While the first season of The Mandalorian proved that a story could be told in the Star Wars universe without existing characters, season two showed the opposite. This latest season included multiple characters from the various animated series, revived Boba Fett, and de-aged Luke Skywalker for a cameo. If anything, The Mandalorian is becoming a melting pot where all the different elements of Star Wars can come together in one massive television world. Disney is apparently digging even deeper into their past with rumors that a movie about Grand Admiral Thrawn might be in development.
The rumor comes from gossip writer Daniel Richtman, who posted this rumor on his Patreon page. According to Richtman, Disney seemingly has a Grand Admiral Thrawn solo film about the character’s origins in development. Thrawn, who was created by writer Timothy Zahn, has been the center of several Star Wars books, but was considered non-canon after the rebranding of the Expanded Universe works in 2014. Yet Thrawn was reintroduced to this world through the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
But rumors have been plenty of rumors about Grand Admiral Thrawn since he was mentioned to still be alive in the second season of The Mandalorian, leaving many fans expectedly waiting for Thrawn to appear at any time. To fuel the flame even more, there is a new book about Thrawn coming out later this year. The Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy began with Book I: Chaos Rising’s release in September 2020, and the second, Book II: Greater Good, will be released in April 2021.
Yet even though Grand Admiral Thrawn was mentioned on The Mandalorian, Richtman’s rumor oddly claims that this new project with Thrawn would be a solo film. While there are many Star Wars television series in the works, there are only a handful of known films at this point. Odds are the Thrawn project isn’t the already announced Rogue Squadron film from Patty Jenkins, and the status of Rian Johnson’s own Star Wars trilogy is completely unknown at this point. While it could be the untitled Taika Waititi film, and Waititi has no problem making villains a central part of his film, with movies like Jojo Rabbit and What We Do in the Shadows, it also seems unlikely to be Waititi’s film.
Possibly, this could be the introduction of Star Wars films coming directly to Disney+? The company has already said they’re putting a focus on the streaming service, with studios like Pixar already releasing feature-length films directly to the service. Considering Grand Admiral Thrawn isn’t a widely known character to those only familiar with the films and live-action television shows, could a Thrawn origin film be the first to debut on Disney+? It certainly seems possible.
Disney has been more than open with the Star Wars projects they have coming to Disney+, but have been more tight-lipped about the Star Wars films in the works. While Grand Admiral Thrawn could theoretically get his own origin film, Solo: A Star Wars Story showed how difficult a sell a Star Wars spinoff can be, even with a widely-known character. Considering Thrawn was already established as existing in the Mandalorian universe, it seems likely he’ll make an appearance there before he ever gets his own film.