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Recap / Star Wars: The Clone Wars S3E12 "Nightsisters"

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The swiftest path to destruction is through vengeance.
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Troubled by Asajj Ventress' growing prowess with the Dark Side of the Force, Darth Sidious commands Count Dooku to eliminate her. However, Ventress survives Dooku's assassination attempt and the jilted former apprentice vows to take revenge, enlisting the aid of her kinswomen — the mystical Nightsisters — in her sinister scheme. Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, veils Asajj and her fellow assassins in a cloak of invisibility, and they infiltrate Dooku's palace on Serenno. Though they fail to kill the Count, their use of captured Jedi lightsabers leads Dooku to mistakenly believe that the Jedi have tried to kill him. Interested in protection, he requests a new apprentice from Mother Talzin.


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Tropes:

  • Anachronic Order: This episode takes place after (or possibly during) "Senate Murders" (2:15).
  • Amazon Brigade: The Nightsisters are an army of woman warriors, reigning dominant over Dathomir.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Sidious orders Ventress' death out of (justified) paranoia, and his treatment of Dooku is little better, threatening his apprentice into carrying out the command and mockingly praising his loyalty afterwards.
    • Dooku may not have ordered Ventress' death of his own volition, but his method of assassination is to order one of his own ships destroyed, caring nothing for the loss of droid soldiers.
  • Badass Boast: Dooku has just been struck with a poison dart, rendered functionally blind, and is outnumbered three to one. What does he have to say to his assailants?
    Dooku: I do not need my eyes to see you, Jedi.
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  • Black Speech: The language the Nightsisters are using for their enchantments is the creepy variant.
  • Canon Immigrant: Apart from the Adaptation Species Change, Ventress' backstory of having grown up on Rattatak and trained by Jedi Master Ky Narec comes straight from the Legends comics that introduced her.
  • Casting Gag: Ky Narec is voiced by Corey Burton, who also voices Count Dooku. Also doubles as a Mythology Gag, since Anakin went from a CGI character based on Alec Guinness to a character played by Guinness as an old man as his master.
  • The Corrupter: It is shown that Dooku swayed Ventress to the Dark Side while she was vulnerable after her Master's death, playing on her desire for revenge.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Ventress, Karis, and Naa'leth vs Count Dooku.
  • False Flag Operation: The Nightsisters provide their agents with Jedi lightsabers (blue for Ventress and green for her lackeys), so that Dooku will blame the assassination attempt on the Jedi if he survives.
  • Good Counterpart: Ky Narec, for Count Dooku; both men are or were Jedi, and both become Ventress' master, but where Narec is a decent man who took Ventress in and trained her out of the kindness of his heart, Dooku is a cold villain who nurtures her darkness and who, when push comes to shove, is willing to put aside his own care for her in service to his own master. Both Narec and Dooku are even voiced by Corey Burton.
  • Hot Witch: All of the Nightsisters (even Mother Talzin) are very beautiful.
  • Informed Ability: Ventress is said to be growing so powerful in her abilities that even Darth Sidious is beginning to feel threatened by her. But in almost every episode, she fails at her goals, mostly because of the Foregone Conclusion of events that have already happened in Revenge of the Sith, and even in throughout the three-part story arc is shown to be vastly inferior to Dooku's own powers.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Count Dooku doesn't even tell Ventress the real reason for his betrayal, coldly telling her that she's failed him.
    • After Dooku, with protest, seemingly succeeds in killing Ventress, Sidious chuckles and mockingly praises his apprentice's loyalty.
  • Matriarchy: No males are seen among the Nightsisters; Talzin offers one as an assassin for Dooku because he "couldn't tame" a female.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: After Dooku disowns Ventress as his apprentice, she becomes so enraged by the betrayal during her fight with Obi Wan and Anakin she grabs both of them in a force choke. And likely would have killed them both had Dooku not ordered the rest of the Separatist fleet to fire on them.
