Sorry, Grand Admiral Thrawn fans but it looks like the character won't be showing up in Star Wars 9. At the very least, he's not going to be played by Richard E. Grant. The Logan and Spice World star was announced as one of the new cast members for the latest Star Wars adventure last month before production got underway. Speculation was stirred up rather quickly amongst the fanbase that maybe, just maybe, Grant was going to play Thrawn. Now, we have word from Grant himself that's not going to be the case.
As one would imagine, details regarding Episode IX are being locked up good and tight for the time being. Still, Richard E. Grant was asked in a recent interview whether or not he's playing Thrawn, who was reintroduced to the current Star Wars canon in Rebels and has been the subject of a pair of recent novels by the character's creator, Timothy Zahn. Grant acknowledged that he can't say much, but was kind enough to confirm that Thrawn is off the table. Here's what he had to say.
"I'm not playing the Star Wars character you just mentioned. I'm not allowed to tell you anything. Otherwise I would be fired. It's a complete lockdown on any information whatsoever."
While it may be disappointing to hear for many hardcore fans, it was merciful for Richard E. Grant to come right out and debunk this. Were he to remain tight-lipped, it would have just further fueled speculation that he may be playing Thrawn. Now at least fans can move on from the possibility and focus on what actually might be coming our way in Star Wars 9.
Thrawn is one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe that has never appeared in live-action. Created by Timothy Zahn in the 90s with the Heir to the Empire series of novels, the blue alien of the Chiss Ascendancy is a brilliant strategist and a cunning warrior. He's in stark contrast to villains such as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, which is part of what makes him so appealing. Having him appear in Rebels has also further fueled the desire to see Thrawn make an appearance in live-action. And, for what it's worth, Richard E. Grant would probably make a great Thrawn. It's understandable why fans were hoping this would be the case.
It sounds like the actor is probably going to be playing someone we're not yet familiar with. The latest tale set within a galaxy far, far away is currently filming under the direction of J.J. Abrams, who returns after having successfully helmed The Force Awakens in 2015. He passed the baton to Rian Johnson, who delivered the incredibly divisive The Last Jedi. Now, it's up to Abrams to close out the Skywalker saga with a final, satisfying entry. Star Wars Episode IX is set to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2019. This news comes to us courtesy of the Radio Times.