Star Wars Confirms Its Next Big Franchise Villain

Grand Admiral Thrawn will be the villain of David Filoni's upcoming Star Wars movie.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

grand admiral thrawn feature

Out of all the upcoming Star Wars films, Dave Filoni’s big crossover from the Disney+ shows might be the most anticipated. However, there’s a possibility that the villain of that movie could launch the hype to an all-time high. The Direct recently reported on an interview Filoni did with Empire magazine that indicated the big villain could be none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn himself.

In the interview, Dave Filoni was asked if he sees Grand Admiral Thrawn as the villain of the New Republic era, to which Filoni responded, “Definitely, in my eyes,” adding, “When Timothy Zahn wrote Heir To The Empire, Thrawn became this very iconic villain, because he was different than anything we’d seen before.” While that’s not necessarily definitive, it has been confirmed that Filoni’s movie will be about the New Republic. Since it ties together shows like The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka, it seems likely that Thrawn would be the natural fit for the villain.

Of course, the last time we saw Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Disney Star Wars universe was at the end of Star Wars: Rebels when he disappeared to parts unknown, thanks to the sacrifice of the young Jedi Ezra Bridger. In Ahsoka, we will see Rosario Dawson’s titular hero seeking out Ezra, which should also inevitably lead her to finding Thrawn as well. It seems like Ahsoka will be the way Thrawn is brought back ahead of the movie.

We also recently got confirmation that Lars Mikkelson will be reprising the role of Grand Admiral Thrawn in Ahsoka after voicing the character in Star Wars: Rebels. Mikkelson brought the perfect calculating menace to the role, so fans can bet that we’ll also be getting a faithful adaptation of the character in live-action. Regarding villains, Thrawn might be the best one we’ve seen since Disney took over the Star Wars franchise.

Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka

Along with reintroducing Grand Admiral Thrawn, Ahsoka will see several other Star Wars: Rebels characters make the jump to live-action for the first time. Eman Esfandi will play Ezra Bridger, Natasha Liu Bordizzo will play Sabine Wren, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will portray Hera Syndulla. The rest of the cast includes Wes Chatham, David Tennant, Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, Diana Lee Inosanto, and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

Ahsoka is set to hit Disney+ in August, so that’s when we can expect to see Grand Admiral Thrawn’s live-action debut. As for the Dave Filoni Star Wars film, we don’t have a solid release date yet. At the very least, we probably won’t be seeing the film until the interconnected Disney+ shows start building to some big crossover event.

While we wait for Grand Admiral Thrawn to return in Ahsoka in August, Disney will no doubt keep us busy with plenty of other Star Wars projects. Most recently, they dropped the second season of the animated anthology Star Wars: Visions on the platform. The third season of The Mandalorian is also fully available, as is the second season of the animated series The Bad Batch.

This is the way.

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