New details on Ahsoka’s mysterious villains have been revealed by the cast of the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars show. While the Ahsoka trailer confirmed that Grand Admiral Thrawn would be on the show, it also teased two new villains – Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati. Shin is played by Ivanna Sakhno, whereas Baylan is played by the late Ray Stevenson, who sadly passed away on May 21, 2023.
For the Dagobah Dispatch podcast, which was recorded before Stevenson’s death, the two actors discussed their Ahsoka villains in-depth, teasing the secrets involving these orange lightsaber-wielding warriors.
Ray Stevenson: It’s such an untold journey with Baylan and Shin, they kind of keep you second-guessing – are they, aren’t they? What is going on? And then it develops into, “It could be this,” and then there’s something other, so it’s a very exciting role to play, and he has a kind of inherent nobility. It’s like, if you don’t stand in his way, he’s got no malicious attitude at all. But if you do, you’d just be swept aside, because there’s something that’s driving him that Mr. Filoni and Favreau know, and is hopefully gonna be revealed throughout the telling. And just breathtaking.
Ivanna Sakhno: Shin is quite intense and ambitious Force-wielder, she’s very skilled in lightsaber combat. As you’re saying, she’s a new character, so I don’t want to give away too much of who Shin is as I would love the audience to be able to discover her. But she is Dave’s creation, and I hope that despite her darkness of a character, we’re able to also expand our understanding of that darkness within someone, and the reason behind it. I love her, I really care so much about her, and I feel it’s my job to take care of her and protect her.
In the same interview, Stevenson also described the process of playing a lightsaber-wielding villain, noting how he “stands there stoically, in comes the viper, and that’s awesome, and then Rosario’s – makes a lightsaber noise.” According to Sakhno, Ray Stevenson “came up with a song for Shin” about “who let the Shin out?.”
Shin & Baylan Have Been Set Up As One Of Ahsoka’s Most Intriguing Mysteries
Stevenson and Sakhno’s answers reveal they were aware of just how many questions and theories these two new Ahsoka villains would bring. Stevenson mentions an “untold journey with Baylan and Shin,” suggesting that these characters have a long, untold Star Wars history. Right after Ahsoka’s trailer was released, dozens of Star Wars theories tried to decipher who Baylan and Shin are.
It was easy to predict that the Chiss strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn, who made his Disney canon debut in Star Wars Rebels, would return for the Ahsoka series. Ahsoka was on a mission to find Thrawn, after all. However, Ahsoka’s new lightsaber-wielding villains appeared to be original characters created for the show, which these comments by Stevenson and Sakhno have confirmed.
As a show set after Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Empire, Ahsoka could not use most of the classic Star Wars villains. There are no known Sith openly operating in this era, nor do there seem to be any Inquisitors left. As such, Ahsoka was the perfect opportunity to introduce new Force-sensitive villains, which the show is achieving with Baylan and Shin.
Source: Dagobah Dispatch