The witches of Dathomir are not to be underestimated.
The Nightsisters are a mysterious coven of witches, strong with dark magicks and hailing from Dathomir. Introduced in the 1994 Legends novel The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton, the Nightsisters have left their mark on the Star Wars galaxy in unexplainable and mystical ways, with memorable appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, the Star Wars Jedi games, and most recently, Ahsoka.
The Nightsisters' frightening meddling has known no bounds, causing strife for the Jedi and Sith alike. So in the spirit of Halloween season, we’re taking a look at some of the Nightsisters’ most shocking moments.
The Sith don’t love competition. In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Nightsisters,” Darth Sidious orders Count Dooku to betray his apprentice, Asajj Ventress, due to her growing prowess in the dark side. She survives the assassination attempt and returns to her home planet of Dathomir, vowing to take revenge against her former mentor. And here we see the true power of the Nightsisters. Mother Talzin, leader of the coven, cloaks Ventress and other Nighsister assassins so they can sneak into Dooku’s palace. Their infiltration leads to an intense fight with Count Dooku and, though they ultimately fail, the Nightsisters come astonishingly close to ending the Sith Lord, with their abilities and loyalty on full display.
2. Granting Powers to Savage Opress (Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episode 13)
The Nightbrothers are the male Zabrak warriors that call Dathomir home alongside the Nightsisters. They live and train in a small village on the far side of the planet, living separately from the Nightsisters until called upon. In Season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Asajj Ventress arrives at the Nightbrothers village to choose a warrior for her vengeful plot against Count Dooku, ultimately deciding on Savage Opress. But the choice isn’t what’s so frightening. Once back with the Nigthsisters, the witches imbue Savage Opress with increased strength and place him under Ventress’ total control. The transformation is awe-inspiring and terrifying in equal measure, ending with Savage Opress being commanded to kill his own brother.
3. Raising the Dead (Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episode 19)
With a title like “Massacre,” it’s no surprise that this episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars shows us the almost complete erasure of the Nightsisters. Following Asajj Ventress’ betrayal of Savage Opress and her failed assassination of Count Dooku, she returns to Dathomir. She is welcomed back by Mother Talzin and reinstated into the Nightsister coven. But Count Dooku hasn’t forgotten about the attempt on his life, and sets General Grievous to carry out a droid attack on the Nightsisters with the intent of a total slaughter. Faced with such an assault, Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters retaliate. In a frightening display, the Nightsisters resurrect their dead to combat the droids. They’re terrifying in their own right, with glowing green eyes, quick attacks, and shrill shrieks that send shivers down the spine.
4. Nightsister Merrin Joins the Stinger Mantis Crew (Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order)
Only a few survived the massacre of the Nightsisters during the Clone Wars. One, Merrin, remained on Dathomir; her only real outside contact, apart from the remaining Nightbrothers, was with a crash-landed Jedi Master, Taron Malicos. Malicos fell to the dark side after Order 66 and convinced Merrin that the Jedi were responsible for the destruction of her people. This manipulation led to Merrin being especially hostile to former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis when he arrived on Dathomir in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Merrin puts Cal through the ringer, pitting Nightbrothers against him and threatening Kestis as he makes his way through Dathomir. Eventually, though, Merrin turns against Malicos. She and Cal defeat him in battle and Merrin decides to join the Stinger Mantis crew — marking a new start for herself.
5. Nightsister Spirits Possess Kanan and Sabine (Star Wars Rebels – Season 3, Episode 11)
If zombie Nightsisters weren’t enough to leave you shaking, don’t worry — the undead aren’t done just yet! Though the Nightsisters were almost wiped out in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, spirits of those lost were still hanging around on Dathomir, just waiting for their moment. In the Star Wars Rebels episode “Visions and Voices,” Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, and Maul have a spine-tingling encounter with some Nightsister spectres. The Ghost crew and Maul find themselves on Dathomir due to Maul’s interest in Ezra…but they’re not alone. Two Nightsister spirits possess Kanan and Sabine. With supernatural strength
and green glowing eyes, they launch a terrifying attack on their friend. Even
in a ghostly form, the Nightsisters prove dangerous.
6. Morgan Elsbeth’s Transformation (Ahsoka – Season 1, Episode 8)
Dark magick is afoot once more in Ahsoka. Since her introduction in The Mandalorian, Morgan Elsbeth has been searching for Thrawn. And now that she has found the Grand Admiral (and has had some mysterious cargo transferred to his ship), the Great Mothers offer Elsbeth a reward for her service. She undergoes a transformation not unlike Asajj Ventress' own in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, pledging herself to the way of the witches and emerging with dark markings across her face. But that's not all. Elsbeth also receives an ominous, glowing sword called the Blade of Talzin that she later uses in a confrontation with Ahsoka Tano. It’s a haunting sequence in classic Nightsister style.