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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars Nightsisters and Brothers Arc

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Warning! This story arc recap page contains unmarked spoilers! Read at your own peril!

List of episodes in this story arc

Plot summary


Asajj Ventress leads a space battle against Republic forces commanded by Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Sullust system. Ventress singles out Obi-Wan and attacks him, damaging his fighter, whereupon she is in turn disabled by Anakin. Both combatants crash in the hangar of the Separatist flagship.

Meanwhile, however, a conspiracy is brooding against Ventress' life. Darth Sidious confers with Count Dooku, expressing his concerns about Ventress' growing power, and orders his disciple to destroy her before she becomes too strong to handle, and Dooku, under the will of his master, is forced to obey. When Ventress calls him for assistance, he abandons her for her supposed failure. Shaken and infuriated, Ventress viciously engages Anakin and Obi-Wan in single combat, which is rudely interrupted by Dooku's order to have the flagship bombarded by its own forces to ensure her destruction. The combatants barely escape with their lives.


Witches of Dathomir

Ventress is left floating in space in her nearly destroyed fighter until she is recovered by a scavenging crew, who intend to ransom her to her employers. Instead, they are all killed by Ventress, who commandeers their vessel and proceeds to the location of her old order, the Nightsisters, where Clan Mother Talzin has her tended to. In her feverish dreams, Ventress recalls how she was rescued from a slaver whom her mother sold her to and taken in by Jedi Knight Ky Narec as a child, her apprenticeship under him, his death and her descent into the Dark Side, her being taken in by Dooku and his betrayal. Upon awakening, she swears an oath of revenge against her former master; Mother Talzin puts two of her finest warriors, Naa'leth and Karis, to assist her and provides her with the means of approaching and combating Dooku with the help of mystical invisibility potions and poisons.

Deadly Game

The three Nightsisters travel and penetrate Dooku's palace on Serenno, where they catch him asleep. His senses dulled by Ventress' poison dart and the cloak of invisibility which surrounds his attackers, Dooku is caught at a disadvantage but fights back furiously, thinking his assassins are Jedi since Mother Talzin has armed Ventress' team with lightsabers. Nearly beaten, Dooku manages to save himself by blasting the three with Force lightning, evicting them from his palace and disrupting their invisibility. But Mother Talzin is content: With this attempt at his life, she reckons that Dooku will now be more anxious to get himself a new assassin and bodyguard to protect him. As a result, she contacts the Count and suggests a replacement: a male Zabrak warrior from her people, which is an offer Dooku decides to take.

Count Dooku travels to Dathomir to meet with Mother Talzin so that she may aid him in procuring another personal assassin to replace Asajj Ventress, and also attempts to form an alliance with the Nightsisters, which Talzin rejects for unspecified reasons. Talzin asks if he recalls the Sith warrior Darth Maul, to which Dooku responds that he does, but remembers that he was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi a decade ago on Naboo. Talzin suggests recruiting a male from a village from the other side of the planet, a warrior of Darth Maul's caliber, though she cautions him that male Zabraks are often harder to control. Believing the Jedi to have perpetrated a previous attack on him and Ventress to be dead, Dooku agrees to this offer. After Dooku has departed, Talzin sends Ventress herself to the village to select one of its warriors to serve their revenge plans against the Count.


Following a preliminary weeding out of the less capable potential candidates, Ventress sets up three tests to aid in the selection: A test of arms, in which the candidates attack Ventress; a test of darkness, in which they have to face Ventress hidden in the shadows and their own fear; and a test of skill, in which they have to elude Ventress while navigating a maze of rising stone blocks. By the beginning of the third contest, only two contenders remain alive: Savage Opress and his younger brother Feral. When Ventress corners Feral and prepares to kill him, Savage steps in and faces her in single combat in exchange for his brother's life. Though he is defeated, Ventress is sufficiently impressed to accept him in her service.

