TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - August 29, 2018
A few weeks back, Lucasfilm released the official cast list for Star Wars Episode IX, and people were intrigued by the inclusion of Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I, Logan). Speculation began to fly that the lanky actor might be playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, a legendary character who had recently been reintroduced into the official Star Wars canon. Grant soon dispelled these rumors himself, leading many to believe that Thrawn would not, in fact, show up in the new flick. That is, until yesterday's casting announcement fired up the rumor mill once again.
Variety confirmed yesterday that former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has joined the cast of Episode IX in a "key role." They haven't confirmed if that key role finds him on the light side or the dark side, but due to his lanky stature and penchant for playing villains in flicks like Terminator Genisys and Lost River, the natural assumption is that he's playing Thrawn.
There's never been any confirmation from anyone that Thrawn would show up in Episode IX, but the move would be seen by many as a nod to Timothy Zahn's "Heir to the Empire" sequel trilogy published in book form in the 90s. J.J. Abrams does love tipping his cap to what's come before and this would be a move right out of his playbook, but don't jump to any conclusions on that front just yet.
I'm not saying it's out of the question, I'm just saying proceed with caution. Expect this rumor to be dispelled in the next 48 hours, and if it isn't, then just assume that it's gospel truth.