Warning: This article contains spoilers from Ahsoka Season 1, episode 8, “The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord.”
Baylan Skoll was barely in the Ahsoka Season 1 finale, but his one scene provided important insight into the mysterious power he has been seeking. The final shots of Baylan show him standing on the fist of a statue resembling the Father from The Clone Wars‘ Mortis arc.
The Father was essentially a Force god who maintained the balance of the Force between his two children, with the Daughter embodying the light side of the Force, and the Son embodying the dark side of the Force.
They resided in a mystical realm known as Mortis that Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi were taken to in The Clone Wars, during which all three Force gods perished, and the balance of the Force was restored.
The statue of the Father on Peridea is flanked by a statue of the Son and a headless statue of the Daughter. As Baylan stands atop the Father’s figure, he is seen gazing into the distance at what looks like a blinking beacon of white light. This bears a resemblance to the white light above the Father’s monastery. These details essentially confirm that Baylan’s mysterious quest is related to Mortis.
While Baylan’s character didn’t exist when the Mortis arc aired on Cartoon Network in 2011, the final episode in the arc, “Ghost of Mortis,” already explained why Baylan’s plan will ultimately fail. Every The Clone Wars episode begins with a fortune cookie-like platitude that encapsulates the theme of the episode. The fortune cookie for “Ghosts of Mortis” is the following:
“He who seeks to control fate will never find peace.”
The details of Baylan’s plan are still a mystery, but based on the clues he’s dropped throughout Season 1 and what is known of Mortis from The Clone Wars, it seems like he wants to control time, fate, or even the Force itself.
This aligns with his mentions of a power that is calling to him, wanting to go back to the beginning, ending the inevitable cycle of power that rises and falls, believing the Great Mothers are fleeing a power that is superior to them, and seeing Thrawn’s new Empire as nothing more than a fleeting rule that is beneath him.
Baylan may think that finding or taking the power of Mortis or its Force gods will finally bring him inner peace, but “Ghosts of Mortis” confirms that, like anyone who seeks to control fate, he will never find peace. The Father, the Son, and the Daughter all tried to use the Chosen One (Anakin) to control fate and the future of the Force in the Mortis arc, and in doing so, destroyed their family, and all ultimately perished.
The same sentiment is true of Anakin, who thought learning the power to prevent death, specifically stopping his wife Padmé Amidala from dying, would bring him peace, but his obsession to control fate led him to become Darth Vader and fall to the dark side. It was these actions that led to Padmé’s death.
In addition to the hubris setting Baylan on this path, it also doesn’t help that what he knows about Mortis is likely just based on the children’s stories he heard during his time at the Jedi Temple and not on any legitimate intel. He seems to have no idea that Ahsoka and Anakin have been to Mortis, let alone how the Daughter transferred her life force to Ahsoka through Anakin.
If Baylan knew about this, he probably would’ve tried to work with Ahsoka instead of just trying to remove her from his path. If Baylan doesn’t know about what happened to Ahsoka on Mortis, then he likely also doesn’t know what happened to the Father, the Daughter, and the Son.
However Baylan’s story is handled moving forward, it will be fascinating and may have major ramifications for everything fans know about the Force. Still, it will surely end in failure for Baylan and will not bring him the power or peace he desires.