Ever since British actor Richard E. Grant was announced to be appearing in Star Wars: Episode IX, fans have been dying to know who he’s playing. Due to the star’s close resemblance to the villain – apart from, you know, not being blue – the overriding theory is that Grant could be portraying Grand Admiral Thrawn in the movie, a character previously found in the Expanded Universe novels and in the Star Wars Rebels animated series.
Grant himself, though, has confirmed that he’s not playing the fan favorite antagonist in J.J. Abrams’ finale to the current trilogy of Star Wars movies. In a new interview, however, the actor recounts how he came to land this top secret role and in doing so, suggests that his character’s name holds some weight in the SW mythos.
“I got 10 pages of script from a Forties British war film, three scenes in total, and had to video myself doing them on an iPad. Then you send it off, and feel like you’re never going to hear anything about it ever again. I got a call two months later to say a car was going to pick me up and take me to Pinewood Studios to meet director, JJ Abrams. Which was odd, because I still had no idea what he was going to direct me as.”
Grant then went on to explain that, once at Pinewood, he was ushered into a room with the cast, including Daisy Ridley. It’s here that he finally found out what part he was up for.
“Surrounded by all this Star Wars memorabilia going back to 1977. And within about two seconds, he said, ‘Are you gonna do it or not?’ And I said, ‘Do what?’ Then he described the part, and I think he told me what my name was, at which point the room went upside down.”
So, what could be the name that would send the people in the room spinning at the mere mention of it? Well, it’s possible that it’s Thrawn, but honestly, we’re not sure if he’d have enough name recognition to have that effect on the cast. Maybe Grant’s an original character then and he’s just got a very cool name? Or perhaps a name that connects him to a familiar face?
Honestly, it’s too hard to say at this point, but hopefully we’ll find out before Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th.