Ray Stevenson’s Star Wars Future? Dave Filoni Speaks On Baylan Skoll

By Zack Zagranis | Published

The Star Wars universe has a Ray Stevenson-sized hole in it. Baylan Skoll, the late actor’s morally ambiguous fallen Jedi, ended up being one of the highlights of Ahsoka, and the character’s future post-Stevenson has been a hotly debated topic among Star Wars fans. Now, Dave Filoni himself has opened up to Vanity Fair about the future of the popular villain, which he describes as a “wait-and-see-pattern.”

Ray Stevenson Passes Away

ray stevenson

Ray Stevenson died unexpectedly last May having just finished filming the role of dark Jedi Baylan Skoll, one of the main antagonists of the Ahsoka series. The 58-year-old actor crushed the role and gave Star Wars fans one of the more interesting villains since Disney purchased the franchise in 2012. The Ahsoka finale saw Baylan Skoll still very much alive and quite literally looking toward the future leading fans to wonder what would happen to the character.

A “Wait And See” Pattern

 “Obviously, there’s a story there,” Dave Filoni told Vanity Fair in regard to the continuing adventures of Baylan Skoll. “We’re in a wait-and-see pattern at this point.” Filoni’s statement, while not very satisfying, is at least honest. The recently promoted Chief Creative Officer of Lucasfilm knows, just like the fans, that Ray Stevenson’s performance as Baylan was special and not something that can be replicated easily.

“I’m glad the conversation is about Ray and how great he was.” Filoni said. “I think he would have been over the moon,” admitted Filoni, describing how Ray Stevenson would have felt about his character’s popularity. Filoni went on to say that his “big regret” was that Stevenson didn’t get to experience the overwhelmingly positive response to Baylan Skoll.

“I’m glad he was at Star Wars Celebration with us,” Filoni continued, “he got to see the trailer and get a taste of that from the fans.”

Three Options

It would seem that Dave Filoni has three options at this point: abandon Baylan Skoll’s story—which the creator seems reluctant to do—, bring the character back as a CGI Frankenstein using Ray Stevenson’s likeness, or recast the role. We here at Giant Freakin Robot still think recasting would be the way to go, and you can read our top picks to replace Stevenson here.

Whatever method Dave Filoni adopts, it’s clear that the Star Wars guru feels that Baylan Skoll’s story is an important one. Filoni called Baylan a “seeker just like Ahsoka,” and described him as someone “wrestling” with his past in the Jedi Order and the “disillusion” that set in once he left. Ray Stevenson conveyed these conflicting emotions within Baylan perfectly, at times expressing an almost wistful longing for the Jedi’s “good ol’ days” while not hesitating to point out the flaws in the order’s structure and beliefs.

The Best Part Of Ahsoka

Ray Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll and his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) were dark mirrors of Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and her apprentice Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Both masters and their apprentices were neither Jedi nor Sith but force-wielders forging their own paths. While the series ended with Ahsoka as close to picking up the mantel of Jedi Knight as she’s been since leaving the order, the finale found Baylan more determined than ever to come up with something beyond the binary of Jedi and Sith.

Ahsoka Season 2?

Dave Filoni didn’t quite commit to announcing that there would be an Ahsoka Season 2, but given his recent promotion plus the fact that he still needs to bridge some gaps leading up to his upcoming feature film, we’re pretty confident it will happen. What they’ll do as far as replacing Ray Stevenson, however, is anyone’s guess.