‘Star Wars’ Drops Mark Hamill From ‘Heir to the Empire’

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Ahsoka, Luke, and Thrawn together.

Credit: Inside the Magic

For such a short video, the trailer for Ahsoka on Disney+ has revealed much in such a short amount of time. Not only are fans expecting the return of Rosario Dawson as the titular Ahsoka Tano, a full live-action adaptation of Dave Filoni’s universe, and a fresh entry in the Star Wars series, but an adaptation of one of the most beloved stories in all the galaxy.

Thrawn close up in Star Wars Rebels
Credit: Lucasfilm

Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn is the first volume in his acclaimed Thrawn series, and it served as the origins of Grand Admiral Thrawn. The novels were essentially a sequel trilogy before Disney got their Mickey mitts on the franchise, and an adaptation has been desired since the ’90s. While fans might have their wish granted, it won’t be the adaptation they expect.

Disney and Star Wars Trade Luke Skywalker for Ahsoka Tano

It’s truly remarkable how much an entire universe can be changed by a single line of dialogue. “I’ve started hearing whispers about Thrawn’s return as Heir to the Empire” carries much more weight than just namedropping a famous tome of Star Wars lore. More importantly, it could change the course of future Star Wars events.

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With that single line, Ahsoka is alluding to two possible outcomes. Either Filoni is preparing to give us a full adaptation of Zahn’s original novel, or the new Disney+ series will be that adaptation. Either option is good news for fans, but it also means the removal of the book’s protagonist.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) wielding a lightsaber in Return of the Jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

Taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi, the focus of the first novel is primarily on Luke Skywalker (with Leia, Han, and Chewie in tow) finding his place in a post-Empire galaxy and battling a new sinister threat. However, Filoni’s direction seems to be putting Ahsoka in Luke’s place. Pair that with Mark Hamill officially retiring from the role, and Ahsoka’s fate is all but sealed.

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While there has been no official confirmation from Disney or Lucasfilm, we can’t deny that the evidence isn’t strong. Ahsoka’s series will likely take place just before the events of the Thrawn trilogy, or it will be a loose adaptation of the first novel with her in Luke’s place. Either way, we’ll have to wait until the series officially launches to know for sure.

Is Ahsoka really Heir to the Empire? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

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