With the sad news of Ray Stevenson’s passing, we’re sharing one of the Northern Irish actor’s final interviews. Stevenson spoke to Yahoo at this year’s Star Wars Celebration, an event held for fans in London in April. The video was originally capture for audio only.
- Hello, Ray.
RAY STEVENSON: Hello.
- How are you doing?
RAY STEVENSON: Tickety-boo.
- Good answer. I keep asking people, and I shall ask him soon, about what's so scary about Thrawn. But what's so scary about your character? Because-- terrifying in that footage I've just seen.
RAY STEVENSON: Nothing's scary about Baylan. I would describe him as stoically lethal. Basically, you begin to realize-- just when you think-- when you first meet him, all right, then no. Oh, hang on, then he must be this. No. So it's second-guessing. And yet, things are reacting and happening.
So I think the exciting thing is to see and feel where this journey goes, and how it's impacting how his journey-- basically, if you're in his way, he'll politely request you get out of it. And if you don't, you'll be removed. But there's no-- there's no malevolence there. There's no, like, you want to slaughter the world. No, there's something other driving him.
RAY STEVENSON: That's what.
- Why is he so loyal to Thrawn? What is it about Thrawn? And what is it in Baylan that--
RAY STEVENSON: Who said he was?
- OK, well--
RAY STEVENSON: Yeah, who said he was?
- I was just-- I was making assumptions. I was making assumptions.
RAY STEVENSON: Oh, OK.
- You have your fishing rod out.
RAY STEVENSON: Not me. Again, it's kind of like one of those, just when you think--
RAY STEVENSON: There's a meandering. And even with the Ashoka, and with the people that-- and this was the reveal to me as well, through the layers, and layers, and the layers every day was exciting to find out. He's not quite good. But he's not great. But what's happening-- what's happening? is he facilitating this, or aiding this, or not aiding this, and letting that happen. So where is he? But there's something driving it.
- And then this is such a women-centric series. I wondered-- and I talked to Kathleen Kennedy about the potential for more women-led projects. So I'm asking people what woman from "Star Wars" past or lore you would love to see join or make a return to the franchise?
RAY STEVENSON: That's a very good question. One thing, I'm wearing a necklace here, which has the goddess Tiamat, which is the goddess of music, which is the divine feminine. And I think women worries, wearing this, but what is the motivator? There is a divinity that women have had to take up a mantle because certain men's weaknesses, especially leading towards extreme violences and stuff like this. In order to protect themselves, or their family, or creed, or their race, or whatever, had to adopt that mantle. It doesn't mean necessarily being the level inside of men and getting in touch with the divine feminine.
And for a man to understand the divine feminine doesn't make him weaker. It doesn't emasculate him. Actually, the roles, if you are interested in anthropology, and histories, and the holistic side, is that there is a purpose to everything and a balance to it, like in nature. And I think there's no one character. But I think that sense of divine feminine needs to come through.
RAY STEVENSON: If that makes sense?
- Yeah, I've ascertained from that you want Princess Leia to get a spin-off.
RAY STEVENSON: Ascertain what you like.
- Thank you, Ray.
RAY STEVENSON: Maybe there's some other child, some star, some [INAUDIBLE]. Who knows? I don't know.
- Yeah, yeah.
RAY STEVENSON: Thank you so much.
- Thank you.