Ray Stevenson Remembered by Lucasfilm as ‘Kind and Caring,’ ‘Loved and Respected’

“We have lost a great talent and friend,” “Ahsoka” creator and executive producer Dave Filoni writes

Ray Stevenson attends the New York premiere of "Allegiant" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater on March 14, 2016 in New York City.
Ray Stevenson attends the New York premiere of "Allegiant" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater on March 14, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Following the death of celebrated actor Ray Stevenson age 58, Lucasfilm and “Ahsoka” executive producer David Filoni paid tribute to the longtime “Star Wars” vet who they remembered as “a kind and caring person,” and “a great talent and friend.”

Stevenson, who died Sunday in Italy of undisclosed causes, played the character Gar Saxon in the animated shows “Star Wars Rebels” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” He will next be seen in the live-action “Star Wars” series “Ahsoka,” where he plays the villain Baylan Skoll in one of his final roles.

“We are heartbroken to hear of the passing of our dear friend Ray Stevenson. Ray was an incredible combination of talent, warmth, humor, and heart,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “We were lucky to have Ray join the Star Wars galaxy as Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels and then more recently as Baylan Skoll in Ahsoka. His ability to play a villain, while being such a kind and caring person in reality, is a testament to his incredible talent.”

“Ray was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family at this time,” the statement concluded.

“We have lost a great talent and friend in Ray Stevenson. His kindness and generosity were felt by our entire team on Ahsoka. I always looked forward to working with Ray, and I appreciated his insight and daily wisdom. I am glad that his memory will live on through his family, friends, and the many characters he created. Thank you Ray, for everything,” Filoni, who also serves as executive creative director for Lucasfilm, said in a statement included alongside the company’s.

Stevenson spoke to TheWrap in April at Star Wars Celebration, where he said of how he approached his portrayal of Skoll: “I like to think that characters have a center of gravity. Some are lower, so they’re more rooted. Others have a higher center of gravity; they’re more nimble,” he said.

Stevenson also confirmed during the discussion that he was exactly like every other “Star Wars” fan, explaining that when he handled his prop lightsaber for the first time, “then some guy turns it on. And, of course, you make the noise ‘vvvrrrrmm vvvrrrrmm’ because you can’t help it.” Read more here.