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Why Ahsoka’s Dave Filoni Chose Lars Mikkelsen To Be His Live-Action Grand Admiral Thrawn

Disney+’s Ahsoka had a major presence at this year’s Star Wars Celebration event. After months of anticipation, Lucasfilm released the first official trailer, which showed the titular Jedi reuniting with Rebels characters to take on dark Force wielders and Grand Admiral Thrawn. Speaking of the latter villain, it was also confirmed this weekend that the live-action iteration will be played by Lars Mikkelsen, who first voiced Thrawn in the aforementioned animated series. While a lot of people seem enthusiastic about his return, some may still be wondering why he was brought back. Well, series EP Dave Filoni has provided his reasoning on that front. 

A lifelong fan of the galaxy far, far away, Dave Filoni has produced some of the most compelling stories to ever come out of this franchise. What fans have come to notice about him, aside from his passion, is how meticulous he is when it comes to his work. And that precise nature definitely applies to the casting process. Following the Lars Mikkelsen announcement at SW Celebration, CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell caught up with the cowboy hat-wearing producer to get some insight into his choice for the live-action Thrawn. The writer then proceeded to recall his early conversations with fellow EP Jon Favreau and, all in all, it sounds like Filoni was circling Mikkelsen for the role from the jump:

Pretty immediately. I gotta say, I explored this a lot in Rebels, when we cast the voice, and I knew Thrawn needed a very unique voice [and] unique performance. And when I heard Lars’ voice the first time, I was like, ‘That’s it.’ We all knew on Rebels, that was it. And so going into this, as I would bring up Thrawn with Jon, and he’s like, ‘Well, who are you thinking?’ I’m like, ‘I gotta tell ya, it’s gonna be really hard for it not to be Lars,’ because Lars is so unique and he has this presence. And I would play it for Jon, and he’s like, ‘I see what you’re saying.’ You do due diligence and you look at all possibilities. I mean, fans had a lot of ideas over the years, and I think it’s fair to say that you want to kinda judge everything openly. I’ve done that for every character. Ahsoka, Sabine, every character gets a lot of consideration. But even if you strongly feel, you’re crazy if you don’t do that. But all it really does is really validate and verify what you’re thinking.