Star Wars fans have been debating Ahsoka’s Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati ever since their first introduction. With orange lightsabers, rather than the traditional red lightsabers, it’s been clear they’re not Sith for a while.
And after their brutal introduction in Ahsoka episode 1, it's also clear they're definitely not Jedi. StarWars.com describes them simply as lightsaber-wielding mercenaries, but a new theory has suggested they may be something more intriguing altogether.
Replying to a post on Reddit about if we’ll ever get an explanation in the show about the orange lightsabers, one user shared their thoughts. "My interpretation is that they are not Sith (nor are they as evil as Sith), but they are clearly a darker shade of Jedi," fan BarristanTheB0ld speculated. "Judging by Shin having the Padawan's braid or Baylan regretting to have to kill Ahsoka, they don't seem to have abandoned all of the Jedi's ways, but they're also clearly dark-side leaning."
From what little we do know about Baylan, he was a Jedi once, before disappearing after Order 66 – and it certainly seems that Shin is his apprentice. Other viewers agreed that the pair don’t seem entirely evil, as another suggested they are "probably Filoni's take on grey Jedi. Orange being symbolic of bleeding their crystals but not all the way or something."
Gray Jedi as a descriptor in Star Wars has been used in several different ways, including as a name for those who follow their own ambition against the Jedi Order as well as those who straddle the line of the light and dark sides. While the term itself is not canon, given it’s part of the Legends universe, the idea remains with some even suggesting that Ahsoka Tano falls into the category too (H/T CinemaBlend).
Another intriguing take on Baylan and Shin comes from user Murderboi who suggested they are "Dark Jedi". "The only ever appearance of orange 'in the lore' (as confusing it may nowadays be) was either for 'Dark Jedi' or those who are in 'the Twilight,'" they commented. "Basically exactly what Baylan does… he tries to get his way without killing someone but is all too happy to slaughter once he gets an arrogant captain insulting him."
"I think they adhere to the balance of the Force instead of Jedi or Sith," speculated another user. Although perhaps the most simple suggestion is the most accurate, "I assume it's a little announcement that they're not quite Sith, but they're pretty close."
The debate rages on, and it seems like we’ll have to keep on waiting to see if we get more of an explanation in the remainder of Ahsoka. In the meantime, check out our guides to all the other major talking points in the show so far:
- Who is Jacen Syndulla?
- Explaining the mystical realm of the World Between Worlds
- The history between Anakin and Ahsoka explained
- Everything you need to know about Star Wars Rebels
- The Ahsoka end-credits clues explained
- The Nightsisters of Dathomir explained
- Who is Inquisitor Marrok in Ahsoka?
- Where have we seen Morgan Elsbeth before?
- What to watch before Ahsoka
- How to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars in order
- The Ahsoka timeline explained
- The Ahsoka release schedule