Star Wars: The Clone Wars Revisited - 3.12 Nightsisters

Eleven years ago, George Lucas and Dave Filoni introduced the world to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series that filled in the gap between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The story takes place during the Clone Wars, with the Jedi-led clone army facing off against the droid armies of the Separatist Alliance. With the announcement of a surprise seventh season by Disney, The Digital Fix will be revisiting the animated series, looking back at the most important episodes and story arcs of the show’s five seasons, highlighting the elements that made this show so beloved by Star Wars fans.

We return with the episode Nightsisters, which originally aired back in 2011...

Nightsisters is the start of an important arc in The Clone Wars for several reasons. First, this episode marks the end of Asajj Ventress' secret apprenticeship to Count Dooku that has existed since the beginning of the series. Second, we're given an extensive look into the backstory of Ventress. And most importantly, Nightsisters begins a series of events that will eventually lead to the return of Darth Maul in season four.

Darth Sidious orders Dooku to have Ventress killed because she is growing too powerful for the Sith Lord's comfort. Infuriated, Ventress flees to Dathomir  to take refuge with the Nightsisters, a clan of witches who are all powerful in the Dark Side of the Force and led by Mother Talzin. Talzin is an interesting character, as her design is actually based on early concept art for Darth Maul back when they were considering making the character female (Ventress herself is also based on concept art for a female Sith assassin before Maul was conceived).

During her recovery, we learn that Ventress was actually trained for a number of years by Jedi Knight Ky Narec, who was unfortunately killed by pirates before he could take Ventress back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Learning that Ventress was actually very close to her Jedi master really changes how you look at the character; she becomes much more sympathetic to the viewer. This revelation also turns her into a tragic figure, as she's really known nothing but suffering and loss her entire life. And if only she'd been able to join the Jedi Temple, her life could have gone in a completely different direction.

As great as this episode is however, it has one rather large weakness. In the latter half of the episode, Ventress departs on a mission to assassinate Dooku with the help of Nightsister magic that renders her invisible. The problem is, we know that Ventress cannot succeed because Dooku survives until the beginning of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Knowing this, it's impossible for the scene to generate any real tension because Ventress is doomed to fail. This is pitfall that comes when you make a series set before a pre-existing film, you're bound by that film's events.

Despite this flaw, Nightsisters is an overall good episode. The intrigue continues with the next episode: Monster.

Star Wars

Star Wars is a science fiction film series created by George Lucas. It debuted in 1977 and the first film was quickly retitled to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It was followed by two sequels - The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. A trilogy of prequel films were launched in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In 2015 Star Wars returned to the screens for a new trilogy under the control of Disney with The Force Awakens directed by J J Abrams. This was follows in the main Star Wars saga by Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi with the final film of the sequel trilogy, Episode IX, due in cinemas in December 2019 with J J Abrams back at the helm,A series of spin-offs were launched in 2016 with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, which was followed in 2018 by Ron Howard's Solo and a fourth trilogy of films has been announced for release after 2020 which will be overseen by Rian Johnson which will feature entirely new characters and an entirely separate story.In addition, there are the animated TV series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels along with Star Wars Resistance which starts in late 2018 and finally a new live action series currently being developed by Jon Favreau set some time after the events of Return of the Jedi.

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