comScore I Don't See Robert Downey Jr. as Star Wars' Admiral Thrawn | The Mary Sue
Skip to main content

Sorry, I Don’t See Robert Downey Jr. as Star Wars’ Grand Admiral Thrawn

As much as it pains me.


robert downey jr and thrawn

I love Robert Downey Jr., and that’s not something I hide. He’s one of my favorite actors, and I will watch anything he does with glee. That being said, I don’t really want him to play Star Wars’ Thrawn. General Admiral Thrawn is one of those Star Wars villains that brings fear with his name, so when Ahsoka Tano brought him up in season 2 of Disney+’s The Mandalorian, fans of Rebels were excited to start speculating over who could bring him to life.

Mitth’raw’nuruodo (also known as Grand Admiral Thrawn) was Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy during the Galactic Empire. Blue with striking red eyes, Thrawn is knowing for being ruthless in his strategies and is one of those villains that just brings a chill to you when you think of him.

A popular suggestion right now for the casting of Thrawn is Robert Downey Jr., which … okay, I guess? Like, I want RDJ in Star Wars, but I just don’t think he fits in with Thrawn. I’d rather have Downey as someone like Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth or some cameo like that in the overall world, rather than Thrawn.

But it seems to be popular enough among other fans, and like, I won’t complain about more Downey.

Thrawn, to me, is just a looming figure that brings a fear to me that I don’t know that I could ever feel with Downey playing him. Maybe that’s just my burden since I love Downey so much, but whatever. To be quite honest, we had the perfect Thrawn in Richard E. Grant, and we wasted him in The Rise of Skywalker, but there are some other suggestions for the Grand Admiral that I can get behind.

Personally, I’d love for someone like John Slattery to take on Thrawn.

Another big suggestion was Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced Thrawn in Star Wars: Rebels and is the brother of Mads Mikkelsen (which would have been my choice had he not starred as Galen Erso in Rogue One). It wouldn’t be the first time they cast the voice actor to bring their animated character to life, either. Katee Sackhoff brought Bo-Katan Kryze to life on Rebels and The Clone Wars before playing her in live-action on The Mandalorian. So, Mikkelsen could work.

The thing is, I wouldn’t be mad if it did end up being Robert Downey Jr. because I trust him. He’s an incredible actor and he knows how to work with Jon Favreau so having them back together for Star Wars would be a treat. I just also think there are better characters for him to play throughout the galaxy and someone else can bring a different take to Thrawn.

(via, image: Marvel Entertainment/LucasFilm)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

 —The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.