Grand Admiral Thrawn's Ahsoka scenes were hard to film for an unexpected reason

Some of the scenes in Ahsoka featuring the Grand Admiral Thrawn, played by Lars Mikkelsen, were difficult to bring alive. The culprit: Lucasfilm technology.

(L-R); Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Captain Enoch (Wes Chatham) with Night Troopers in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R); Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Captain Enoch (Wes Chatham) with Night Troopers in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /
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Dave Filoni had a hard time bringing Grand Admiral Thrawn to life in Ahsoka.

The Disney+ Star Wars spin-off show was partially filmed using Lucasfilm's StageCraft technology, which casts a certain magenta hue on the actors in the shot. Also called The Volume, the 360-degree LED soundstage made it difficult to capture Thrawn's signature blue skin on camera.

Originally created by Timothy Zahn in Heir to the Empire book trilogy, Grand Admiral Thrawn was first seen on screen in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels. Ahsoka picked up the story where the animated series left off, revealing Thrawn's (and Ezra Bridger's) hidden location and charting his subsequent return to the known Galaxy.

Played by Lars Mikkelsen, the same actor who voiced the the character in Rebels, Thrawn was excellently established in the Rosario Dawson-led show as the next big bad of the Filoni-verse. However, it was not easy to get the Admiral's look perfect for the small screen.

Showrunner Dave Filoni told Empire Magazine that Mikkelsen's make-up needed to be constantly adjusted depending on which stage of the StageCraft technology he was filming on.

"It's amazing how many versions of [Thrawn’s make-up] went through the make-up team. The Volume set where Lars would do a decent amount of shooting casts a magenta tone. So with his color palette, we had to dial it differently depending on what stage he was at."

Dave Filoni

The magenta hue interfering with the skin tint of actors is not the only drawback of the technology.

Other Star Wars actors, such as The Mandalorian's Bill Burr, have previously stated that it can trigger a sense of vertigo due to quick background movements matching the speed of the camera.

It is evident that the LED soundstage is still evolving, but its contributions cannot be ignored. After Jon Favreau put it to use on the set of The Mandalorian, The Volume has been labeled as a revolutionary technology that can help make projects at a fraction of the cost of a traditional blue screen.

Next. How Ahsoka lays the groundwork for Skeleton Crew. How Ahsoka lays the groundwork for Skeleton Crew. dark