Ever since he was name-checked in an episode of 'The Mandalorian', there's been endless questions about Thrawn.
Who's going to play him? Is he still alive in 'The Mandalorian', or did he simply disappear? Who even is Thrawn in the first place? Let's start with the last question.
Thrawn was originally a character created by author Timothy Zahn in the very first sequel trilogy of 'Star Wars' - a trilogy of books in the '90s called the Thrawn Trilogy - that have since been removed from the official timeline. Thrawn was such a popular character, however, that he was written back into the official timeline for the animated series, 'Rebels'.
The creator of that series, Dave Filoni, has been heavily involved with 'The Mandalorian', which is how Thrawn came to be mentioned in the live-action series. Now, as to the second question - is he still alive in 'The Mandalorian', will he be in the third season or one of the other Disney+ series announced. Nobody knows.
What we do know, however, is that we can all scratch Benedict Cumberbatch off the list of potential actors who'll play Thrawn. In a recent interview with Collider, Cumberbatch said his reasons for declining the role - which he wasn't even offered, to be fair - were down to the very fact that Thrawn is blue-skinned.
"There’s no way I want to be turned blue. I turned the air blue, very recently. No no, seriously, I have precious time with my children and I think sitting in a makeup chair and being painted blue, and the amount of time it would take to do that and then take it off at the end of the day might just … it’s not the right time in my life for that."
Cumberbatch has been linked with the role only through fan-art and speculation. In the past, other names like Jeremy Irons were mentioned as a potential actor to play Thrawn. The most likely candidate, in our opinion, is simply the actor who played him last - Lars Mikkelsen.
For one, Lars Mikkelsen looks very like Thrawn. For another, he's got the same voice, and he's a great actor with a real screen presence. You only need to watch his episode of 'Sherlock' to know that he can play a villain with ease, so why bother with anyone else?