Ahsoka’s Shin Is The Darth Maul Story Star Wars Could Never Tell

This article contains spoilers from Ahsoka episode 4.


  • Shin Hati’s character in Ahsoka is reminiscent of Darth Maul, adding to her intrigue and fascination.
  • Both Shin and Maul fight with a savage and reckless style, prioritizing brute strength over finesse.
  • Shin’s lack of skill compared to Maul makes her even more thrilling, as her unpredictability and raw power leave room for anything to happen in her story.

Shin Hati’s character in Ahsoka feels tonally similar to Darth Maul’s in Star Wars – and it makes her all the more fascinating. Played by Ivanna Sakhno, Shin Hati is the young apprentice of Ray Stevenson’s Baylan Skoll. They are neither Jedi, not even Inquisitors, but something else altogether: Dark Jedi, those who have fallen to the dark side without devoting themselves to any one way of life or religion. But, where Baylan is composed and focused on the task at hand, Shin is led by her emotions, easily thrown off balance and unpredictable as a result – just like the classic Star Wars prequel villain Darth Maul.

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Maul, like Shin, was the apprentice of a stoic and tactical master – none other than Emperor Palpatine himself. It’s easy to imagine that Shin’s story as Baylan’s apprentice is very similar to Darth Maul’s story before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, learning to wield the power of the Force under the influence of darkness, no real family or friends to speak of. It’s no wonder Shin and Maul both tend to lose themselves in a fight, ruled by their emotions and desire to prove themselves rather than thinking about logic and strategies. Their brutality is distinct, making them outliers within the Star Wars universe and all the more intriguing as antagonists.

Shin Hati Is A Savage Berserker In The Style Of Darth Maul

Shin Hati in Ahsoka dueling Sabine Wren

Both Shin and Maul fight with a strength-first mindset. The twirls and acrobatics of the Jedi, while useful to them in certain situations, are less important than tiring out their opponents with brutish attacks. It’s not just their fighting styles that are similar, however. It’s the way they approach each task, each opponent. Like the Berserkers in ancient Norse myths, both Shin and Maul attack their enemies with a reckless frenzy, abandoning reason in a desperate desire to win and prove just how powerful they are in their own right.

Related: Shin Hati Explained: Dark Jedi Padawan, Force Powers & Who Plays Her

The Ahsoka Disney+ TV show has reinforced the comparison between Shin and Maul. In Ahsoka episode 1, Shin is seen using a probe droid to track Sabine Wren on Lothal. It’s deliberately framed to evoke memories of Maul on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace, as he tails Qui-Gon Jinn. Both scenes carry the same undercurrent of anger and hatred, with Maul and Shin eager to prove themselves.

Shin Lacks Maul’s Skill – & That Makes Her Even More Thrilling

Shin Hati and orange lightsabers in Ahsoka.

Shin’s story in Ahsoka is very much the story of an apprentice in training; she’s nowhere near the level that Maul was in The Phantom Menace and beyond, despite their similar temperaments. Maul might have always been brutish and fueled by rage, but there was a purpose to every strike of his lightsaber. He was a formidable opponent, even for the most seasoned of Jedi. If Sabine had ever been forced to fight Maul, there’s no way she would have survived. Shin, on the other hand, is still very much a learner. Her rage makes her powerful but also sloppy, allowing someone even more untrained, like Sabine, to hold her own against her. Shin’s lack of skill in Ahsoka makes her even more compelling, however: It makes anything possible.

Shin is unpredictable as a character, not just as a duelist; she might disobey Baylan in a fury-fueled haze, or turn on him completely and choose her own path. Shin’s story in Ahsoka only makes the need for Maul’s story before his abduction by Palpatine all the more obvious. The early years of Maul’s apprenticeship under Darth Sidious are relatively unexplored in the Star Wars universe, but as audiences get to know Shin Hati more as the Ahsoka show continues, perhaps they can finally get a glimpse of what Maul was like as a young learner himself, his erratic eagerness and lust for violence driving his every move.

New episodes of Ahsoka release every Tuesday at 6pm PT / 9pm ET on Disney+.

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