During the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023, Lucasfilm unveiled the first “Star Wars : Ahsoka” trailer.
It featured Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, showing us the first looks at Star Wars Rebels characters Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, and Ezra Bridger in Live action. It also offered a glimpse of Grand Admiral Thrawn played by Lars Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen — brother of actor Mads Mikkelsen — also joined the cast of “Ahsoka” onstage at the end of the panel, saying that “it’s wonderful” to be cast in the live-action role.
Thrawn was originally created by author Timothy Zahn as part of a series of Star Wars novels released in the 1990s that covered the events following 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” In those books, Thrawn was a cunning and ruthless Grand Admiral in the Empire who took control of what’s left of the Imperial fleet and mounted a counter-offensive to take down the New Republic.
Heir to the Empire is the title of the first installment of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars novels. It also did the unprecedented by setting its story five years after the conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy.
ComicBook.com spoke to Dave Filoni, an executive producer “Star Wars: Ahsoka” at Star Wars Celebration Europe on Saturday and asked him about the impact of Zahn’s novels on his life and his appreciation for Star Wars.
“The interesting thing about it is, you know, I have a very, very, very strong memory of walking past the bookstore and seeing the stand for Heir to the Empire, and that blew my mind,” Filoni said. “And my brother and I would stare at the stand and look at it and you look at the cover and the painting and you were like, ‘There’s more!’ Because back then there wasn’t a lot more. There were comic books that delved into it, but Star Wars hadn’t really had the wide expanded universe. Like, if you went to a different section of the books or the Star Trek books, they already had a lot of books about Star Trek. Star Wars didn’t really have that. We had novelizations, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, but there wasn’t a lot. So that really changed things, so my brother and I poured through that book.”