Live-Action Ezra Bridger And Grand Admiral Thrawn Cast For Disney+ Star Wars Series
When it comes to reports about projects that aren’t yet announced in massive franchises, it’s smart to always look at them skeptically. Sometimes, the people reporting this news are just guessing what they think may be happening behind the scenes. For example, the report from January 2020 that an animated Star Wars: Rebels sequel series was in the works. That the hanging story threads from that series would be addressed in a future show seems obvious. Yet, we’re not getting an animated series. A new report says that two actors have been cast as Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn for a live-action continuation of their tale. But is this for a guest spot on some other series, like Ahsoka, or is the hunt for Thrawn and Ezra the big crossover event the Disney+ series are building up to?
During the Disney Investor’s Day Star Wars presentation, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy hinted that the shows set in the timeline of The Mandalorian were building up to a kind of crossover event. While the storyline for that could be focused on anything, finding out what happened to Ezra and Thrawn when they disappeared into the unknown regions could easily be one of them. It also could be a chance for Lucasfilm to bring the Chiss Ascendancy, a galactic society that neighbors the region of space Star Wars fans are already familiar with. It could also involve Exegol and more about how Palpatine returned. Either way, putting Ezra and Thrawn in the mix seems like the easiest decision the storytellers could make.
Who Was Cast as the Live-Action Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn
Image via Lucasfilm
Mena Massoud, best known for 2019’s Aladdin, has reportedly been cast as the live-action Ezra Bridger, while Lars Mikkelsen will return to Grand Admiral Thrawn after voicing him on the animated series. The story comes from LRM Online, who accurately reported on Star Wars Disney+ series Lucasfilm planned before Investor’s Day. There was no word about if this is for their own series or, perhaps, for Ahsoka. Presumably, Dave Filioni is wrapping up The Book of Boba Fett, and starting Ahsoka now, if not earlier. Lucasfilm is fairly tight-lipped about their filming schedules.
Image via Instagram
Lars Mikkelsen is the obvious choice to play Grand Admiral Thrawn, and something that fans have clamored for since he was cast as the voice. Mena Massoud was also a popular choice for Ezra Bridger, though Rahul Kohli also openly sought the role. Massoud either subtly confirmed the news or is having fun with Star Wars fans, because he posted the above picture on Instagram. The caption reads: “Hey, just so you know, when I escape I won’t hurt any of you.” This is a quote from Rebels, something Ezra told a trio of Stormtroopers before breaking out of their custody.
Either way, if they’ve only just been cast, their performances will likely not be seen by any of us for at least a couple of years. At the earliest, they might pop up in Ahsoka. Unless Lucasfilm has a real surprise for us, watch the next big Disney or Lucasfilm fan event for confirmation that Mena Massoud and Lars Mikkelsen were cast as live-action Ezra and Thrawn.
How Will Star Wars Use Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn In Live-Action?
Image via Lucasfilm
So, remember what I said about guessing? Here’s how I think Lucasfilm might use these characters if the casting report is accurate. The shared universe concept is very popular and lends itself well to streaming services. So, it’s possible Lucasfilm is taking a page from Marvel Studios, and every series on Disney+ is part of a larger story. (And, we don’t just mean “Star Wars” but something more akin to a phase of the MCU.)
So, my guess is this may be like when Tom Holland was cast as Spider-Man for Captain America: Civil War. Massoud and Mikkelsen may pop up briefly in Ahsoka, and maybe one or the other will pop up in other series. (Honestly, Thrawn popping up in Obi-Wan Kenobi feels very possible after the script rewrites.) We also already suspect that Hayden Christensen will do double-duty on both the Kenobi series and on the Ahsoka Tano series. George Lucas went out of his way to insert Hayden in the end of Return of the Jedi, and if anyone is going to ensure that gets paid off its his protégé Filoni.
I suspect that these characters may make appearances in the other series to build up to some kind of Avengers/Defenders-like limited series. The feature films bearing the name Star Wars are likely going to avoid the Skywalker saga in favor of establishing something new and less controversial. Yet, there is plenty to mine from that vast array of characters, and Disney+ is the perfect place to do it.
The Book of Boba Fett is expected in December of 2021 on Disney+.
What do you think? Do you believe that Mena Massoud and Lars Mikkelsen were cast as Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn for a live-action Star Wars series? If so, how do you want to see them used in a story? Share your thoughts, theories, and head-canon/fanfiction in the comments below.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.