  • Not So Stoic: Dooku is aghast at Sidious' command to kill Ventress, even protesting his master's orders before being cowed into obedience.
  • Off-Model: The long skirt Ventress is initially wearing has vanished when the salvagers take her out of the remains of her fighter. This was deliberate as they found it too difficult to animate.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ventress was handed over to a slaver by her own mother; her father was presumably killed by tradition before her birth.
  • Parental Substitute: Jedi Master Ky Narec was this for Ventress. It appears that she considered Dooku as such, too.
  • Pet the Dog: In a rare show of humanity, Dooku admits that he values Ventress as a person and objects to Sidious' command to have her killed. Downplayed, as he doesn't admit any of this to Ventress, and it doesn't stop him from following through with Sidious' order.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sidious' suspects that Dooku is training Ventress as his own apprentice with the aim of eventually overthrowing him. He's completely correct.
  • Reality Ensues: Ventress has been built up in previous episodes as utterly loyal to Dooku, but all of that goes out the window in this episode. She once killed an ally just for downplaying her abilities, so she's going to go berserk when someone she saw as a Parental Substitute tries to murder her. It doesn't help that she has no way of knowing that Sidious ordered Dooku to do it. As soon as she's recovered, she's not conflicted at all — the only thing she wants is his death.
  • Revenge: Ventress' sole focus after recovering is to avenge herself upon Dooku. As seen during her Troubled Backstory Flashbacks, revenge upon the killers of her parental figures has been a primary motivation for most of her life.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Darth Sidious senses the growing powers of Count Dooku's assassin, Asajj Ventress. He almost says the trope, hinting that he will kill Dooku if he's breaking the Rule of Two.
    Sidious: I would hate to think you are training your own Sith apprentice to destroy me....
  • Shoot Your Mate: Darth Sidious orders Count Dooku to eliminate Ventress because he fears Dooku might try to overthrow him with her help.
  • Shoutout: To the original Battlestar Galactica, when the tactical droid says "By Your Command" in her monotone.
  • Start of Darkness: As shown in flashbacks, the death of her Jedi Master, Ky Narec, triggers Ventress' descent into the dark side.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Ventress' history (traded away for the survival of her tribe, rescued and trained by a Jedi, fell to the Dark Side and found by Dooku after he was killed) is summarized while she is unconscious and her injuries are treated by the Nightsisters' magick.
  • Villain Episode: Obi-Wan and Anakin appear at the beginning, but the focus is on Ventress' betrayal and revenge.
  • Visible Invisibility: The Nightsisters' potion renders Ventress and her lackeys invisible "to most". To the viewers they appear smoky and indistinct. Their lightsabers are quite visible, but this serves to convince Dooku that they are Jedi.
  • Voice of the Legion: Mother Talzin's words echo in a voice far deeper than her own.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Talzin's plan to help Ventress avenge herself on Dooku; either Ventress succeeds in killing him, or he survives the assassination attempt and, believing his assailants to be Jedi, is open to Talzin's subsequent offer of a new Dathomirian apprentice, who would be an agent of Talzin's.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After seemingly succeeding in killing Vetress, Dooku is shown brooding in anger and possible regret before contacting Sidious to report Ventress' "death", showing that his claims of Ventress being important to him were genuine.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The plan to kill Dooku hinges on on hitting him with a dart filled with poison to dull his senses so that he won't be able to see the assassins... no explanation as to why that poison couldn't just be something that would kill him is given.
  • Witch Species: The Nightsisters are all Force-sensitive and explicitly called "witches".
  • The Worf Effect: Dooku is poisoned, blinded, and outmatched 3 to 1... and he still handily defeats Ventress and her fellow Nightsisters in the end.
  • You Have Failed Me: Dooku's stated reason for abandoning Ventress to die, though the truth is quite the opposite: she has become too powerful and effective to be compatible with Sidious' paranoia.


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