Back in their abbey, the Nightsisters use their mystical powers to increase Savage's strength and ferocity, turning him into a hulking brute, and putting him under Ventress' complete control. As a final test of his loyalty to her, Ventress assigns Savage to kill Feral, who has been brought there as a prisoner, which he does with little hesitation. Deemed ready for his task, he is armed with blastproof armor and a mystically empowered vibro-ax and introduced to Dooku. Impressed, yet cautious, Dooku sends Savage to the jungle world of Devaron to take out a small Jedi temple located there. Savage arrives at the temple and quickly ends the ongoing fight between the temple's guardians and the invading droid forces, taking out Jedi Master Halsey and his apprentice Knox, along with their clone troopers in a matter of moments. Thoroughly satisfied, Dooku takes Opress in as his new apprentice and promises to teach him in the ways of the Dark Side in order to eventually overthrow Darth Sidious and rule the galaxy...


Delta Squad returns to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant with the bodies of Master Halsey and his padawan Knox from Devaron after the massacre there and reports to the Jedi. Obi-Wan and the others immediately suspects the handiwork of another assassin in Count Dooku's employ, but the savageness with which the killings were performed mystifies them. Surveillance material recovered from Devaron finally reveals the face of the killer. Startled to see that this brutal warrior comes from the same stock as his long-dead enemy Darth Maul, Obi-Wan is sent to Dathomir by Masters Yoda and Windu to uncover the killer's origins.

Obi-Wan and Anakin travel to the village where Savage Opress has been raised. Obi-Wan's hopes of solving the matter peacefully are dashed when a group of armed Dathomiri surrounds them, forcing them to resort to "aggressive (but non-lethal) negotiations" until Anakin takes the village headman, Brother Viscus, hostage. Viscus refers them to Mother Talzin of the Nightsisters, and the Jedi leave under a tense, but non-violent air for the witches' abode. Once there, the two are brought to Mother Talzin, who after some stalling reveals the name of their subject and where he can be found. With things running tight, Talzin assigns Ventress to join her servant and strike at Dooku immediately before the deception is discovered, even though Opress is not yet ready.

Meanwhile, Count Dooku has begun training Opress in the skills of the Sith. Dooku proves to be a harsh taskmaster as he strives to stir Opress' rage and hatred in order to unlock the power of the Dark Side within him, torturing and agitating his disciple with demeaning criticism and Force lightning. After the first training has been completed, Dooku sends Opress on yet on another mission, this time to Toydaria: He is to capture King Katuunko and bring him to Dooku alive.

Opress storms the royal palace, slices his way through the Toydarian royal guard and captures the king. Anakin and Obi-Wan, having just arrived, try to stop him, but Opress pins them down, destroys their ship and escapes with Katuunko to the Count's Separatist frigate. However, while trying to stop Katuunko from getting away, Opress inadvertently kills him via Force choking, earning him Dooku's wrath. Just then, Ventress enters Dooku's cabin and, after reasserting her control over Opress, they attack the Count in concert. However, during the fight Opress is repeatedly hit and weakened by Dooku's Force Lightning, and as Ventress and Dooku each criticize him for his 'weakness', Opress snaps and turns against them both. Dooku escapes through an emergency hatch, with Ventress following him suit, leaving Opress to face the two Jedi, who have followed him with a Toydarian ship.

Weakened and outmatched, Ventress finally retreats in an escape pod, and Dooku sends his Separatist droids to eliminate Opress. The Jedi and Opress flee Dooku's ship. Wounded and despondent, Opress flees back to Mother Talzin, who sends him to find his long-exiled brother in the outer rim to train under his tutelage. With the promise to return yet more powerful, Opress departs for the Outer Rim.

