Last Updated on September 23, 2023 by Dexter Roona
The Ahsoka series started with the welcomed introduction of the series villains, Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati. Is the Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati Redemption Path coming into focus for them to cross to the light side?
Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) is the imposing former Jedi now mercenary for hire aligned with the Dark Side of the Force. He is not filled with pure evil as we have seen with past Sith Lords but does have a tactical allegiance with the Nightsisters of Dathomir and the returning Grand Admiral Thrawn. But Baylan Skoll doesn’t harbor the same plans as his employers who seek to restore the Galactic Empire. Baylan very much has his own separate goals.
Shin Hati’s (Ivanna Sakhno) relationship with her master is one of Jedi Master and Apprentice. A much more trusting relationship than the franchise’s traditional deceitful, backstabbing relationship that we always see with Sith Lords and their apprentices.
NB: This Ahsoka article does contain some spoilers!
The Road to Jedi Redemption is long
The events of Ahsoka have led to fan theories that Baylan will redeem himself and turn back to the Light Side of the force before the series ends but what we saw in Part 6 of Ahsoka casts doubt on the redemption predictions. Baylan does appear as a genuine villain though a reluctant one and possibly more of a dissolutioned Jedi. His apprentice Shin Hati, for the first time in the series, started to look more questioning toward her master and came out of Ahsoka Part 6 looking more sympathetic than she ever has.
Could there be a Shin Hati redemption path starting to appear?
Back in Part 4 of Ahsoka, we saw Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) face the difficult decision of destroying the map to the galaxy where Grand Admiral Thrawn was or to accept Baylan’s offer and promise to help Sabine to find her friend Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), who has also been stranded in the same galaxy as Thrawn. But to help her friend Sabine must open Pandora’s Box and hand Baylon the map which would see the a new dawn for the Galactic Empire.
Sabine reluctantly agreed and handed Baylan the map despite knowing the dark threat of Thrawn’s return.
In Part 6, Baylan Skoll, Shin Hati, and Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) arrive with Sabine as their prisoner on a planet in the new galaxy named Peridea where they finally meet Grand Admiral Thrawn. After hearing of Baylon’s promise he agrees to release Sabine to search for the missing Ezra but on her release and departure, Thrawn instructs Baylan and Shin to follow her and to kill Sabine and Ezra if she were to find him.
Shin is seen to be visibly surprised that Baylan accepts Thrawn’s orders and reminds him of his promise to Sabine with the Grand Admiral making the case that allowing Sabine to leave and reunite with Ezra would fulfill his promise to Sabine. Baylan appears to accept this ideal but with a level of guilt shown in his expression.
Is Shin Hati starting to doubt her master?
Baylan and Shin set off to follow Sabine on Thrawn’s instructions. While travelling Shin asks her Master if he knew if he knew Ezra Bridger from his time in the Jedi Order. Baylan tells Shin that Ezra was a “Bokken Jedi” trained after the fall of the Jedi Order. Shin then questions if she is a “Bokken Jedi” with Baylan replying “No. He was trained as a Jedi. You, I trained to be something more.”
Shin then questions if he missed being part of the Jedi Order with his reply being that he missed the idea of it. But not the truth, the weakness, and that there was no future there. Shin then questions if he saw a future in the wasteland that they now found themselves in.
These exchanges between Baylan and Shin go some way in suggesting that Shin is no longer certain the path they’re on is in fact the correct one and that she is now seemingly beginning to doubt her master.
Baylan’s words are starting to sound empty and with each passing moment, Shin is coming to the realization of how similar her situation is to Ezra Bridger’s. This may suggest that there’s a chance she can be swayed from the influence of Baylan and away from the dark path she walks.
It is clear that Baylan has led her to accept his way and his teachings in the current age are the only option for her to connect to the Force. But could future encounters with Ezra, Sabine, and Ahsoka who by Baylan’s description Bokken Jedi show her that there is in fact another path that could possibly align her with the Light Side, even without the need for the structure provided by the Jedi Order.
Shin has been seen as strongly aligned to the dark side and enjoys and takes pleasure in many of her violent actions. But the vulnerability that she shows in Part 6 is pretty surprising. Is she now seeing that she has been manipulated and misled?
Could we a Shin Hati Redemption Path appear leading her to regret her past actions and to stand with Ahsoka?
Will Baylan or Shin turn to the light side?
After Ahsoka Part 6 Baylan seems far less likely to be on a path of redemption. He believes that the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire were inevitable and merely a historical cycle of shifts in authority.
Baylan senses a great power on Peridea, one that he hopes he can use to end the cycle, creating a new beginning for the galaxy. But this plan does little to make him different from the forces he claims to stand apart from.
The Sith, The Jedi. The Empire, and the New Republic all used force in different degrees to bring their own ideas on how the galaxy should function. Baylan seems to be planning to do the same and not doing anything to break the cycle.
It is looking more likely now that Shin is on a path of redemption and not Baylan but could Shin turn her master as well? Seems unlikely. It seems more likely that in good old Sith tradition, they will betray one another, with Shin doing it for good reasons and not in the pursuit of power.