Ahsoka May Bring An Important Star Wars Character To Life – Let's Examine The Evidence

A whole lot happened during Star Wars Celebration, so much so that it was genuinely difficult to keep up with. But one of the biggest of big things came in the form of the "Ahsoka" trailer, which will give the beloved character a solo series for the first time ever. This has certainly been a long time coming. Based on what we see in the trailer, it certainly seems like the show will be setting the stage for something much, much larger. Namely, an adaptation of "Heir to the Empire," author Timothy Zahn's trilogy of novels from the '90s where Grand Admiral Thrawn was born. Not to speculate too hard here, but it seems likely this is where Dave Filoni's announced "Star Wars" movie is headed.

Not only does Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano actually say that Thrawn (who appears in the flesh in the trailer) is being teed up as the heir to the Empire, but further examination appears to provide even more evidence that elements of Zahn's legendary story are being brought into the Mando-verse. Specifically, we might have reason to believe that none other than Joruus C'Baoth is being set up for an appearance in the show. If that truly is the case, a classic character from the past is being brought into the fold and bringing some pretty bizarre history along with him.

Who is Joruus C'Baoth?

For those who may not be familiar, Joruus C'Baoth (not to be confused with Jorus with one u) is a Dark Jedi who made his debut in "Heir to the Empire," the first of Zahn's trilogy of novels. The books take place around five years after the events of "Return of the Jedi" and see Thrawn taking control of the remnants of the Empire, threatening to dismantle the New Republic. Along the way, he is seeking some relics left behind by Palpatine and, interestingly enough, one of those relics is Joruus, who is actually a clone of a former Jedi named Jorus C'Baoth (one u), who had died many years prior.

Cloning is a huge part of the storyline, and anyone who has been keeping up with "The Mandalorian" should know that cloning has been increasingly coming into play as a big part of that universe. Filoni's movie will be the culmination of everything happening in these shows, so it stands to reason that this cloning plot will factor into the proceedings. Joruus ends up helping Thrawn in his quest to overthrow the New Republic with the promise of getting Luke, Leia, and Leia's unborn twins to do his bidding as part of a new, twisted Jedi Order of sorts.

One thing that is important to note is that clones are wildly imperfect in the "Star Wars" universe around this time — at least at first. Joruus was indeed imperfect and that led to some unusual tendencies in his behavior. That is vital to understand as we look at some things happening in the "Ahsoka" trailer that hint at the arrival of Joruus C'Baoth.

Meet Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati

In the trailer, we see two Force-users who are quite unusual in terms of what is typically shown in "Star Wars." There's the large, grey-bearded man with an orange lightsaber played by Ray Stevenson named Baylan Skoll, as well as a smaller, fearsome woman with an orange lightsaber played by Ivanna Sakhno named Shin Hati. At first glance, they both seem to be on the Dark Side, closer to Sith. However, those orange lightsabers are a big clue, as we see some full-blown red lightsabers — the trademark of the Sith — in the trailer as well. So why don't they have red lightsabers?

It's also key to point out the way that Baylan, in particular, moves in the trailer. He's very robotic. Yes, he's proficient in the Force, that much is certain, but he doesn't move with the grace of a Jedi or the calculated aggression of a Sith. There's something off about it, and there's even something mechanical about the way he delivers lines. While we don't hear much of anything from Shin in the trailer, she has a similarly no-nonsense movement to her. One might even say ... clone-like.

Baylan says in the trailer that "This is a new beginning. For some, war. For others, power." Thrawn clearly could fit the bill of war and power. But what about Joruus? Could he fit the bill for a new beginning? Maybe he wants to mold a new era of Jedi to his liking. That would be a great power, would it not? Could it be that Baylan and Shin are connected to Joruus? Maybe they're clones like him, operating somewhere in the grey between the light and the dark sides of the Force.

Nothing is accidental

Dave Filoni, the mastermind behind "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels," has addressed some of what we see in the trailer that I believe could lead us to Joruus C'Baoth. Speaking to Screen Rant, Filoni explained that the orange lightsabers were very intentional and it's not just lighting or camera tricks. This is signaling that something strange is afoot. He explained:

"I made [their lightsaber blades] a little bit more orange. That's a really good eye. You're the first person to catch that. That was very intentional. I didn't make them just a stark red. I remember as a kid that Vader's lightsaber kind of fluctuated from visual effects to being a little bit more orange. I didn't want to go straight up orange, but it's identifying a little bit of something to kids that they might not straight up be what you think they are in the beginning. It's good you caught that. Nothing is accidental."

So not only are the orange lightsabers not an accident, but "nothing" is accidental. The robotic movements of both Baylan and Shin were certainly done with intention. But what does it all mean? Who are they if they're not who we think they are? Good questions, and ones that Filoni is absolutely not going to answer until the show arrives. At the very least, it indicates that anyone reading into the colors of those lightsabers isn't wasting their time. Something is up.

Is Baylan Skoll who we think he is?

There has been some speculation that Baylan Skoll is actually just Joruus C'Baoth, either going under a different name or as a bit of misdirection from Dave Filoni. In fairness, it doesn't seem like Filoni is the kind of guy to outright lie or deceive the audience so directly. While he may be fond of keeping secrets, that feels like a stretch. That said, the character using an alias might not be out of the question so it's not impossible that Ray Stevenson is the one playing Joruus.

What seems more likely, based on the footage we've seen and what's been said, is that both Baylan and Shin are breadcrumbs leading to Joruus at some point, be it in "Ahsoka" or Filoni's as-of-yet untitled movie. They could indeed be clones, furthering that plot point we've seen in "The Mandalorian," which would lead directly to Joruus. Even if they're not, it would make sense for the Dark Jedi from the old "Star Wars" expanded universe to have some underlings doing his bidding, and that could be what we're seeing. It all leads to the same place though, and that place is "Heir to the Empire" in live-action.

"Ahsoka" premieres on Disney+ in August 2023.