There are quite a few animated Star Wars characters making their way to The Mandalorian in its upcoming second season, including the likes of Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren. There have also been rumblings of Star Wars Rebels' Ezra Bridger making the jump, which have been fueled by cryptic tweets from The Haunting of Bly Manor and iZombie star Rahul Kohli. After sharing a joke on Twitter after an online rumor about Ezra's live-action casting, Kohli immediately became synonymous with the beloved character, with fans around the world now hoping he was given the role. Of course, Kohli was just messing around and wasn't actually cast in the popular Star Wars series. He confirmed as much to us in a recent interview, which you can watch in the video above.
It all started when Kohli was watching an episode of Star Wars Rebels and was reminded of a rumor he saw online that Lucasfilm was potentially looking for a live-action Ezra. On his way to the gym, Kohli simply tweeted about the character and it quickly blew up, even fooling Bly Manor creator Mike Flanagan, whom Kohli had to disappoint later that evening.
"That week, when that happened, I went to Mike [Flanagan]'s house on a Saturday. And the worst I felt was when I came through the doors, Mike and Kate [Siegel] were there, and they were like, 'Dude, seriously, congratulations!' And I had to be like, 'No!, I made it up,'" Kohli explained. "It was an accident, I was watching Rebels that morning. There was a [casting] rumor, about six months ago that Disney was looking for a live-action Ezra Bridges. Looking for a Middle Eastern, Asian, South Asian representation, late twenties to early thirties. Obviously I'm 34, so I'm good to go...
"So that was in my wheelhouse. I sent that rumor to my team and I asked them, 'Hey, can you confirm whether or not this casting is a thing, I'd like to read if possible, throw me in a room or something.' Never heard back. My team were like, 'We'll look into it,' and I never heard back. That morning I was watching Rebels on my laptop while I was eating breakfast. I think I was watching 'Twin Sons'. I was just watching some old stuff and I remembered the tweet and I was going into the gym. So I did a tweet in the most harmless troll way, cause it was still out there floating somewhere that they might be doing this thing."
Of course, that tweet went viral and Ezra Bridger was trending. It gained even more ground than expected because Kohli has always been a very outspoken Star Wars fan.
"And then, I go to the gym. I come out and my phones like all these notifications and GamesRadar did an article and someone else did an article and then there's tweets. And then I look at the tweet itself and I'm like, 'Oh no, it's got too much engagement. This spiraled,'" he continued. "This is the part where I screwed up because I was like, 'No, it's not true.' But because, the only reason I became an actor ever, was to be in Star Wars. That's it. And there's countless articles where I've had the same story, because it's the truth. That's the only reason I became an actor. Something happened where I ended up role-playing for a second, seeing the celebration at that community finding out that I made the name Ezra Bridger trend on Twitter, all of that, the 11 year-old [in me] went, 'Oh, imagine it was true.' And even if I wanted it to be true so, I couldn't help it, being the troll that I am and not completely let it go and still mess around with people. But I only did it because it never got negative. It never, turned into a, 'He sucks. I hate this character ruining Star Wars, not my Ezra.' It never turned into that. It was just like fans were all of a sudden, 'Oh my God, that casting works.' Or 'What does he look like with blue hair? And what's his American accent.' And just for a second, I was like 'Hey, the community has been really awesome today. So I'm not going to completely shut this off. 'And now, you know then I felt bad when Mike Flanagan's congratulating me and I'm like, 'Oh dude. No, I'm not, sorry man.'"
All that to say, Kohli sadly isn't going to be popping up in The Mandalorian anytime soon. He made that crystal clear.
"That's what it was. But I'm not associated with that role, I'm not in it," he confirmed. "Disney have not contacted me."
The second season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian may be arriving without Kohli in tow, but you can watch his excellent performance as Owen in The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix right now.