all hope is not lost, as the actor would consider returning a Thrawn in future projects should the offer arise:
"'I am aware of that, yes...Well, I haven’t had the offer. But, yes, sure."
Already, fans have shared their sadness with the news.
Twitter user @coffee_graff wrote:
"That is sad to hear. He is perfect for the part. SO perfect."
A second Twitter user, @MaceAhWindu, described being “very disappointed” in the news, especially considering that Lars has before shared his enthusiasm for carrying Thrawn mantel into live-action:
"Lars has said he would love to be live action Thrawn, so this isn’t a matter of ‘he didn’t want to do it’. If he’s not the live action choice I’m going to be at minimum very dissappointed. That is a slam dunk casting. Hopefully he’s just lying about not being approached."
However, others have compared the interview to those by Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield; both are well-known examples of actors who have lied about reprising some of their most iconic roles.
Twitter user @HarrisonnnFordd shared a gif of Andrew Garfield claiming he is “not the werewolf.” This gif references how the actor lied about returning as Peter Parker in the multiverse spectacular Spider-man: No Way Home.
The actor had dashed hopes of returning as the Jedi in Obi-Wan Kenobi, only to make a surprise cameo at the end of the series.
A New Hope for Lars’ Live-action Thrawn?
Lars Mikkelsen could be lying. After all, there is a long tradition of actors lying to keep secrets from fans and even fellow cast and crew.
Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson lied about returning to their respective franchises and so did Ewan McGregor, despite the Obi-Wan Kenobi project being in the works since the earlier days of Disney’s Star Wars acquisition.
The Mandalorian creators Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau also went to considerable lengths to keep Luke Skywalker’s cameo a secret. In the concept art and VFX, Plo-Koon was drawn instead, and not even the cast knew that Luke was returning.
There is also a precedent for Lucasfilm to have voice actors continue their roles in animation. Katee Sackhoff, for instance, plays Bo-Katan Kryze in animation and live-action. However, as Rosario Dawson’s casting as Ahsoka Tano proves, Lucasfilm is no stranger to recasting a role for live-action purposes.
Regardless, Thrawn’s return is not confirmed but seems to be a foregone conclusion, especially with his connection to Ezra Bridger, who has been confirmed to appear in the Ahsoka series.
To find out whether Lars Mikkelsen is telling the truth, fans will have to wait until Ahsoka debuts on Disney+ sometime in 2023.