Ahsoka Director Explains Why Ray Stevenson's Baylan Skoll Isn't a Typical Villain

Ahsoka's Peter Ramsey says Baylan Skoll was developed differently than any other Force-sensitive character.

The late Ray Stevenson's Baylan Skoll has been one of the most acclaimed parts of Ahsoka because of the complexities the character has shown on-screen. While much of the Star Wars lore has been based on the way of the samurai, including the Jedi and their fighting styles, Ahsoka Episode 4 helmer Peter Ramsey says Skoll was developed differently. According to the director, the filmmakers behind the series wanted the Force-wielder to have the feel of a medieval knight.

"It's a whole different style of fighting, and it really lends itself to Ray's physicality," Ramsey said in a recent chat with IGN. It's a style, the director added, that added a lot to the character and his tendency to "play chess" with those he comes across.

"It was really sort of, you know, a chess game as opposed to like, a frenzy or anything like that," the filmmaker added. "So really stretching out the time before they even strike a blow. That was the one where we were like, 'okay, we really want to dig into the Kurosawa bag for this. We're just gonna milk this as long as possible until, you know, we just start embarrassing ourselves, but really let them have a great standoff moment.' It was all about them checking out each other's weaknesses and sussing out, figuring out who's gonna win this battle before it even starts. And letting it unfold from there."

Who is Baylan Skoll?

Though Skoll is Force-sensitive, he's neither a Jedi nor Sith. He once found himself a member of the Jedi Order, but was one of the dozens to escape Order 66 at the rise of the Galactic Empire. His ochre lightsaber is an indication of his role within the lore, neither embracing the Dark Side of the Force, nor returning to the Jedi Order currently being built by Luke Skywaler at this point in the Star Wars timeline.

Fan-favorite Star Wars hero Ahsoka Tano returns in the brand new series on Disney+. Rosario Dawson stars in Star Wars: Ahsoka, which premiered on August 22nd on the streamer. The series picks up after the events of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, in which we saw the former Jedi searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and helping Luke Skywalker train Grogu. Ahsoka will be joined on her new mission alongside longtime allies Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as they attempt to track down Thrawn, who was last seen disappearing to the far reaches of space after a confrontation with Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi). Star Wars: Ahsoka is the latest live-action series from Lucasfilm's creative duo of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.