The Clone Wars Rewatch: “Massacre” of Witches

Zombie warriors and voodoo dolls are still no match for the dark side.

To celebrate the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us for the weekly #CloneWarsRewatch — you can watch this week’s episode on Disney+ now — and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

85: “Massacre” (Season Four, Episode 19)

“One must let go of the past to hold on to the future.”

A scene from "Massacre."

Synopsis:

Count Dooku is determined to have revenge against the Nightsisters of Dathomir after their betrayal. General Grievous launches an all-out droid attack against the magic-wielding witches, while Mother Talzin and Asajj Ventress lead the defense with all the dark powers at their command.

A scene from "Massacre."

Analysis:

Some of the best Star Wars stories happen when the galaxy gets weird, and this week’s mix of voodoo dolls, zombie warriors, and general mysticism checks all the boxes.

A scene from "Massacre." A scene from "Massacre."

The Nightsisters, Dathomir’s witches of the mist, are always a little spooky, and although their devotion to their clan is admirable on some level, their need for complete loyalty is disturbing. As Ventress pledges, “My loyalty, my life,” it’s hard to see how this arrangement is much different than the personal sacrifice she was willing to make to sit at the right hand of Count Dooku as his Sith assassin.

A scene from "Massacre." A scene from "Massacre."

Reborn a sister of the night, Mother Talzin seems to get her way turning Ventress into a full Nightsister, leaving behind Dooku and his war. But when Dooku brings the battle to her homeworld, her sisters are all-but wiped out. For someone who has already endured so much hardship, the attack feels personal, annihilation made possible by virtue of Ventress coming home. But on another level it becomes clear that Ventress has not really dealt with her past, and it’s coming back to haunt her.

“There is no time for regret. Now we must fight,” Mother Talzin wisely says, and her advice rings true. When things go wrong, wallowing helps no one.

A scene from "Massacre." A scene from "Massacre."

You know what does help? A clan of witches who can summon the dead, that’s what. As Old Daka raises the army to fight, the corpses of Nightsisters past come tumbling out of their cocoon-like pods, unhinging their jaws to howl into the night, Mother Talzin summons her own voodoo magic to make Dooku pay.

A scene from "Massacre."

But it’s all for naught and in the end Ventress is back to where she started, abandoned and alone once more.

Intel:

  • Dooku’s order to General Grievous is a callback to the command Darth Sidious issues before the Battle of Naboo. “Wipe them out. All of them.”

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when Ventress tries out a new vocation in “Bounty.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

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