After weeks, months, and years of anticipation, Ahsoka finally brought Thrawn into live-action. Some fans have been waiting decades to see the Imperial menace committed to screen, and Dave Filoni felt the pressure of getting him right, though not as much as you might think.
Lars Mikkelsen originally voiced the Star Wars antagonist on Rebels, and he managed to hold onto the role for Ahsoka. Filoni discussed the casting process for one of the best Star Wars characters ever, and said that Mikkelsen was ahead of the curve in a couple of respects.
“Talking to Jon [Favreau], I was like, ‘It’s gonna be very hard to beat Lars, because Lars is in my head, the sound of his voice is kind of what I write to,'” Filoni explained to Entertainment Tonight about the Star Wars cast-member. “He looks wonderful in blue, not everybody does, so that’s a factor, and we worked on the eyes. So it’s a unique thing.”
Even when watching the Star Wars movies in order, there aren’t many beings that present the kind of visual challenge that Grand Admiral Thrawn does. He’s a blue-skinned Imperial officer that has a particular grimace to him, and deeply evil energy.
Getting that right on-screen was always going to need some very particular touches. Thankfully, the Star Wars series pulls it off, and Thrawn has now firmly established himself as one of the best Star Wars villains ever. Part of the Galactic Empire‘s elite, he was relegated to a far corner of another galaxy at the end of Rebels, while Ahsoka has pivoted on former Jedi Baylan Skoll finding Thrawn and beginning to restore oppression.
As Filoni says, they only had one chance to carry that weight within Thrawn’s first appearance, and Mikkelsen dos it. Even me, who doesn’t care about Thrawn as much as Filoni does, felt some of that energy. Does this make Ahsoka one of the best TV series in Star Wars? That’s debateable, but there have been great moments.
You can check it all out for yourself on Disney Plus, where Ahsoka is streaming. Meanwhile, you might enjoy our guides to the Skeleton Crew release date and the new Star Wars movies. Want to get far away from the universe of far, far away? We also have articles on The Marvels and Avatar 3.