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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 19: Massacre

What is it ? : So, we get to what I've been waiting all season for, the continuation of Savage Opress and Asajj Ventress's tales. Ventress returns to Dathomir having failed to kill Dooku, who is aware of her location and sends Grievous and a Droid army to kill her and the Nightsisters.
Ventress meets with Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters and is accepted once more into their numbers, becoming a nightsister and possibly for the first time feeling companionship and family love, and as they celebrate the army arrives.
The nightsisters fight off the army, and with the help of an undead army that Mother Talzin raises in their aid, they fight back to the invasion ships and Ventress faces off against Grievous. Grievous is beaten by Ventress, and ever being the coward he calls on some Battle droids to distract her so he can wound her.
Meanwhile Mother Talzin has struck using Dark Side Magics against Dooku, who is covered in boils and suffering greatly, until he calls on Grievous to strike against Talzin directly, and as she is distracted she is easily taken down with the invasion succeeding and Ventress fleeing wounded into the jungle, alone once more.

High Points : This is an absolute cracker of an episode, and nothing like I expected, it continually confounded my expectations.

I was especially impressed with the size of the fleet that Dooku sends to Dathomir, which makes sense given the power of the opponents that they are going to face. Although more about that below.

The Nightsister magic that Mother Talzin uses against both the Droid Army, and against Dooku seem to show that out of the three Force Wielding factions in the Galaxy, the Nightsisters are the most powerful. The fact that across the galaxy she can strike down an opponent is far in excess of anything we've seen the Jedi or the Sith wield. And alone it changes several stories, from the Original trilogy used against Luke or Yoda, or the new movies against Luke. But adding to that the power to create an undead army, I can only imagine the fun of the Sith wielding such power on Korriban. The Nightsisters may need some preparation time, but by heck they can kick ass.

Low Points : On the down side of things, we're back with General Grievous, who after his defeat at the hand of Gungans, and then his brave move in this episode of crying to ordinary Battle Droids to save his life, we can only wonder why
anyone bothers with him, he's far beyond being a credible threat any more.

While the emotional impact of Ventress finding a family and losing it again is a powerful one, the idea of the Nightsisters almost being completely wiped out in this episode is difficult to believe. Throughout the early part of the episode they are so powerful compared to the armies put against them, it's hard to see how they are defeated. While a certain amount of wearing them down by sending massive numbers against them would certainly have an effect, I would definitely have prefered to have seen the Nightsisters forced to flee rather than complete defeated and presumably all killed.

So what do you really think ? : I really enjoyed this one, and although disappointed by the destruction of the Nightsisters, the story arc of Ventress coming home and losing it again is a excellent one, seeing Dooku take everything from her, totally deconstructing her character so we can see what is left afterwards is an interesting journey we seem to be taking, and one I never expected Clone Wars to take us on.

Final Words : The loss of the Nightsisters removes an interesting idea I was considering as I watched the episode, as I considered that Ventress might make the best replacement for Mother Talzin available to the Nightsisters. A nightsister trained by a fallen Jedi with a smattering on Sith skills mixed in, she could have become the first force user with elements of all three schools. Sadly something I don't think we'll see now.

Score : 9/10

Comments made about this Article!

01/Mar/2018 11:56:47 Posted by hellstormer1

A problem I had with this episode...pretty much any of them that portrayed the Nightsisters and Dathomir...was how it contradicted the previously established material on them.

Let's say you compare this to Kashyyyk. Kashyyyk, as it was shown in Revenge of the Sith, contradicted what came before in the novels and other sources. One of the best examples of Kashyyyk was given in the Thrawn Trilogy. However, Kashyyyk was mentioned in material written by George Lucas previously while the original three films were being made and, IMO, if and when he finally decided to show the planet in a movie, he had the right to do so as he saw fit, and not keep the description as given by the EU. Even if the EU version was a lot cooler in some ways (IMO, I think it was), Lucas created the name, so he should have the final say in such a thing.

Dathomir, on the other hand, as far as I know, was never mentioned in any of Lucas' original material. It was a creation by Dave Wolverton for his novel The Courtship Of Princess Leia. Same for the Nightsisters, and another group called the Singing Mountain Clan. When the Clone Wars series used Dathomir, but changed it significantly to fit their story, it just seemed so wrong of the people behind that series to do so.

