Star Wars director Dave Filoni may have just revealed who the villain in The Mandalorian movie will be.
As a part of this year's Star Wars Celebration, Filoni was announced to helm a MandoVerse movie, bringing together the various Star Wars stories being told on Disney+ in a culmination event only fit for the big screen.
Not much is known about the project, except that there's a chance it will be the first new Star Wars movie to hit screens and will "focus on the New Republic" and the escalating war between it and Imperial remnants.
It remains to be officially confirmed what sort of threat would be worthy of a crossover event such as this, but it will evidently have something to do with a fan-favorite Chiss admiral.
The MandoVerse Movie Villain
According to The Mandalorian movie director Dave Filoni, Star Wars Rebels' big bad Grand Admiral Thrawn will seemingly serve as the MandoVerse crossover film's primary villain.
When asked in the summer issue of Empire Magazine if he saw Thrawn as "the big bad of this New Republic era," Finloni responded, "Definitely, in my eyes:"
"Definitely, in my eyes. When Timothy Zahn wrote 'Heir To The Empire,' Thrawn became this very iconic villain, because he was different than anything we’d seen before. He wasn’t another helmet-wearing, lightsaber-wielding bad guy, you know? There’s a lot of pull to make characters that are like Vader, because it is so iconic."
With the Chiss villain being the primary antagonist of this New Republic era, one can assume he would be the big bad in the film set to "close out [these] interconnected stories."
He added that Thrawn is "a critical player in this time period" and they are "fortunate to have that character:"
"But the boldness that Tim had was to make somebody that wasn’t like that, that didn’t have those abilities, but could fight in a different way. In the words ‘Star Wars’, the ‘war’ part of it — him being a Grand Admiral, a leader, a military strategist, a Moriarty archetype, someone that will out-think you, out-strategise you — that really resonated. He’s a critical player in this time period. We’re fortunate to have that character, and fortunate to have Lars [Mikkelsen] playing him."
The Mandalorian showrunner remarked that he wants "to make sure that [he's] honoring ideas" set up by Thrawn creator and Star Wars Legends author Timothy Zahn, pointing to the "little things along the way that [he's] built" to prepare "for things that come later:"
"There are a lot of factors, especially in playing with a character like [novelist] Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn — I want to make sure that I’m honouring ideas that Tim had, so I want to see what’s [in his books] for the story. In The Bad Batch, there is actually some crossover with the book Heir To The Empire in the military base of Tantiss. So there are little things along the way that I’ve built across different mediums, all in preparation for things that come later."
Is Thrawn the Mando Movie Villain?
Right now, it certainly seems like Tharwn will be the big bad of Dave Filoni's MandoVerse.
Seeing as the character is finally set to make his live-action debut in this summer's Ahsoka, he is about to become a major threat to the New Republic being pieced together in the wake of defeating the Empire.
It remains to be seen what exactly the Chiss admiral will be after when he enters the Mandoverse and heads for this culmination event, but the Star Wars team seemingly has full faith in Filoni that the writer/director will deliver.
With Thrawn actor Lars Mikkelsen emphasizing that they "get [Thrawn] right," it sounds as though they are prepping the character some something a little bigger than a single series appearance.
If there was going to be a threat worthy of bringing together an entire mini-universe of series, Thrawn is exactly that.
No official release timing for The Mandalorian movie has been made public, but the film is predicted to come sometime in December 2026.