Lars Mikkelsen Confirmed As Grand Admiral Thrawn In Ahsoka

Two Danish brothers are dominating the villain scene at this year's Star Wars Celebration. On Friday, Mads Mikkelsen came to the Celebration Stage to present the final trailer for "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," in which he plays Indy's latest Nazi nemesis, Jürgen Voller. And during the panel for "Ahsoka" on Saturday, it was confirmed that Lars Mikkelsen is playing the live-action version of Grand Admiral Thrawn as he returns from his involuntary space whale vacation to terrorize the "Star Wars" galaxy once more. Mikkelsen also voiced the character in "Star Wars Rebels."

The cast of Dave Filoni's live-action follow-up to "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" will be led by Rosario Dawson as the eponymous Ahsoka Tano, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing Hera Syndulla, Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, and Eman Esfandi as Ezra Bridger. Ezra was last seen heading off to parts unknown with Thrawn and the purrgils, but footage from the upcoming episode of "The Mandalorian" alluded to whispers of Thrawn's return.

Joining Mikkelsen's Thrawn on the villain front are Ray Stevenson as Sith Lord Baylan Skoll, and Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati. Always two, there are.

The return of the blue meanie

Though he might not be familiar to those who have only seen the live-action films, Mitth'raw'nuruodo — known to his friends and enemies alike as Thrawn — is one of the most fleshed-out villains in the "Star Wars" universe. He's also one of the most notable examples of a character from Star Wars Legends (the collection of video games, comics, and books published before Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, which were removed from the official canon) being re-canonized. Before he was brought back into the fold in "Star Wars Rebels," he was first the star of his own "Thrawn" novel trilogy by acclaimed "Star Wars" author Timothy Zahn.

After his casting was confirmed via a new version of the "Ahsoka" trailer unveiled yesterday, which featured additional shots showing Thrawn's face (rather than just the back of his head), Mikkelsen arrived on stage to talk a little about his transition to live-action. Asked what it was like to become the blue-skinned Chiss baddie in live action, Mikkelsen joked, "Well, they start by draining my blood every morning."

As for how the casting happened, he explained that he and Dave Filoni met via Skype, and "we did all the [recording] sessions on 'Rebels' on Skype. I felt that connection and at some point finishing up that series, David asked, 'Have you ever been to L.A.?' I said, 'No.' 'We're going to make that happen,' he said."

"Ahsoka" arrives in August 2023 on Disney+.