13 Years Later, Star Wars Could Bring Back a Forgotten Sith Superpower
Reformed Sith zombies? Why not!
Star Wars’ extended television universe keeps bringing back characters we thought were gone. Boba Fett? He survived the Sarlacc and lived among the Tuskens. Anakin Skywalker? When Ahsoka nearly drowns, they reunite in the World Between Worlds. Even Qui-gon Jinn popped up as a Force ghost in the last minutes of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Now, a new character recently revealed to still be among us has the potential to tie together two very different eras of Star Wars, and to become a villain unlike any other.
Assajj Ventress is a Sith Nightsister with roots in Star Wars animation going back two decades. She first appeared in the non-canon series Star Wars: Clone Wars, then moved to the canonical Star Wars: The Clone Wars (yes, those are different shows), where we learned more about her and her terrifying powers, which combine her Nightsister background with Sith training. She was a fearsome villain, but was betrayed by her master, Count Dooku, and left the Sith to become a bounty hunter.
In the 2015 canon novel Dark Disciple, based on a Clone Wars arc that never made it to production, Ventress joins forces with Jedi Quinlan Vos to take down Count Dooku. But this partnership became more than an uneasy alliance: they fell in love. When Dooku attacks Vos, Ventress takes the lightning blast and saves his life. It was a selfless act, and a tearful Vos took Ventress back to Dathomir to be buried alongside her sisters.
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However, in the trailer for the upcoming final season of The Bad Batch, Ventress and her yellow lightsaber appear to be alive and well. But don’t worry about any canon confusion: Bad Batch supervising director Brad Rau told StarWars.com, “Any new storytelling with Ventress will align with the events of Star Wars: Dark Disciple.”
How is this possible? The answer may lie in two places that couldn’t be more different: Ahsoka, the high-profile Disney+ series, and Titan Magazine’s Clone Wars Magazine, a short-lived children’s companion magazine to The Clone Wars.
Clone Wars Magazine #5 contained several “Star Wars Infinities” scenarios. “Infinities” is similar to Marvel’s What If: hypothetical alternate realities that exist as thought experiments more than actual worldbuilding, like “What if Obi-Wan Turned to the Dark Side?” However, now that Ventress’ canonical fate has been thrown into question, one of those scenarios could become real.
The obscure magazine article suggests the Nightsisters’ coven imbued Ventress with dark magic that “supercharged” her, making her more powerful than ever. This allowed her to easily defeat Dooku and catch the attention of Darth Sidious, who took her as an apprentice and gave her the new name of Darth Vindicaa.
Not all of this can become canon — we all know how Dooku meets his fate, courtesy of Anakin’s scissor maneuver. But the Bad Batch Season 3 trailer contains both Ventress and Palpatine, suggesting the two may actually be in cahoots in her new phase of life.
But how could Ventress be brought back to life after Dark Disciple, and why would she join up with Palpatine after finding love? That’s where Ahsoka comes in. The series included the live-action debut of the Great Mothers, three Nightsister witches who wield such incredible power they can even bring people back from the dead... as mindless zombies.
They could absolutely revive their fallen sister, but only with a ritual full of Dark Side power. Even if Ventress retains some of her old self, she could lose the compassion that turned her into such a dynamic character and instead become the ruthless Sith warrior she was introduced as. A blank slate reboot would introduce Ventress to a new group of viewers without cheapening the story of redemption and sacrifice hardcore fans already know.
When it comes to inspiration, it doesn’t get more obscure than a magazine page that isn’t even archived online. But that means no one will expect a twist that ties together one of Star Wars’ first TV shows with one of the most recent, all while handily explaining a giant retcon away.