A look back – and ahead – at Ray Stevenson’s Star Wars roles

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) in Lucasfilm's AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) in Lucasfilm's AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Ray Stevenson passing away was a surprise to many of his fans. Behind the scenes here at Dork Side of the Force, we were all hoping in our work Slack that it wasn’t true. Stevenson has been part of the Star Wars family for the last few years and has a significant role in the upcoming Ahsoka series.

But as Variety reported, Stevenson’s publicist has confirmed the sad news. So while I am particularly fond of his work in the Thor franchise as Volstagg, I’m here to celebrate his Star Wars filmography.

Stevenson first came into the franchise by voicing the role of Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels. Saxon was a Mandalorian who rose through the ranks to become the Governor and Imperial Viceroy for the Empire. Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo described Saxon as “the quintessential sellout who ruled Mandalore on behalf of the Empire” in the Rebels Recon episode for “Imperial Supercommandos.” Through fraudulent means, Saxon got his hands on the Darksaber and claimed it for himself. He was challenged and beaten by Sabine Wren, who spared his life. When Saxon tried to slay Sabine, her mother killed Saxon on the spot.

Reprising his role, Stevenson would next play a younger version of Saxon in the seventh season of Clone Wars. In this iteration, Saxon was a super commando who sided with Darth Maul in his conquest of Mandalore. He got his hands dirty for Maul committing crimes like executing Mandalore’s Prime Minister. But when the Republic forces arrived, led by Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze, Saxon was abandoned by Maul getting captured. Soon after, the Republic would become the Empire allowing him to rise to his role in Rebels.

Stevenson’s final role in Star Wars is in the upcoming Ahsoka series. While we don’t know any details about the story, we know some things about his character. He portrays a Force-sensitive character named Baylan Skoll. He wields an orange-red crossguard lightsaber, fights Ahsoka in the trailer, and his apprentice is Shin Hati, played by Ivanna Sakhno. Wookieepedia notes that in Norse mythology, Sköll is the wolf that chases the Sun, while Hati Hróðvitnisson is the wolf that chases the Moon.

If Stevenson’s Rebels performance is anything to go off of, he will be a powerhouse in Ahsoka. Thanks to Stevenson’s talent, Saxon was as cunningly deadly, given extra evil gravitas. I’m sure the Ahsoka series will have some tribute to him, which they should. His passing is a huge loss to the Star Wars family and entertainment in general. He was a fantastic actor, and he will be so sorely missed.