Exclusive: Dave Filoni’s New Star Wars TV Series To Include Live-Action Grand Admiral Thrawn

They're giving Clone Wars EP Dave Filoni a live-action Star Wars TV show, and we know what it will be about.

By Liana Keane | Updated

Star Wars TV series

Lucasfilm has now hired to Taika Waititi to direct the next Star Wars movie, but Taika first dipped his toe into A Galaxy Far Far Away by directing an episode of The Mandalorian. And though Taika’s Star Wars movie is moving forward, with the wild success of The Mandalorian Lucasfilm’s focus is really on developing Star Wars as a massive television property to drive subscriptions for Disney Plus. So they’re giving Clone Wars EP Dave Filoni a live-action Star Wars TV show, and we know what it will be about.

Of course in addition to The Mandalorian season 2 they’re working on Star Wars TV shows such as Obi Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor. Most of those shows, however, are designed to be one or two seasons and done. The real jewel in Disney Star Wars television crown is going to be the series by Dave Filoni is working on. And we have exclusively learned Filoni’s Star Wars series will feature Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The revelation that Filoni will use Thrawn for his Star Wars TV show comes to us from one of the two sources that made us the first outlet anywhere to break the news that CBS was making Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and also the source who told us about HBO’s plan to make a live-action Samurai Jack (which was the brainchild of Genndy Tartakovsky who has in the past worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars with Dave Filoni).  

Our source tells us that Dave Filoni’s Star Wars TV series will ues elements from Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. Most serious fans would agree that those novels are the best thing Star Wars has produced since the original trilogy. Set after Return of the Jedi, the books begin with Heir to the Empire. That kicked off the entire Star Wars Expanded Universe back in 1991 and it’s blown up into something huge since.

Grand Admiral Thrawn

The star of Zahn’s novels was an original creation, a villainous and brilliant Imperial Grand Admiral named Thrawn. Thrawn tries to rebuild the Empire after the death of the Emperor, and very nearly succeeds in defeating Luke Skywalker and the New Republic.  

Grand Admiral Thrawn also made appearance in Dave Filoni’s animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Unlike Zahn’s novels, Star Wars: Rebels is currently considered canon. That means Thrawn is out there, ready to use, and already a proven favorite of Filoni.

The plot of the Thrawn trilogy fits in nicely with the additional information revealed by LRM Online where they’ve learned that Filoni is looking to Game of Thrones for inspiration on how to structure his new Star Wars TV series. Thrawn is a very Game of Thrones style figure, and if they’re going for that kind of linear, complicated, political tone following multiple families, then he’s a perfect subject for one side of that story. 

Star Wars TV
Thrawn in Star Wars: Rebels

With a new crop of talent taking charge of Star Wars at Lucasfilm, people like former Clone Wars EP Dave Filoni want to start bringing some of that excellent Expanded Universe material into the Star Wars live-action universe.  In particular they, like just about every Star Wars fan, want Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Previously proven scooper Mikey Sutton revealed that Lucasfilm had Thrawn secretly slated to make a live-action debut somewhere in the Star Wars universe within the next two-years. Exactly where Thrawn would show up until now, with our source breaking the news that Thrawn will appear in Dave Filoni’s Game of Thrones inspired TV show.

The Mandalorian also takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi and has already introduced the idea that the Empire is still active in a remnant. The Mandalorian could easily connect into Filoni’s Thrawn-centric Star Wars TV series. 

Dave Filoni making Star Wars series
Dave Filoni

Filoni’s Star Wars show will be a loose adaptation of Heir to the Empire with many details changed to fit into the current Star Wars universe, though that has not yet been decided. Personally, I’m hoping they go all out and give us a full Heir to the Empire adaptation. It’d be focused on the early days right after the death of the Emperor, when the New Republic is trying to maintain their new control over the galaxy while the Imperial Remnant tries to wrest it back from them and they’d have to recast characters like Luke, Leia, and Han Solo.  What version we’ll get remains to be seen.

This is the way.

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