Episode 4.19 “Massacre” was one of the darkest episodes we’ve seen in The Clone Wars but that didn’t stop it from being another great episode filled with Star Wars Expanded Universe tidbits! In this week’s edition of Expanding the Clone Wars we start to fit Asajj Ventress’ continuity together, explore the fate of the Nightsisters, and delve deeper into undead armies in the Expanded Universe.
When Asajj returns to Dathomir at the beginning of this episode, she says she was hiding and reevaluating. How much time has passed since Savage Oppress betrayed her and where would this episode fit in the Clone Wars timeline?
We have to keep in mind that Asajj’s betrayal at the hands of Count Dooku in last season’s episode, “Nightsisters” wasn’t the first time Dooku betrayed his apprentice in the Expanded Universe. At the Battle of Boz Pity from the comic Obsession 4 and 5, which is currently placed only few months before Revenge of the Sith, Dooku ordered that Asajj Ventress be shot because she was delaying his escape and would be left behind as a distraction. Asajj then used Sith meditation to feign her death and forced the medical transport she woke up on to take her far away from the war into the Unknown Regions. This was the last time we saw her in the Expanded Universe before The Clone Wars TV show.
We have never been shown her final fate, yet Asajj Ventress’ continuity changed drastically with information from The Clone Wars TV show. The only way to fix these continuity errors is shifting the Battle of Boz Pity several years earlier to before The Clone Wars movie, which would be around 21 BBY, but this contradicts all existing published Clone Wars timelines.
If The Battle of Boz Pity was placed before the Battle of Christophsis, it could be retconned that Dooku would find Asajj in the Unknown Regions and convince her to re-join the Separatist movement with promises of glory and a place at his side as his apprentice. Her disappearance and reappearance could also explain why she had different tattoos between the comics and the TV show.
In the Clone Wars Republic comics we see Asajj with twelve marks on her skull that symbolize the twelve Ratattaki Warlords she swore to kill. However in The Clone Wars she has an entirely different design of tattoos. If she were to rejoin Dooku after Boz Pity, she could have removed the twelve marks as a way of leaving her old life behind and started fresh with new tattoos.
Another thing; Asajj scars Anakin’s face just prior to the Battle of Boz Pity in the comic Republic 71: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili Part 3, and since the Anakin we see in The Clone Wars always had the scar over his eye, we have to assume his battle against Asajj Ventress would have taken place before the movie.
I hope they reprint an Omnibus collection of all the Republic Clone Wars stories after The Clone Wars series is done. Then they could post accurate timelines with the comics.
Grievous vs. Asajj
Rematch! General Grievous and Asajj Ventress fought a fierce lightsaber duel in this episode and after several viscous strikes, Asajj had Grievous nearly defeated before the General ordered his droids to fire upon her. However, the last time they fought against each other it did not end in near-victory for Ventress.
In the story “Rogues Gallery” from Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 3, six months after the Battle of Geonosis and shortly after Grievous’ reveal on Hypori in Clone Wars “Chapter 21”, Count Dooku pitted him against fellow Separatist Commanders Asajj Ventress and Durge aboard the Count’s Trenchant Space Station as a test. After a fierce battle, Grievous beheaded Durge and choked Asajj into unconsciousness. However, the next time they met in Republic 71: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 3, Asajj jeers “Stop me if you think you are able!”
At the end of this episode, Mother Talzin’s Nightsister clan is all but wiped out except for Asajj Ventress and Talzin herself. However, the Nightsisters as a whole were not wiped out. Years later the Empire would establish a prison colony on Dathomir and the Nightsister Gethzerion would aid them by tracking down escapees and renegades. When Emperor Palpatine learned of Gethzerion’s true control over the dark side he feared the threat she posed to him so he had the planet quarantined.
It is safe to assume that Mother Talzin dies at some point before The Courtship of Princess Leia and is replaced by Gethzerion who would reunite the scattered Nightsisters years later and threaten the New Republic.
The other witches of Dathomir are never addressed in The Clone Wars and we have no idea the fate of the the Singing Mountain, Misty Falls, or Dreaming River Clans after the Separatist invasion. We also don’t know what becomes of the Zabrak Nightbrothers who were confined to a separate community far away from the Nightsister temple.
Daka was the oldest and wisest of the Mother Talzin’s Nightsister clan and had an unprecedented knowledge of Allyan Magic. While Daka was the oldest of the Nightsisters, in The Courtship of Princess Leia, Mother Rell was the oldest member of the Singing Mountain Clan at almost four centuries old.
Rell was alive when the first Chu’unthor, the Jedi training ship, crashed onto the surface of Dathomir around 340 BBY and was the one who negotiated with Yoda over the remains of the ship. She lived to see Luke Skywalker come to Dathomir in 8 ABY and free the planet from the Nightsisters. This made me wonder if Daka was also alive during the time of the Chu’unthor crash and if she was, did she play a role in bringing down the Chu’unthor with the other Nightsisters onworld?
When Daka utters the Chant of Resurrection to resurrect the mummified corpses of the dead Nightsisters, it must have been in the Paecian language. In Courtship, C-3P0 states that the language the Dathomiri witches spoke was similar to the dialect spoken by the citizens of the long-forgotten Paecian Empire.
Daka’s Chant of Resurrection resurrected an undead army of Nightsisters. Creatures reanimated from the dead have appeared in many sources throughout the Expanded Universe and the Chant was very similar to Sith alchemy used by the Sith to create zombies that guarded the Valley of the Dark Lords in Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith and the Dark Force Temple on Dromund Kaas from Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith.
There are many other examples of undead armies in the Expanded Universe. In the story “No Way Out” from Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 9, Mace Windu discovers a lost city filled with hundreds of zombies of many different alien species. In Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead,Cornelius Evazan performed experiments on resurrection serums on the planet Necropolis. In Knights of the Old Republic video game and comic, the Rakghoul plague turned beings into mindless creatures similar to zombies. Finally, in the novels Red Harvest and Death Troopers, beings were turned into undead monstrosities from viral agents created by Sith alchemy.
When Mother Talzin is torturing Count Dooku with pain though a voodoo doll, not once does Dooku give the impression that he is attempting to embrace the pain being inflicted and use it to strengthen himself. Darth Sion from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, would feed upon his own pain for sustenance and used it to give him focus and power. As a Sith Lord, I would think Count Dooku would have been trained to embrace pain. Also, Voodo has also been seen in Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees, as the ritual practice of the Sayormi in the Dead Forest on Kashyyyk.
Thanks for joining this week as we expanded Episode 4.19 “Massacre”, and make sure you join us next week for the return of Boba Fett in Episode 4.20 “Bounty.”
Clone Wars Chapter 21, Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 3, Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 9, Death Troopers, Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead, Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith., Knights of the Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, No Way Out, Obsession 4 and 5, Red Harvest, Republic 69: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 1, Republic 71: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili Part 3, Rogues Gallery, Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees, Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith, The Courtship of Princess Leia.
Written by Andy Ury
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