One of the most popular villains in the Star Wars extended book universe is Grand Admiral Thrawn.
There are several fans who wanted to see Benedict Cumberbatch take on the role of Thrawn and Collider asked the actor if he had heard about the fan’s desires.
Cumberbatch wasn’t sure who Thrawn was, but when he found out, he had a quick answer.
Benedict Cumberbatch not interested in playing Thrawn
When Collider asked Benedict Cumberbatch if he would have any interest in playing Thrawn, he admitted he had no idea who the character was.
He asked if it was a younger version of Peter Cushing’s character, Grand Moff Tarkin. Collider explained that was not who he was and explained that Thrawn was a major Empire villain after Vader.
They also mentioned he had blue skin and that was all it took for Cumberbatch to shoot down the possibility.
“That’s a straight ‘no’ from me, right now. There’s no way I want to be turned blue,” Cumberbatch said.
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.”
The good news for Disney is that they have Cumberbatch in an even bigger role, playing Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, he could have been a perfect Thrawn.
Who is Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars?
Grand Admiral Thrawn made his Star Wars debut in Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels.
Thrawn was the main bad guy in Heir to the Empire (1991), Dark Force Rising (1992), and The Last Command (1993). He also appeared in the Marvel Comics adaptations.
Grand Admiral Thrawn showed up about five years after Return of the Jedi. This was also the same series that introduced Mara Jade, who later married Luke Skywalker.
In the books, Thrawn was considered the best military strategist in the naval forces and rose to power despite the Empire’s normal policy that only one species was superior. The fact they allowed a Chiss to rise to power shows how great he was as a military leader.
Thrawn was removed from the Star Wars canon when Disney made The Force Awakens and erased all history that the novels had built over the years.
However, he returned in the animated series Star Wars Rebels and new books arrived with Thrawn in the lead role starting in 2017. He was also mentioned in The Mandalorian by Ahsoka Tano.