Ahsoka episode 1 includes touching dedication to star Ray Stevenson

Star Wars series Ahsoka's premiere episode is dedicated to its late star Ray Stevenson.

Stevenson played Baylan Skoll in the new Disney+ show, which stars Rosario Dawson as the eponymous hero. He sadly passed away in May at the age of 58 while working on a new movie in Italy.

Following the thrilling events of Ahsoka's very first episode, a title card with the message 'For our friend, Ray' appears before the end credits sequence.

ahsoka title card dedication to ray stevenson
Lucasfilm - Disney+

Related: Ahsoka is a direct sequel to Star Wars: Rebels – for better and worse

Stevenson previously appeared in the Star Wars universe voicing Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Major film and TV credits from his lengthy career included appearances in the first three Thor movies, RRR, the Divergent trilogy and Dexter, plus historical dramas including Black Sails, Vikings and Rome.

ray stevenson, star wars ahsoka
Lucasfilm Ltd. - Disney+

A number of prominent Hollywood figures paid tribute to Stevenson upon the news of his death.

Among them was Dawson, who shared photos from their time working on Ahsoka along with her tribute.

"A giant of a man… stunned and reeling from this tragic, devastating news. Gone too soon from this world," she wrote.

"At a loss for words… just wanted to mark this moment and share your ever ready and present smile. Love you forever. Holding your family in my heart."

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who collaborated with him on Thor: The Dark World, tweeted: "Damn. So sorry to hear about the passing, far too young, of Ray Stevenson.

ray stevenson
Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

Related: Legends of Tomorrow star replaces late Ray Stevenson in new movie

"I only knew him a little from shooting post-credits of Thor 2 & a couple interactions at events, but we had some good laughs & he was a joy to work with. His friends & family are in my heart today."

Sex Education's Jame Purefoy worked with Stevenson on the historical drama Rome, and wrote: "So sad to hear the news that Ray Stevenson, our Pullo in Rome, has passed away. A brilliant, gutsy, larger-than-life actor who filled every part he played right up to the brim.

"My thoughts are with his family, his lovely wife Betta and their beautiful kids. What a loss."

Ahsoka streams weekly on Disney+.

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