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:
Didn’t I tell you that he puts a lot of thought into these kinds of decisions? What’s impressive about his approach is that while his main goal isn’t to please the fans, he does, at the very least, remain aware of their thoughts on a matter. Of course, what it ultimately boils down to is how he himself feels about the production at hand. And as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy once advised him on casting, sometimes “you just know.” And as the Clone Wars bigwig seemed to have a very good feeling about his decision for Ahsoka’s Thrawn:
Though Thrawn has been around for some time, Lars Mikkelsen truly made the character his own during his two seasons on Star Wars Rebels. I also completely agree with Dave Filoni when it comes to the power of the actor’s voice, which is both incredibly intimidating and oddly calming. You can get a better sense of what I mean by checking out the clip down below:
The last fans saw Thrawn was in the Rebels series finale, which ended with him (and Jedi Ezra Bridger) being thrust into parts unknown by the whale-like purrgil. The Imperial is sure to be back with a vengeance in the upcoming show, and it’s pretty much a given that he’s going to cause headaches for Ahsoka Tano and co. To put it mildly, I can’t wait to see what Dave Filoni has planned and how Lars Mikkelsen capitalizes on his already-stellar work.
Ahsoka arrives in August (opens in new tab) as part of the 2023 TV schedule, so be sure you have a Disney+ subscription to ensure that you can check it out. In the meantime, you can prepare by streaming Star Wars Rebels using the same membership.