Ahsoka will bring some of Star Wars‘ greatest heroes to live-action. The galaxy far, far away is gonna need them, too. The Disney+ series will also mark the return of an iconic villain. But Grand Admiral Thrawn isn’t the only foe who will be looking to restore the Empire to power. Who will also join him in the fight to overthrow the New Republic? These are all the villains we expect to see on Ahsoka.
Grand Admiral Thrawn Will Be Ahsoka‘s Main Villain
The potential “Heir to the Empire” is one of Star Wars‘ most iconic and enduring villains, with a long history in both Star Wars Legends and Disney-era canon. The blue-skinned Chiss with piercing red eyes was among the highest ranking officers in the Galactic Empire. The smart, cunning, ruthless Thrawn was also the primary villain on Star Wars Rebels. His blockade of Lothal ended when Jedi Ezra Bridger called on purrgil to whisk both him and Thrawn into the Unknown Regions of deep space.
Ahsoka Tano will be on the hunt for the returning villain Thrawn when her Disney+ series debuts. Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced Thrawn on the animated series, will reprise the role in the character’s live-action debut.
The former Imperial official and skilled fighter played a major role in building the Empire’s naval fleet. After seeing her homeworld Corvus decimated during the Clone Wars she became a bitter, loyal, and dangerous servant of the Empire. She was ruthless in her plunder and destruction of other planet’s resources and their people.
Elsbeth made her Star Wars debut during The Mandalorian‘s second season on her home planet. Ahsoka Tano believed the tyrannical magistrate of Calodan knew the whereabouts of her “master” Thrawn, but Elsbeth seemingly didn’t reveal anything. Ahsoka trailers reveal the villainous Elsbeth is no longer imprisoned by the New Republic and working with two dangerous new Force-users. And we now know that Morgan Elsbeth is actually a Nightsister of Dathomir, making her an even deadlier foe. Diana Lee Inosanto will reprise the role as this villain on the Ahsoka series.
Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati
The late Ray Stevenson‘s Baylan Skoll and his apparent apprentice, Ivanna Sakhno’s Shin Hati, have made their presence felt as villains in Ahsoka‘s trailers. But though the identity and goals of each character still remains a mystery, we know enough about both to be afraid of them. They are Force-users wielding orange lightsabers. In addition to all the New Republic figures they’re seen killing in promos, Skoll declared, “We are no Jedi.” He also made a reference to having once known Anakin Skywalker. That suggests he’s a former Jedi who fought in the Clone Wars and survived Order 66. If so, was he also an Inquisitor at one point?
Whatever the truth about the pair, we know the names of these Ahsoka villains are references to Norse mythology. Skoll and Hati are two wolves who chase the Sun and Moon in hopes of devouring them. They finally catch them during Ragnarok when the world ends. The names of these villains marks an ominous connection for the Ahsoka series, which has teased a return to the the World Between Worlds, a realm connected with Loth-wolves.
The Imperial Shadow Council
The Mandalorian‘s third season featured the Shadow Council. The group consists of former high-ranking Imperial officers who each oversee their own sector of the galaxy during the early days of the New Republic. While some members (now at eight total following the death of Moff Gideon) would prefer to use their resources to enrich themselves, the group’s primary goal is to restore the Empire and Palpatine himself to power. To stay under the radar and keep their true agenda hidden from the government, they make a concerted effort to avoid being seen working together, instead opting to make themselves look like individual black market warlords.
The Shadow Council’s two most notable members thus far are Commandant Brendol Hux and Captain Gilad Pellaeon. Brendol Hux is the father of the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s General Hux. Pellaeon previously served as the righthand man of Thrawn. While this group of villains has yet to appear in any trailers for Ahsoka, they seem likely to make their presence felt one way or another. They are awaiting Thrawn’s return so he can potentially take over leadership of the Shadow Council.
Marrok, the Former Inquisitor
Ahsoka will feature a previously unknown Inquisitor we now know is named Marrok. The group of Force users served as the personal Jedi bounty hunters of Darth Vader and Palpatine during the Galactic Empire. They have previously played big roles on Star Wars Rebels, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the Jedi: Fallen Order video game.
After initially keeping the character’s identity and alliances a secret, Lucasfilm has revealed Marrok “works as a mercenary hired by Morgan Elsbeth to carry out dark deeds” on Ahsoka. This Ahsoka villain still wears his Inquisitor battle armor and uses the group’s signature red double-bladed saber with a circular hilt. Considering Elsbeth’s work with Thrawn and Thrawn’s own past with Inquisitors, Marrok’s Imperial allegiances might run even deeper than most. However, theories abound about Marrok’s true identity. Could this Ahsoka villain actually be someone from Ahsoka‘s past, like Barriss Offee or even Ezra Bridger himself? It seems like, ultimately, Marrok may not be any notable figure at all, but merely a Nightbrother or Nightsister of Dathomir.
Paul Darnell is reportedly the man behind the black mask.
The New Republic’s Inaction Will Be An Ahsoka Villain That Won’t Be Defeated
Not every villain on Ahsoka will work for the Empire. They won’t even all be people. The show will also provide a classic example of
ManGalaxy-vs-Society, as Ahsoka Tano, Hera Syndulla, and everyone who sees the growing danger the New Republic faces will have to deal with the government’s refusal to address the rising tide of evil. We see it happen very clearly through the council appearance and Senator Xiono cameo in episode four of the series. It’s one enemy we know they won’t beat. Years later, the First Order will bring death and destruction to the galaxy far, far away.
Even the greatest heroes of Ahsoka won’t be able to save the New Republic from its own inaction, but they can help many people if they can stop Thrawn and all those who support him.
Originally published on August 3, 2023.