Clone Wars Debriefing: “Massacre”

Take voodoo and zombies, then toss them in a blender with Star Wars and you get “Massacre.”

Asajj Ventress returns to Dathomir to take her place among the Nightsisters, the cult of dark magic from which she’d originated. They do some ooga-booga ceremony to welcome Ventress back into the fold. Just as there might be some lesbian come-on during the party to celebrate (“I am honored to have you as a sister”), General Grievous and the Separatists attack. Dooku wants Ventress and her friends killed.

What follows is basically one long battle. Even with Mother Talzin’s powers, Ventress’s lightsaber skills and use of the Force, and the battle skills of the Nightsisters, they are hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. (Astute viewers have noted the return of Lok Durd’s defoliator weapon.) Talzin goes to this crone and asks for her help. The crone figures the easiest way to find reinforcement is to simply reanimate the dead. That’s right, people. Zombies. I guess the Nightsisters store their dead in these big sacks and hang them from trees, because that’s from where the dead start rising to kick some butt.

Meanwhile, Talzin decides to put her Marie Laveaux skills to work on Count Dooku, who is supervising from a ship up in space. Soon Dooku is writhing in pain and breaking out in acne. It’s kind of interesting to see that not even a powerful Sith can deflect good old fashioned voodoo. The Jedi Order should have just moved to New Orleans or Haiti.

But interestingly enough, the real game changer in this episode is General Grievous. In previous seasons he was almost a comedic villain, running away just as it got too hot in the kitchen. Remember the Grievous of the Clone Wars microseries? He’s back. Grievous is utterly brutal and he wins a victory for the Separatists. He slays the Nightsister crone, ending the zombie rampage. He stops Talzin and ends Dooku’s suffering, though it’s not exactly clear to me if she’s dead or simply took ethereal form. The Nightsister clan is decimated, leaving Ventress alone and injured, running for her life. She pleads with Talzin’s green misty form but is left on her own.

Poor Ventress. The gal can’t find her place in the universe and whenever she tries, it’s ripped out from under her. She is taken from the Nightsisters as a child. Her Jedi mentor is killed. She tries her hand at being a Sith and that doesn’t work out. She tries to go home and it ends with the clan wiped out. It adds pathos to her pathology.

(There are Nightsisters remaining in “The Courtship of Princess Leia” and other expanded universe sources that take place years later, so I guess they’re not all gone. Just Ventress’s crew.)

The animation is of course, fantastic as always. Not everyone is going to buy the traditional use of magic or voodoo in Star Wars. I kind of figured the Force was supposed to take the place of that stuff which was why I thought using magic in last year’s Nightsisters arc was a little iffy. Could it be just another way of using the Force? I guess so. *Shrug.* If Pops says it’s okay that sorcery co-exists with the Force, then it’s okay if Katie Lucas can write it into the show.

Next time: Ventress tries her hand at bounty hunting. I guess getting a real job isn’t her thing.


4 Responses to “Clone Wars Debriefing: “Massacre””

  1. Bob Clark Says:

    Not just zombies. Speed zombies, like from the “Dawn of the Dead” remake or “28 Days Later”. Sith Witch Speed Zombies. Just kinda rolls off the tongue, don’t it?

    I figure that the Nightsister magic is just another way to use the Force, the same way that the Anchorites from the Mortis arc had their own ways. All we’ve ever seen is the simple telekenesis and telepathy from the Jedi and Sith schools, but I like the notion that in TCW and broader EU there can be other takes.

  2. Eddie Says:

    “Sith Witch Speed Zombies” sounds like a really bad band with a really good name!

    Dooku needs to invest in some Oxy 10 in case of more Nightsister attacks…

  3. Paul F. McDonald Says:

    And just for the record, Dave Filoni told the Forcecast that the Nightsister magic was indeed magic and NOT the Force. GL himself dictated that only Jedi or Sith should be able to use the Force. So yeah, the two do co-exist in that galaxy far, far away.

    P.S. If you recall, there was also magic on Endor with the Ewok movies.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Oh yeah, that’s true. In fact they retroactively made that witch lady a Nightsister. A factoid I forgot until now.

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