Thrawn's Live-Action Actor Is Making 1 Key Change from Star Wars Rebels Portrayal

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Thrawn, Star Wars Rebels

The man behind Grand Admiral Thrawn revealed some of the changes he'll make to his Star Wars Rebels character for his live-action Star Wars debut.

Lars Mikkelsen delighted the Star Wars fandom with the announcement that he would reprise his role as Thrawn in the upcoming live-action Ahsoka series, following years of rumors regarding who would play the iconic villain.

He becomes one of half a dozen Star Wars Rebels characters to make the jump from animation to live-action, which is particularly exciting considering the teases just laid out for his inclusion in Season 3 of The Mandalorian.

Thrawn Actor Details Changes for Live-Action

Thrawn, Ezra, Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars

In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, Star Wars actor Lars Mikkelsen detailed the changes he made to his performance as Grand Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels to Ahsoka, particularly when it comes to his vocal performance.

While he didn't want to change too much about Thrawn's voice, he explained that there's a "whole melodious approach" to the animated role that he saw as being a little bit too much for live-action:

"I’m not losing the voice, but I am tweaking it into live-action. When you do an animated character, there’s a whole melodious approach. When you’re there as a real person, that would be just slightly too much."

Mikkelsen also highlighted how much he enjoys "the way [Thrawn] carries himself" alongside his Empire compatriots, celebrating how cool it was to play such a "clever villain" that understands his enemies:

"I love the way he rises through the Empire, and the way he carries himself in that environment to become somebody. And then of course, how can you not like a very clever villain? Thrawn takes the time to understand his opponent’s culture, and what they’re about. It’s lovely to be playing that."

How Will Thrawn Change for Live-Action Ahsoka?

Star Wars has done a brilliant job bringing over characters from the animated sphere into live-action and vice versa, especially in The Mandalorian's most recent season and in 2022's The Book of Boba Fett.

And while all of these characters have transitioned fairly seamlessly between mediums, they all come with ever so slight changes to make sure that they work more fluidly in a live-action setting.

Thrawn wasn't heard at all during the first trailer for Ahsoka that premiered during Star Wars Celebration 2023, but it's safe to say from these quotes that Mikkelsen won't make any drastic changes to the work he did in Star Wars Rebels.

And while Mikkelsen actively avoided watching his old work as the character, the actor appears ready to provide a take on the villain that will translate to the small screen in a new way.

Ahsoka will debut on Disney+ in August.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.