Actor Ray Stevenson has passed away at only 58 years old.
The “Vikings” star previously voiced Gar Saxon in the animated series “Star Wars Rebels” and “The Clone Wars.” He also played Volstagg in Marvel’s “Thor” films and Blackbeard in the Starz “Black Sails” pirate series.
Stevenson was set to play a different character in a galaxy far, far away in “Ahsoka,” which was scheduled to premiere on Disney+ in August 2023.
‘Star Wars’ Actor Ray Stevenson Dead Only Months Before ‘Ahsoka’ Premiere
On Monday, Deadline was one of the first to report that the actor had passed away at the age of 58, although reps at Independent Talent did not provide a cause of death at this time. The actor also appeared in the “Divergent” film series and “RRR.”
The actor had recently been cast in “1242: Gateway to the West.” Stevenson was reportedly supposed to play the lead in the historical drama, taking over the part from Kevin Spacey. Although the movie was reportedly currently in the process of filming in Budapest, Hungary, Stevenson reportedly passed away on Sunday in Italy.
Ray Stevenson Describes The ‘Scale’ Of ‘Ahsoka’ At Star Wars Celebration London
At Star Wars Celebration London in April 2023, Ray Stevenson said that he was most excited for fans to see all of the episodes in an interview with Collider. When asked which episodes from 1 through 8 fans had to watch, Stevenson jokingly responded, “1 through 8.”
“You cannot. It’s like separating a family and saying which child is your favorite child,” he joked. “It’s a whole journey.” When asked about the scripts that “Ahsoka” creator Dave Filoni created, Stevenson admitted that he wasn’t expecting the “vision and complexity” that was being given to the series.
Stevenson teased that there is a “scale” to “Ahsoka,” adding, “I remember walking on set like, ‘Who designed this?’” Stevenson praised the costumes, the construction, and the design of the set, saying that the cast and crew all brought their “A game” to the series.
He teased that the new series will bring “a lot of cliffhangers, surprises, journeys, and unexpected events and he [Dave Filoni] just kept it going,” he added. He called it an “exhausting” experience filming the series but a “delight” all the same.
He also praised the stunt coordinators working on the series. “They’re character-driven fights,” he explains, adding that the “stakes are high.” He said that it will “literally” keep fans on the edge of their seat.
When the interviewer said that Grand Admiral Thrawn was the “smartest guy in the room,” Stevenson couldn’t help but let out a little laugh. Considering that Stevenson’s character is working with the Empire, he was asked if their relationship was more adversarial or friendly. However, Stevenson just replied, “Yes.”
Stevenson Praises Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni For Bringing The Best Out Of The Cast and Crew
When asked about what he didn’t expect for a “Star Wars” show, Stevenson revealed that Dave Filoni and the wardrobe department actually took his feedback on the costume into account. He called the attention to detail “breathtaking” before he praised Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and their ability to bring out the best of their actors. He called their “humility of greatness” really “empowering and wonderful and humbling.”
When asked about his passion for the show, Stevenson went on to say that “there is a genuine love there and you feel that now resonated as a tsunami of love from the fans… that’s from the cast and crew as well. We just want to give it to an audience who deserves it and give them everything and they facilitate just bring your best to work.”
“Ahsoka” will premiere on Disney+ in August 2023.