Why Lars Mikkelsen had to play Thrawn in Ahsoka

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Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni explains why Lars Mikkelsen had to play Grand Admiral Thrawn in the live-action Star Wars series.

Ahsoka, Thrawn, Star Wars, Lars Mikkelsen

Grand Admiral Thrawn has captured the imagination Star wars fans from his introduction in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy thirty years ago. Even when Disney announced that much of the Star wars Expanded Universe was non-canon, Thrawn survived and went on to be featured in Star Wars: Rebels where Lars Mikkelsen expressed. As we know, Thrawn is now ready to make the jump to live action Achsoka.

While speaking to Entertainment Tonight in a newly released interview from Star Wars Celebration in April, Achsoka Showrunner Dave Filoni said that Lars Mikkelsen was the only choice to play Thrawn.

It was a decision that has a lot of attention… It was a big challenge to cast a voice,” said Filoni. “You know, how do you find a voice for a character that each person who has read it has shown, in a different, unique way? Finally, that brought me to Lars, and we were all very happy with his performance in Rebels. [Jon Favreau said] ‘It will be very difficult to beat Lars.’ Because Lars is in my head. His voice sounds like what I wrote to him.

When it came time to cast the live-action Thrawn, Filoni entertained other options but kept coming back to Lars Mikkelsen. Jon Favreau agreed, and the decision was made. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Filoni. “It looks beautiful in blue. Not everyone does, so that’s a factor and we worked on the eyes and so…it’s a special thing to bring this character to life.

What works in voice acting doesn’t always translate to live action, so Lars Mikkelsen has said in the past that he had to make some changes to his iconic Thrawn voice. “I’m not losing the voice, but I’m turning it into live action,” explained Mikkelsen. “When you make an animated character, there is a very melodic approach. When you’re there as a real person, that would be just a little too much.

As the last episode of Achsoka in conclusion, there’s a good chance we might finally get to see Thrawn make his live-action debut next week. The first five episodes of Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney+, so be sure to check out a review from our very own Alex Maidy here.

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