Lars Mikkelsen has been cast as Grand Admiral Thrawn, the protagonist in the upcoming live-action “Star Wars” series “Ahsoka.” He reprises the role he voiced in the animated “Star Wars Rebels” series, which ran from 2014-2018. Thrawn’s casting was announced during the Star Wars Celebration event in London on Saturday.
The character, a blue-skinned humanoid, first appeared in the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel “Heir to the Empire” and first appeared on-screen in “Star Wars Rebels.”
Although only the back of his head is seen in the public “Ahsoka” trailer, fans at Star Wars Celebration saw a special version of the trailer which showed Thrawn’s face.
At Saturday’s panel, “Ahsoka” showrunner Dave Filoni described the Empire commander as a “Moriarty”-type foe who doesn’t use the Force but is a brilliant strategist.
“He is formidable and not someone to take likely,” added actress Rosario Dawson, who plays the titular Ahsoka. “The idea that he is dead…and she’s hearing these rumors [contrary]…she just knows these foes aren’t easily dismissed.”
Thrawn is name-dropped by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in the upcoming seventh episode of “The Mandalorian” Season 3, who notes the Grand Admiral is missing from vital Empire discussions. It seems that missing status will change very soon.
Mikkelsen is excited about physically inhabiting the role he voiced.
“Some parts will be recognizable,” the Danish actor told TheWrap. “The voice is a big part of him. That calmness, that tactical strategic mastermind that doesn’t have to strain himself to give an order.”
“The funny thing is, when we do voice acting, you actually do the body [gestures with arms],” Mikkelsen responded when asking about adding physical acting. “So it came pretty natural when I got the costume on — the uniform, the boots.”
Hayden Christensen will play Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s former Jedi Master. Natasha Liu Bordizzo will portray Sabine Wren and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will play Hera Syndulla.
“Ahsoka” is slated to premiere on Disney+ in August.