To quote Anakin Skywalker, this is where the fun begins.
For Star Wars diehards—not your casual fan, mind you, but those who can tell a Kowakian monkey-lizard from a krayt dragon—the title of last night’s stunning new episode of The Clone Wars, “Nightsisters,” said it all.
The Nightsisters, evil witches from the planet Dathomir, have been some of the most popular characters to emerge from Star Wars’ Expanded Universe—their presence here alone signifies a great disturbance in the Force, and a major departure from the first half of season three. Political intrigue, gangland wars, black market corruption, bank deregulation—these have their place, sure, and the stand-alone episodes that explored these issues in the fall helped to flesh out that Galaxy Far, Far Away, making it human and relatable instead of merely a playground for clones fighting droids. But as noble as those installments were, they made us crave the B-movie thrills that had defined previous kinetic story arcs. And last night, that craving was satisfied.
“Nightsisters” began with one of the most exquisitely animated space battles we’ve seen from The Clone Wars yet. Every corner of the frame teemed with detail. Honestly, it looked almost as good as the grand conflagration that opened Revenge of the Sith. (Lucasfilm must have felt the same, because they released this episode, along with the two others in this arc, as a 90-minute movie in a few theaters this December.)
Soul-scarred warrior Asajj Ventress, would-be Sith and endlessly devoted servant of Count Dooku, led her droid starfighters into battle against Anakin Skywalker, and her most dreaded nemesis, Obi-Wan Kenobi, over the carbon-choked skies of Sullust. But while the fight raged, on far-off Serenno Count Dooku received a message from his Sith master Darth Sidious ordering him to terminate Asajj’s life. She’d grown too powerful, almost as if Dooku had indeed been training her to one day help him overthrow Sidious.
Remember, with the Sith there can be only a master and an apprentice. No more. No less. One to embody power. The other to crave it. After a brief moment of hesitation, Dooku complied with his master, and told Ventress she was no longer his apprentice. That look in her eyes, when she learned Dooku had betrayed her! Despite her overwhelmingly cartoonish villainy, you couldn’t help but feel for her.
But she had no time to process her betrayal. Obi-Wan and Anakin had followed her wrecked starfighter into a Separatist cruiser and got the jump on her. With an extra level of desperation she held them off, even Force-choking them both with her boundless reservoir of blind rage.
She escaped, only to be picked up by the crew of a salvage ship. Did you see the Tusken Raider, gaffi stick in hand, painted on the side of the salvage freighter’s hull? The Twi’lek captain, speaking with a peculiar Southern-inflected twang, said, “Ya took quite a beatin’ there, didn’t ya, missy?” In her stupor, Ventress commanded that they take her to the planet Dathomir. The captain mockingly drawled, “Now why would anyone wanna go there? Ain’t nothin’ there but fog…and witches.” “Exactly,” said Ventress, before she promptly Force-choked the life out of the crew.
NEXT: Sometimes you bite the Sith, and sometimes the Sith bite you.