Dave Filoni consulted Heir To The Empire author about Thrawn

Scene from Lucasfilm's AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Scene from Lucasfilm's AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni revealed that he and Jon Favreau have been meeting with Timothy Zahn, the author of Heir To The Empire and several other novels about Grand Admiral Thrawn. Filoni revealed this during Star Wars Celebration’s Ahsoka series panel. Thrawn will be brought into live action for the Ahsoka series, and portrayed by Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced the character in Rebels.

Filoni described Thrawn in his own words and said “He doesn’t have the Force but it doesn’t matter. He will outsmart you and trap you.” He also talked about meeting with Thrawn’s original creator, Timothy Zahn, “because it’s his thing. And I feel really feel privileged that Lars will bring him to life this way. We want to make sure we get it right.”

This isn’t Filoni’s first time bringing animated characters to live action. He’s already done it with Ahsoka, but the Ahsoka series will be full of of the characters he created for animation coming into live action, including Sabine, Hera, Zeb and Ezra just to name a few. Thrawn plays a major role in the story of Rebels as well, and Season 4 ended with Thrawn and Ezra Bridger disappearing into hyperspace.

Many Star Wars novels, including the ones by Timothy Zahn became non-canon material when Disney took over LucasFilm. Luckily, Filoni brought Thrawn to animation first, and now he will finally be in a live-action series, and will probably serve as a major threat to the galaxy and its band of heroes from the ‘Mandoverse’, for the foreseeable future.

Zahn’s meetings with Favreau and Filoni are good news for fans of his books and they can hope for a more faithful portrayal of his character, who was referred to as the “heir to the Empire” in the Ahsoka trailer. With the title of Zahn’s novel being emphasized it doesn’t seem surprising that its author is being consulted.

Thrawn has already been mentioned once in The Mandalorian Season 2. A glimpse of live action Thrawn is shown in the Ahsoka trailer which premiered on Day 1 of Star Wars Celebration. Now with two chapters of The Mandalorian Season 3 left, and the Ahsoka series coming soon, don’t be surprised to hear some more about him in The Mandalorian series finale.

Ahsoka premieres in August on Disney+.