A new rumor details that Grand Admiral Thrawn will make the jump to live-action.
The rumor comes from Mikey Sutton in his Geekosity Facebook group.
Sutton writes, “I’ve held onto this for months now, and I’m tired of waiting for additional details to put this out. Thrawn will make his live-action debut, I am told, possibly in the next two years.”
Not only does Sutton detail that Thrawn will make his live-action debut, but he also notes that there will be less animated content coming out of Lucasfilm in the near future as they switch their focus to more live-action series given the success of The Mandalorian.
Sutton explains, “There’s chatter among my sources that Lucasfilm will gradually decrease their animated Star Wars projects. Notice I didn’t say cancel.”
He continues, “There’s a preteen crowd that cartoons aimed at their generation will provide a gateway into this IP.”
Sutton then adds, “But with the massive success of The Mandalorian, Disney strongly believes the franchise is better served with live action, especially with Dave Filoni at the helm.”
He goes on to explain that stories that might have previously been animated series are now better suited for live-action due to their commercial potential, “The stories that would have been animated programs have more commercial potential as live-action series, which will then help rejuvenate their theatrical counterparts.”
Sutton then details that there is an ongoing philosophical change at Lucasfilm and Star Wars, “Let the past die” is not a philosophy that Filoni, Jon Favreau, and Kevin Feige share, who are all knee-deep in Star Wars‘ expanded and rich history.”
In fact, Sutton believes the Expanded Universe will return. He writes, “The EU is coming. Bank on it.”
Thrawn was created by author Timothy Zahn and first appeared in Zahn’s 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. The novel would be the first in what is now called the Thrawn trilogy. The trilogy was set after the fall of the Emperor with Thrawn plotting the destruction of the New Republic. The Thrawn trilogy would be adapted into graphic novel format by Marvel Comics.
The character would be introduced in Star Wars Rebels’ Season 3 premiere “Steps into Shadow.” He would serve as the primary antagonist to the crew of the Ghost as he attempted to utterly crush the rebels based out of Lothal.
The character’s story would be further explored in Timothy Zahn’s novels Thrawn, Thrawn : Alliances, and Thrawn: Treason. Zahn’s Thrawn novel would subsequently be adapted into a Marvel Comics series.
In Disney’s 2020 Q1 Earnings Call, then Disney CEO and now Executive Chairman Bob Iger did indicate Disney’s plans moving forward were focused on live-action TV series specifically surrounding The Mandalorian.
Iger stated, “The priority in the next few years is television with The Mandalorian Season 2 coming in October and then more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series.”
He would later add, “So the priority for Star Wars in the short-term is going to be, I’ll call it television for Disney+ and then we will have more to say about development of theatrical soon after that.”
Iger even indicated that Lucasfilm could even provide content not only for Disney Plus, but Hulu as well. He explained, “We are confident that the studio is going to continue to be a strong driver of operating income for the company, both on the movie front, but also as a great supplier of product both original and secondary market for Disney+ and for Hulu, by the way.”
And recent rumors indicate that Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to spin-off of The Mandalorian. The most prominent rumor is Rosario Dawson joining The Mandalorian Season 2 to play a live action version for Ahsoka Tano with subsequent rumors indicating the episode she plays Ahsoka could be a backdoor pilot for her own live-action series.
More recently there is a rumor that Disney might be developing a Star Wars Rebels live-action prequel series about Kanan Jarrus showing his time as a Jedi Padawan and going by the name of Caleb Dume.
Sutton also scooped a rumor back in December that Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine Wren would be getting her own live-action show.
At the time Sutton wrote, “According to several insiders, Disney+ is developing a live-action TV series for Rebels star Sabine Wren.”
He added, “Lucasfilm sees tremendous potential in this character, who is incredibly popular among Star Wars fans, especially the cosplay crowd. Wren also gives Disney+ a major female protagonist for its Star Wars shows, one that attract younger and older demographics. It’s a win-win situation all the way around.”
Star Wars Rebels creator and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni recently addressed the future of the Star Wars Rebels characters following the conclusion of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7.
Filoni flat out stated there would not be another season of Star Wars Rebels. He told Deadline, “No. Not really. I was really happy with how that series turned out, and I feel like we got to tell a complete story there.”
However, Filoni was open to continuing the adventures of the characters. He explained, “I think that there’s always potential for stories that involve the characters from Rebels, which is maybe a better way to put it.”
He added, “They’ve all earned their place in the galaxy, so to speak, so I’m sure there’s some more of them to do.”
When asked specifically about the possibility of Sabine Wren’s story to continue especially in regards to the Darksaber, Filoni responded, “Oh, I think it’s possible. I mean, it’s definitely something that I left hanging at the end and part of that reason is just it’s always nice in my mind when there’s another story.”
He continued, “I like things in a series, even when I read or watch them, and there’s always a bit of sadness when something does come to an end, so potential is a great thing. I love that people are thinking about these stories in the same way that I wondered about many stories.”
“As a kid I wondered what happened to Luke after Return of the Jedi and all my heroes. I think it’s a natural part of enjoying this, and I think there’s always potential for further stories,” Filoni added.
He concluded, “Certainly, I will say it’s something I’ve given a decent amount of thought to, so you never know when or if it will actually ever take shape.”
As for whether or not he’s developing another live-action series outside of The Mandalorian, Filoni was mum.
He stated, “I couldn’t speak to anything at this point.”
However, he did note that he has a lot of ideas, “I have a lot of ideas and I’m really fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity now to work in both animation and live-action, so just getting that exposure is interesting.”
He continued, “First for me there’s a story and then I have to decide what’s the best medium, and I think there are certain avenues open to me at this point.”
“Right now I’m really enjoying the collaboration I have with Jon Favreau on Mandalorian. We’re having a great time making that show, and you know, we’ll see,” Filoni added.
He then stated, “But first, before I decide where it’s going to go, I need to decide on a story I want to tell, and invest my time in, because it’s a lot.”
“I mean, there’s a lot riding on everything Star Wars, especially for me personally, being here so long, I want to make sure I get it right. I’m learning, you know,” Filoni concluded.
There definitely appears to be a lot of potential for Star Wars going forward with The Mandalorian and Star Wars Rebels. The question is whether or not Lucasfilm under Disney can execute. Their track record is pretty abysmal at this point.
What do you make of this rumor that Thrawn could make the jump to live-action?