The late actor Ray Stevenson, who plays the villain Baylan Skoll on the “Star Wars” series “Ahsoka,” received a touching tribute at the end of Episode 1, which premiered on Disney+ Tuesday night.
Stevenson died on May 21 on the Italian island Ischia at the age of 58, after production had wrapped on the series. Before the end credits on Episode 1 of “Ahsoka,” a screen reads, “For our friend, Ray.”
His “Ahsoka” character Baylan Skoll serves as one of the primary antagonists on the show. A Dark Jedi, Baylan survived Order 66 after escaping into deep space and is now a mercenary who wields an orange lightsaber. His apprentice is Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakkno) and they’re working together with Morgan Elspeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), a villain who was previously seen in “The Mandalorian” Season 2, to find Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).
When news of Stevenson’s death broke in May, “Ahsoka” lead actor Rosario Dawson posted a tribute to her co-star on Instagram: “Gone too soon from this world. At a loss for words… just wanted to mark this moment and share your ever ready and present smile. Love you forever. Holding your family in my heart. #LegendsNeverDie.”
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Sakhno also posted, “Ray… My heart is shattered and I can’t fathom you not being here. My dear friend. My Master. A giant with an even bigger heart. You understood the infinite. Your love for life, your partner Elisabetta and your 3 boys was unyielding. Knowing you in this lifetime had been one of the greatest gifts. I carry your light within me. Fly freely, Blackbird.”
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“Ahsoka” was not Stevenson’s first foray into a galaxy far, far away. He voiced the character Gar Saxon, a Mandalorian commando, in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels.” His other acting credits included Marvel antihero Punisher in “Punisher: War Zone,” Asgardian hero Volstagg in the “Thor” movies, Sir Dagonet in “King Arthur,” Marcus Eaton in the “Divergent” movies, Blackbeard in “Black Sails” and Gov. Scott Buxton in “RRR.”
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