Ray Stevenson at the "Thor: Ragnarok" Wold Premiere

‘Ahsoka’ Pays Tribute To Late ‘Star Wars’ Actor Ray Stevenson

Home / Star Wars / ‘Ahsoka’ Pays Tribute To Late ‘Star Wars’ Actor Ray Stevenson

By Kristin Myers on August 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM EDT

The first episode of “Ahsoka,” which aired on Tuesday night, paid tribute to the late actor Ray Stevenson, who passed away suddenly on May 21 in Ischia, Italy.

The Disney+ live-action series paid tribute to the actor with a placard at the end of the episode that simply read “For our friend, Ray.”

Article continues below advertisement

Ray Stevenson Appeared In 'RRR' Before Landing A Role In 'Ahsoka'

The actor, who was born in Northern Ireland, had roles in “Thor,” “Rome,” “Kill the Irishman” and 2022’s Oscar-winning “RRR” before he landed a role in “Ahsoka,” playing the role of the villainous Baylan Skoll. Stevenson had a large role in the first episode, but this was not the first time that the actor had appeared in a galaxy far, far away, after having previously voiced the character of Gar Saxon on the animated “Star Wars” series “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.”

Stevenson had passed away at age 58 but no cause of death has been released. At the time, he was in Italy filming the Republic Pictures/Paramount Global Content movie, "Cassino in Ischia," which was directed by Frank Ciota. His role has been replaced by “Prison Break” star Dominic Purcell.

Article continues below advertisement

The Actor Discussed His Role In 'Ahsoka' One Month Before He Died

Only one month before he passed away, the actor had been snapping selfies with fans and signing autographs at the Star Wars Celebration event in London in April 2023. During a video interview with Collider, the “Thor” actor couldn’t hold back his excitement about his new role. When asked which of the eight episodes fans had to watch, he replied, “One through eight.”

“You cannot. It’s like separating a family and saying which child is your favorite child,” he said at the time. “It’s a whole journey.” He went on to praise the “vision and complexity” given to the story by “Ahsoka” showrunner Dave Filoni, who also created “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.”

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Stevenson went on to say 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.

Ray also teased that fans could expect “a lot of cliffhangers, surprises, journeys, and unexpected events, adding that Dave “just kept it going.” The actor did confess that it was a bit “exhausting” filming the series but a “delight” all the same.

Article continues below advertisement

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 some of the action scenes coming up will “literally” keep fans on the edge of their seat.

When asked about what he didn’t expect for a “Star Wars” show, Ray 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.”

Article continues below advertisement

Ray went on to praise the love of the franchise from fans, saying, “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.”

The first two episodes of “Ahsoka” are now available to stream on Disney+. New episodes are released each Wednesday.

Article continues below advertisement