When Richard E. Grant was added to the growing (and rather epic) ensemble cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,’ fan speculation began immediately about who the actor might be playing in the iconic series, with many hoping he would be taking on a role of an established character that we might have already seen in comic, print, or animation but not yet in live-action. When one fan guessed that he might be playing fan-favorite villain Grand Admiral Thrawn and Grant “liked” the comment on social media, the rumor mill took off, with fans seeing Grant’s response as all but confirmation that he was indeed playing Thrawn, a character officially re-added to the canon during the ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ animated series, and one whom die-hards have wanted to see up on the big-screen for some time now. Sadly, during a recent interview with RadioTimes, Grant completely debunked the rumor by stating, rather succinctly:
“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.”
Yes, there is the chance that Disney/ Lucasfilm put the hammer down on Grant and he was forced to lie about playing Grant because he let the cat out of the bag too early, but unlike in the MCU (where they constantly throw out little lies to mislead audiences ahead of movie releases), Lucasfilm has been relatively forthcoming with information about the franchise (such as when they told us early on that Snoke was NOT Plagueis and that turned out to be the truth), so all too likely Grant is not lying here. And knowing the way the sequel trilogy has worked so far, he is most likely a brand new character to the franchise with no connection to any past character, aside from potentially stealing character traits and backstory elements from some famous expanded universe character that they did not want to use in the official canon (such as what happened with Ben Solo/ Kylo Ren and Jacen Solo/ Darth Caedus). Plus, throw in the fact that the average movie-goer really has no idea who Thrawn is, as he has only appeared in books, comics, and ‘Star Wars: Rebels,’ (and most casual audiences have not seen the stories in those mediums), it makes sense that Lucasfilm is in no hurry to bring Thrawn to the movies as those viewers would not understand the significance or be excited by the appearance of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Could Grant still be playing Thrawn? Are there any other well-known villains he could be portraying? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: Radio Times