‘Star Wars’ Fan-Favorite Involved In Lucasfilm Ripoff May Never Reprise Role

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kathleen kennedy disney investor day 2020

Credit: Disney Investor Day Live Stream 2020

At the 2020 Disney Investor Day event, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced numerous projects, including nearly a dozen upcoming Disney+ Original Star Wars series.

ahsoka new republic
Credit: Disney Investor Day Livestream

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Among these shows were The Mandalorian Season 3 and two spinoff series — Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic. While Rangers has since been scrapped due to Gina Carano’s (Cara Dune) firing, Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka is reportedly filming now.

thrawn close up star wars rebels
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The series is expected to see the live-action introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), the fan-favorite villain who played a key role in Dave Filoni’s animated series Star Wars Rebels, antagonizing Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar), and the rest of the Ghost ship crew.

rebels thrawn ezra
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Many Star Wars fans have been waiting to see Grand Admiral Thrawn in live-action since he first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novels in the 1980s.

While Bridger is expected to be recast with Aladdin star Mena Massoud, rumors have swirled for months that voice actor Mikkelsen — the brother of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) star, Mads Mikkelsen — will reprise his role in the “Mando-Verse” moving forward.

hera syndulla (left) and grand admiral thrawn (right) in star wars rebels
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Now, however, it seems these reports may not come to fruition due to a recent decision Mikkelsen made to be involved in a fan-made Star Wars project that is essentially utilizing copyrighted Lucasfilm material.

While Lucasfilm’s parent company, The Walt Disney Company, certainly knows that fan-made work exists and does not always enter litigation with creators, it does not mean that they condone their actors being involved in projects that use of their proprietary material.

Star Wars Rebels Thrawn
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As one recent article noted:

…Mikkelsen has recently starred, on a voluntary basis, in Shrouded Destiny, a fan-made and crowd-funded Star Wars series. With the Danish actor having been the favorite to bring Thrawn to live-action due to his voice-over role as the villain in Rebels, it’s possible his appearance in an unofficial Star Wars project sabotaged those chances.

rebels thrawn close-up
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It’s worth noting that Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the rest of the team behind The Mandalorian saga has not officially commented on Thrawn’s live-action casting.

Rumors have swirled about who will play the villainous Thrawn and names like Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange in the MCU) and Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man in the MCU) have been mentioned. The Mikkelsen rumor, however, seemingly holds weight given that voice actress Katee Sackhoff was cast as Bo-Katan Kryze.

the mandalorian season 2 episode 3 bo-katan kryze, din djarin, nite owl warriors
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As noted earlier, Thrawn initially appeared in Timothy Zahn’s non-canonical Thrawn Trilogy of novels, which also introduced Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars Legends wife, Mara Jade Skywalker. The former Emperor’s Hand assassin knew Thrawn well and has been rumored to appear in The Mandalorian saga moving forward, too.

He entered Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu’s story in The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 5 (“Chapter 13: The Jedi”) — directed by none other than Filoni himself — Star Wars fans discovered the biggest surprise of the entire season, except for that Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (CGI Mark Hamill) cameo in the finale episode.

Ahsoka Tano interrogating the magistrate
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Djarin shockingly teams up with Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) against all odds — as he says, “A Mandalorian and a Jedi? They’ll never see it coming.” —  to defeat Corvus Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto).

While fighting Tano, Elsbeth confirms that she’s not the one pulling the strings after all. Grand Admiral Thrawn is.

thrawn looking at galaxy map
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This sets up the character — whoever happens to play him — to be the main antagonist in The Mandalorian universe moving forward.

While details about the series are being kept under wraps, Ahsoka has long been presumed to function as a sequel to another Filoni animated series, Star Wars Rebels, and will presumably see its title character enter the World Between Worlds on her quest to find Thrawn and fellow Jedi Bridger.

Do you think Lars Mikkelsen will be blackballed from Star Wars for his involvement in Shrouded Destiny?

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