(1) The Nightsisters, as you said Freddy, seem to be wiped out, leaving one to wonder how there were so many of them in The Courtship Of Princess Leia (circa 8 ABY). I can't remember if it were hundreds, or thousands, or if most of them were non-Force using soldiers or something, but armies in high numbers were described in a large battle on Dathommir during the story. Also with this, why were only so few Nightsisters shown in the Clone Wars episodes that showed Dathomir (reversing the question and the problem).

(2) The Clone Wars episodes never showed the domesticated Rancors of Dathomir. One of the cooler parts, IMO, these Rancor had limited communication ability, showing they were smarter than most other Rancor, and maybe evolving into true sentient beings of their own.

(3) Zabraks were never previously mentioned to be on Dathomir, let alone be the dominant species. It was heavily implied that they were humans, or at least a majority of them were.

(4) For that matter, did anyone ever know what species Ventris was before these Clone Wars episodes had her go to Dathomir? Seriously curious about that. I just assumed she was human.

(5) Between Darth Maul and Asaj Ventris and their stories, it almost seems like Dathomir was changed to have Zabraks be the dominant species just for the sake of their stpries. If that were the case, IMO, they could have just made a different planet, changed the Nightsisters' name, and opened up a new thing to explore in Star Wars lore. Instead, it seemed like they used "Dathomir" as a quick EU reference to pull in fans for an audience, raising more questions instead of simplifying things, and screwing up the previous material on Dathomir that was good as it was and could have been further explored and expanded upon without the changes.

01/Mar/2018 20:43:56 Posted by Freddy

As to the changing species, remember when Darth Maul was an Iridonian instead of a Zabrak? Remember how they changed that so instead he was a Zabrak from Iridonia? And then just dumped it completely to make him a Dathomirian Zabrak.

And remember when Asajj Ventress was introduced on Ratatak, and was listed as a Rattataki?

More than any other Sci-fi, Star Wars loves putting on display that they're making it up as they go along.

They could have easily destroyed Ventress's clan in this episode, but made it clear that there were other Nightsister clans on Dathomir (including the Rancor riding ones seen elsewhere), the amount of nightsisters didn't really seem high enough to maintain a civilisation.

03/Mar/2018 02:36:19 Posted by hellstormer1

Actually, I don't remember that stuff. Asajj Ventress, I had known she existed, but never looked any information up on her until starting to watch Clone Wars. Still haven't gone in-depth on it yet.

As for Maul, I remember when he first appeared in Phantom Menace, and wanting to know more about him. But back then, the internet wasn't anything close to what it is now, and what few descriptions there were for him were vague at best. I stopped looking after a while, and later his backstory and info apparently got explained when I wasn't looking. I think I heard snippets hear and there, enough that when I heard the explanation in Clone Wars of him being from Dathomir, I went "hey, wait a minute...". But that was more because of Dathomir and being more familiar with it than with Darth Maul.

On Dathomir, any time I ask people if they read the Courtship of Princess Leia, most haven't read it and heard it wasn't good or just boring, and those that did read it didn't like it. So as far as I know, it feels like I'm the only guy who really enjoyed that book. But for what little that is worth, Dathomir sticks out easily for me when it gets a name drop. And IMO, the novel version of that planet was much more interesting than what was in Clone Wars. Clone Wars had some interesting points for Dathomir, like how the Nightsisters were portrayed. But for what good they did, they made it so small, so little, it seemed pointless.

03/Mar/2018 02:40:25 Posted by hellstormer1

However, to be fair, and now that I am thinking about it......if Clone Wars were someone's first exposure to things that got changed from the original material, the creators behind the Clone Wars series still do a good job of making it interesting and fun to watch. IMO, this is The Clone Wars main saving grace, it stays fun and interesting. If there's a dull episode, you know it's going to pick back up at some point. If something got changed, it still interesting how much stuff they got right, and sometimes wjhat new information the series gives us is good material. The depiction of the clone troopers specifically is something I praise in that series, as we get to see what kind of people they really are, and how diverse and cool they could be, ad how they each can have their own interesting stories to tell.

24/Dec/2019 22:13:35 Posted by Alex Panzerkit

I really liked this one, it actually showed Grievous and friends actually making a mess of folks and being actually dangerous for once. The droid army actually won!

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