Richard E. Grant Says He’s Not Playing Thrawn In Star Wars: Episode IX


With Richard E. Grant joining Star Wars: Episode IX, rumors swelled that he was bringing a fan favorite villain to life – Grand Admiral Thrawn, the blue-skinned baddie who originated in the Legends novels before transitioning into the canon timeline thanks to the Star Wars Rebels animated series, where he was voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. The actor himself even fueled the theories when Grant’s official Twitter account liked a fan’s tweet that suggested he was playing Thrawn.

The British star has now spoken to Radio Times, though, and seems to have dismissed these rumors. When asked outright if he was portraying Thrawn, Grant said in no uncertain terms that he was not. He maintained that he couldn’t reveal any more than that, either, as Lucasfilm has him sworn to secrecy.

“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.”

Well, that’s kind of a bummer for fans who were hoping for one of the EU’s best characters to make it to the cinema screen. What’s more, this is the second time this year our hopes have been raised only for them to be dashed again. If you recall, it looked like Mara Jade, wife of Luke Skywalker in the novels, was set to appear in Episode IX but sadly, that was later ruled out.

Still, at least Grant seems happy to be joining the Star Wars saga – just check out his reaction video to the news where he’s positively giddy with excitement. Funnily enough, the actor’s been at the center of a similar situation before, too. When Grant was announced to be playing the villain in Logan, fans quickly assumed he’d be portraying Mr. Sinister. However, when it came down to it, Sinister was nowhere to be seen.

It’s possible this could be one of those Star Trek Into Darkness/Spectre situations where the actor deliberately misleads the audience about which villain they’re really playing, but we probably shouldn’t place too much hope in that. One of the great strengths of the modern Star Wars movies is their invention and innovation, so it wouldn’t surprise us at all if Richard E. Grant’s playing a fresh character in Episode IX.