Return to Dathomir

After a period of hiding following her betrayal by Savage Opress amidst her retaliation against Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress returns to the headquarters of the Nightsisters on Dathomir, where Mother Talzin welcomes her back with open arms. Talzin recommends that Ventress should cast off her ambitions to become a Sith and fully reintegrate herself in the ranks of the Nightsisters. Ventress agrees and undergoes the initiation ritual, becoming a fully accepted member of the order once again.

Battle of Dathomir

But Dooku has neither forgotten about nor taken the attempt on his life lightly, and he commands General Grievous to proceed to Dathomir and eradicate the Nightsisters. The droid forces descend upon the initiation festivity in full force, and the Nightsisters prepare for battle. The Nightsisters begin to mount a counterattack under Ventress' leadership, but as soon as Ventress appears on the battle field, Grievous sends out a group of defoliator tanks to wipe out their opponents with one stroke. Ventress manages to destroy the defoliators and fights her way right up to Grievous, challenging him to single combat, which Grievous readily agrees to.

In the meantime, Mother Talzin calls upon her orders venerable elder, Old Daka, to allow the reviving of the past Nightsisters with their dark magic, thus creating an army of the dead to repel the Separatists. Old Daka casts forth her power, and the remains of the dead rise from their burial pods and join their living sisters. Talzin uses a lock of Dooku's hair she had previously taken and stashed away in secret. Using it to create a magical voodoo figurine likeness of Dooku, she conducts her magic through it to torment him into rescinding his attack or else suffer an agonizing death.

In a lightsaber duel, Ventress gets the better of Grievous, but the cyborg deviously orders his droids to recommence the attack. Grievous is then about to kill her but the army of the dead start attacking Grievous. Wounded and with her sisters dying around her, Ventress is forced to flee, and summoned by Dooku, Grievous tracks down the origin of Talzin and Daka's magic. He first kills Daka, disrupting the resurrection magic. Without reinforcements, the remnants of the Nightsisters are helplessly slaughtered. Before she can be executed by Grevious, Talzin turns into smoke and vanishes and later appears before Ventress. The apparition of Talzin encourages her to follow a new path before she dissipates, leaving the desolate Ventress to face an uncertain future.

Bounty Hunter

With her past life lying in shambles at her feet, Asajj Ventress's aimless drifting finally comes to a temporary halt in a seedy spaceport tavern on Tatooine, where she begins to fill herself up. One of the patrons makes a pass at her, and when he does not take kindly to her rebuffs, Ventress is forced to emphasize her point with her lightsaber. Upon this, she is invited by two bounty hunters, Bossk and Latts Razzi, for a drink and a business proposition: The fellow Ventress has just killed, Oked, was their hired partner for an assignment on Quarzite. Now that he is dead, the bounty hunters need a replacement, and so they threaten to deliver Ventress to the authorities unless she takes Oked's place in the mission. Needing money to get by anyway, Ventress agrees to participate.The three then meet the rest of their partners: Dengar, C-21 Highsinger, and the team's leader, Boba Fett, with whom Ventress clashes immediately about his youth and the resultant lack of skill she perceives in it. Nevertheless, the six of them proceed to an orbital elevator station above Quarzite to meet their employer, Major Rigosso, and receive the details of their assignment. The six of them were commissioned to protect the contents of a large chest, which is to be delivered to Quarzite's despotic ruler, Otua Blank, via the orbital station and a subtram because the planet's atmospheric pressure renders a more conventional delivery by spaceship impossible. The chest is sought after by a band of raiders, which is why the bounty hunters were hired as additional protection. With these details and the chest under their supervision, Rigosso and Boba's team embark on their journey.

