A new Ahsoka trailer has arrived and teases new information about the upcoming series. One of the most prominent characters highlighted in the new trailer is Baylan Skoll, played by the late Ray Stevenson.
While attacking a New Republic ship, Baylan declares that he and Shin Hati “are no Jedi” as he plunges his orange lightsaber through a man’s chest. Baylan is also seen working with Shin and Morgan Elsbeth to find Grand Admiral Thrawn, along with battling Ahsoka Tano in a gripping lightsaber duel.
It is during the glimpse of the lightsaber duel that a fascinating new piece of Baylan’s characters is revealed as he says to Ahsoka, “Anakin spoke highly of you.” This confirms that Baylan has history with Anakin Skywalker and that he knew of Ahsoka long before the events of this series.
How does Baylan know Anakin?
Baylan Skoll was previously revealed to be a former Jedi and survivor of Order 66. Given his comments in the trailer, he likely knew Anakin and spoke with him during the Clone Wars, to the extent that Anakin shared information with Baylan about his Jedi Padawan and how proud he was of her.
It remains to be seen if Baylan knew about Anakin becoming Darth Vader. If Baylan doesn’t know, he may learn the truth from Thrawn as the Grand Admiral knew Vader’s secret.
Why Baylan’s connection to Anakin matters
Instead of just being a generic lightsaber-wielding dark side user, Baylan’s connection to Anakin makes him a more personal villain for Ahsoka. He will probably use his knowledge of Ahsoka and Anakin to rattle her and to be manipulative.
Anakin may be gone, but he is a reminder of who both Ahsoka and Baylan used to be. Even though it has been many years since Ahsoka left the Jedi Order in The Clone Wars season 5, and years since her confrontation with Vader on Malachor in Star Wars Rebels, she definitely still has unresolved feelings in regards to her former master. Working through those feelings seems like it will be part of Ahsoka’s arc in this series.
Ahsoka even mentions earlier in the trailer that “Anakin never got to finish my training. I walked away from him, just like I walked away from Sabine.” Baylan may try to seize on those unresolved feelings to make Ahsoka doubt herself, to weaken the greatest threat to Thrawn’s return.
Baylan declaring that he and Shin are not Jedi is an intriguing juxtaposition to Ahsoka, another survivor of Order 66 who has also declared in the past that she is not a Jedi. The difference is that Ahsoka still uses her connection to the Force for good while Baylan uses it for evil.
With previous reports that Hayden Christensen is returning as Anakin in Ahsoka, there is also a possibility that Anakin’s Force ghost will appear to Ahsoka, and maybe even to Baylan as well.
Ahsoka debuts with a two-episode premiere on August 23, only on Disney+.