Could Richard E. Grant Be Playing Grand Admiral Thrawn In Star Wars: Episode IX?


From Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi to Daisy Ridley as Rey, the Star Wars franchise has consistently reserved a large section of its cast list for the English, and nowhere is this more evident than amongst the uniformed oppressors of the Empire and First Order.

So, when it was announced that Richard E. Grant would be joining the team for next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX, many quickly speculated that he would be playing another stern and villainous Englishman of the Grand Moff Tarkin or General Hux variety. But to go one better, MovieWeb are reporting on a theory that pinpoints a specific character that the Logan and Doctor Who baddie could be playing, and it’s quite intriguing.

The villain in question is Grand Admiral Thrawn, a blue-skinned member of the Chiss species who’s yet to be seen in live action form, but whose appearances in various comic books, not to mention the recent seasons of Star Wars Rebels, make him canon.

For evidence, fans have picked up on leaked concept art and casting calls indicating that a major new villain will be introduced in Episode IX, with some people theorizing that this will be Thrawn’s big screen debut. What brings Grant into this speculation is the codename of this mystery antagonist: Zander, which also happens to be the first name of his character in last year’s Logan. Moreover, when you consider that a blue-faced, red-eyed version of the actor would likely bear some resemblance to the Grand Admiral’s previous portrayals, this theory doesn’t seem all that farfetched.

Of course, with production not even commencing until August 1st, we still have a lot to learn about the next Star Wars film, and you can expect plenty of our current theories to be challenged by new revelations in the coming months. But while it’s unclear at this point which roles newcomers like Grant, Keri Russell and Naomi Ackie will be adopting, at least we can already confirm quite a few returning players. Notably, Billy Dee Williams as Lando, Mark Hamill as Luke and Carrie Fisher as Leia via unused footage from the production of The Force Awakens.

After a tight-lipped few months, it seems that Lucasfilm are finally ready to start letting us in on a few details, so be sure to stay tuned for further announcements leading up to the release of Star Wars: Episode IX on December 20th, 2019.