Soon after their departure, the raiders board the train in mid-run and attack the escort. In the following struggle, Rigosso and the Quarzite guards are slain, and most of the bounty hunters are thrown off the train one by one, leaving only Boba and Ventress to contend with the raiders and their leader. While struggling with the leader, Boba inadvertently tips the chest over, revealing its contents to be a young woman by the name of Pluma Sodi. As it turns out, she is to be forcibly wed to Otua Blank, and the raiders' leader is her brother Krismo, who has come to save her from this dire fate. Before the siblings can get away, Ventress arrives on the scene and uses her abilities to subdue Krismo. But as the tram continues its journey, Pluma pleas her plight to Ventress, her entreaty about the unfairness of being ripped from her home seemingly striking a chord with Ventress. She and Boba begin to argue about their part in the mission and their share of the bounty; tempers quickly flare, and Ventress ends up Force-choking Boba.

The tram arrives at its final destination, where Otua Blank is eagerly awaiting his prize. Ventress delivers the chest and collects the bounty before departing, but as Otua Blank opens the chest, his eyes are met with the sight not of his bride-to-be, but a bound, gagged and very angry Boba Fett. While the tram makes its journey back to the elevator station, Ventress releases Pluma into Krismo's care - after charging an additional fee for her safe return - before she regroups with the other bounty hunters at their ship. She delivers the bounty in full, after subtraction of her own agreed share, then parts company with the bounty hunters, but with a more mellowed disposition in her life and a stronger confidence in what the future may yet hold for her.

Brothers (Warning! Major, unmarked Spoilers ahead! Read at your own peril!)

Savage Opress is still on the quest for his long-lost brother, he was sent on by Mother Talzin, but with each day he becomes stronger and more uncontrollable. As a result, Count Dooku informs General Grievous of Opress' growing power, while Asajj Ventress and Anakin Skywalker also sense something is amiss, concerning both of their respective companions, Latts Razzi and Ahsoka Tano. Meanwhile, while Opress is on the run from authorities after an altercation at a local diner on Stobar, he finds faint clues about his brother's whereabouts in the dust clinging to an assortment of cargo crates and, after tracing their origin back to a freighter which had recently visited Lotho Minor, he forces the captain to take him there.

Once they have arrived and Opress has pinpointed his brother's location in the local junk lands, he callously ditches the captain for flying past the location where Opress's pendant glowed, and proceeds to search for his brother. The amulet Mother Talzin has given him to track his brother soon fails, but a resident Anacondan named Morley offers his guidance. Dodging the place's indigenous hazards (Fire-breathers, a band of hostile Junkers, and a deluge of acid rain), they arrive at a lodge where Opress' amulet flares back to life, indicating that his brother is nearby. But at this very moment Morley betrays Opress, plunging him down a chute into the junk land's underworld where his master would deal with Opress.

Down in the tunnels beneath the junk, Opress is stalked and attacked by a spider-like creature who is eventually revealed to be the brother Savage has been waiting for: Darth Maul, transformed into a centauroid half-spider cyborg and gone totally insane. It is thought that the native Junkers helped rebuild them as it shown they have knowledge in mechanics, however, this is yet to be confirmed. Morley takes this inopportune moment to reappear, asking for leftovers, and under Opress' tight grip reveals that while he did exploit Maul for his own gain, it was not him who had turned him into a cyborg, before he is choked to death. When Opress talks to him, Maul tells him in between his mad ravings about how he was reduced to this pitiful state and that he seeks revenge on the Jedi, especially the one who did this to him. However, Opress' quest, and the menace it presents, has not gone unnoticed by the strongest Force wielders in the galaxy, and Yoda has no choice but to reveal to Obi-Wan Kenobi that an old enemy has come back from the dead to haunt him once more.

Reunited, Darth Maul and Savage Opress travel back to Dathomir, where they are led by Mother Talzin to her village, where she removes Maul's spider-like cybernetics and uses magicks to create new cybernetics, as well as restore Maul's sanity. Once back to full health, Maul decides to wreak his revenge on the man who reduced him to his state: Obi-Wan Kenobi.


