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Shin Hati actress says working on Ahsoka was ‘childhood dream coming true’

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Ivanna Sakhno, the actress behind Ahsoka’s Shin Hati has said in a recent podcast interview that working on the Star Wars series was a ‘childhood dream coming true.’

Since the Star Wars series Ahsoka arrived on Disney+ in August, fans have been captivated by the new villainous character Shin Hati, played by Ukrainian actress Ivanna Sakhno. And while the ongoing actors’ strike has prevented the show’s cast from discussing the series, Entertainment Weekly’s Dagobah Dispatch podcast spoke with Ivanna before the strike began about her arrival in the Star Wars galaxy, with the interview featuring in their latest episode which is available now on podcast platforms.

Shin Hati actress discusses her Ahsoka character

Ivanna Sakhno’s character, Shin Hati, was introduced in the first scene of the Ahsoka series and is the apprentice of Dark Jedi Baylan Skoll, played by the late Ray Stevenson. As the episodes have progressed, a fiery rivalry has ignited between Shin and the Mandalorian weapons expert, Sabine Wren.

“She is very calculated and at times impatient,” explains Sakhno. “But she is a seeker and I think she is only at the beginning of finding her own voice.

“Throughout getting to discover her, she has taught me a lot about understanding that intensity within somebody,” she continued.

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“I really think that there might be quite a few people who may resonate with some sides of her and her desire to understand her surroundings.”

Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) engaged in a lightsaber duel in Star Wars: Ahsoka
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Working on Ahsoka was a ‘childhood dream coming true’

Later in the interview, Sakhno was asked about the scenes from episode 3 where Shin pursues Ahsoka and Sabine in a rip-roaring spaceship chase.

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“It was the coolest thing in the world,” the actress said. “I do remember sitting inside of my cockpit and really catching my younger self as a kid looking around.”

“All of the buttons were working and you feel like it’s your childhood dream coming true because you really feel like a pilot in the ship,” she added. “I just felt giddy and incredibly lucky to be able to experience it.”

Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati piloting a ship in Ahsoka
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Crafting the character of Shin Hati with Dave Filoni

As the podcast interview continued, Ivanna touched on how she was able to collaborate with the show’s creator, Dave Filoni, in order to help craft her character.

“One thing that I feel very lucky to have experienced, and I think any actor would be lucky to experience on any show, is the respect and involvement that you feel,” she said. “I think it has to do with Dave [Filoni] and Jon [Favreau] and the way they lead the set because they’re the perfect leaders and collaborators.”

“Dave makes sure that every person involved in the making of the show is an equal part of making it,” she continued. “I would say that he cherishes the opinion of every person and creating Shin, I felt that my involvement mattered. Because she’s a new character, we got to really create some of the parts of her from the very beginning.”

Ivanna’s answer then touched on how welcoming the set was and how she would jump at the chance to return.

“Everybody is the real deal, you want to come back,” she said. “It’s my first time being part of something that makes you want to come back, makes you hope to come back, makes you be excited to be a storyteller.”

Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) standing among ruins in Star Wars Ahsoka
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Losing Ray Stevenson

And finally, Dagobah Dispatch’s podcast interview concluded with a question on Ivanna’s experience working with the late Ray Stevenson, who passed away in May.

“We were inseparable,” Ivanna began. “I think with so many people that have gotten to know the gift of Ray Stevenson in real life, his impact on my life is immeasurable and so is the ache of losing him.”

“I miss him terribly and I carry his light with [me],” she continued. “I think of him every day, and I only hope to honor him and all that he has given me.”

“I’m so grateful that the show has given me the chance to know him.”

Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) standing side by side in Ahsoka
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Ahsoka is available to stream now on Disney+.

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