To bring him to them, Maul and Opress travel to a village on the planet Raydonia, slaughter the inhabitants and send a hologram message to the Jedi Temple, challenging Obi-Wan to come to them. Despite Mace Windu's suggestion to send in a Jedi task force, Obi-Wan decides that he must go alone to rectify his mistake. But as Windu expresses his concerns about this undertaking, Yoda cryptically states that Obi-Wan will not be alone in this endeavor and as he speaks, in a certain place on Tatooine, Asajj Ventress learns of a reward placed on the head of Savage Opress and goes off after him.

Obi-Wan travels to the Raydonian village and is quickly taken down by Maul and Opress, who take him aboard their hijacked freighter to be tortured to death. However, just before they take off, Ventress has landed on the planet, found their ship and hitched a ride. Appearing before the two brothers, she taunts them, making them abandon an unconscious Obi-Wan to search for her. Ventress returns to Obi-Wan, wakes him up and lends him one of her lightsabers for his defense when Maul and Opress return. The two team up in order to fight the brothers, but find themselves outmatched and just barely escape by jettisoning the ship's cockpit, leaving Maul and Opress adrift. Despite this setback, however, Maul is content that the Jedi will yet come after him once more and that he will get his revenge after all.


  • Arc Welding: During the series' fifth season, the Brothers side of this story arc gets tied together with the Mandalore arc.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In "Monster", Ventress spears and slashes several Nightbrothers and Savage tears through clone troopers as well as two Jedi (through outright impaling one of them) and not a drop of blood is seen. This is with an ordinary spear, mind you.
  • Evil vs. Evil: This is a villain-focused story arc that presents some instances of fights between the Nightsisters and Separatists. The factions remain at odds throughout The Clone Wars until the Separatists exterminate the Nightsisters.
  • Hollywood Tactics: In "Massacre", the Separatist droid army lands in an open area with little cover, indicating that the Nightsisters will engage them directly. Instead, Ventress orders the Nightsisters into elevated sniper positions where they will be safe and provides support for a ground counteroffensive by the more hardy and expendable Army of the Dead and only pressing the attack once the Separatist droids are routed. Ventress engages Grievous personally, knowing that the Separatist droids will be easy prey without him, but does not ambush him when she knows he would do the same to her. Then, she loses and all of the Nightsisters die when they apparently disappear back to their home, where they abandon all resemblances of tactics and stand in the open firing randomly until they're killed. Only at the beginning of the battle does Grievous make use of air support.
  • Revenge: A significant amount of characters involved in this story arc are motivated by it:
    • Ventress wanted to get revenge on Dooku and Savage for betraying her.
    • Savage wants revenge on both Ventress and Dooku for using him. He also wants Obi-Wan to pay for bisecting his brother, Maul.
    • Dooku wants revenge on Ventress and Talzin for attempting to assasinate him.
    • Maul wants revenge on Obi-Wan for bisecting him and breaking his career as Sith Lord back in The Phantom Menace. He also wants his former Master to pay for abandoning him.
    • Maul's Hannibal Lecture to Obi-Wan in "Revenge" indicates that even Obi-Wan feels a moment of need for revenge on the murderer of Qui-Gon.
  • Rotating Arcs: It took from the middle of season three until the end of season four for The Clone Wars to return back to Ventress's and Savage's stories.
  • Title Drop:
    Savage Yes, we are, we are brothers.
    Savage: Then you must have revenge my brother.
    Darth Maul Yes, we shall start with revenge.
  • Villain Episode: This story arc is almost focused exclusively on Asajj Ventress and her vendetta against Dooku, and presents Savage Opress going on a quest to find his long lost brother: Darth Maul. "Massacre" only features the battle between the Separatists and Nightsisters.
  • Wham Episode: The Nightsisters and Brothers arc serves as one long wham story arc: It features a major change to the status quo via the fact that Darth Sidious forces Count Dooku to have Ventress killed, but she survives and deserts from the Separatists, delves into Ventress' past, and introduces the Nightsisters, Mother Talzin, and Savage Opress in addition to setting up a major future event, Darth Maul's return.


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