Who Are The Nightsisters? The Star Wars Ahsoka Villains Explained

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Morgan Elsbeth in Ahsoka

If you started watching Ahsoka, but you’ve never seen Rebels, there are probably a lot of new concepts that have you scratching your head. One such mystery is no doubt the character of Morgan Elsbeth and her identity as one of the Star Wars universe’s Nightsisters. Neither Sith nor Jedi, the Nightsisters of Dathomir are—much like David Pumpkins—their own thing, and we’ll do our best to break down just what that “thing” is.

Nighsisters Are Force-Sensitive Witches

The Nightsisters, sometimes known as the Witches of Dathomir or the Daughters of Dathomir, are a clan of Force-sensitive women from the planet Dathomir who embraced the dark side of the Force through the use of something they called magick.

Simply put, magick is the same Force that Jedi and Sith tap into but wielded through supernatural means such as spells and incantations. The Nightsister’s use of magick, sometimes called Shadow Magic or Force sorcery, allowed the witches to employ the dark side of the Force without suffering the same corruption that affects everyone else in Star Wars other than the Nightsisters when they dabble in the dark arts.

Magic Ichors Hone Their Dark Side Abilities

The Nightsisters use a magical ichor that flows from the bowels of Dathomir to aid them in their arcane Dark side enchantments. The ichor is a luminescent green mist that the Nightsisters can summon from the depths of their planet through their magick. Once summoned, the Nightsisters can use the mist to conjure physical objects seemingly out of thin air.

Nightsisters in The Clone Wars

The ichor has other uses as well, including making one of the coolest weapons in Star Wars even cooler thanks to a Nightsister ritual that involves soaking a kyber crystal in the glowing green substance.

Soaking the crystal in the ichor will pervert its connection to the force and result in a Tainted Nightsister Crystal, which, if used to create a lightsaber, will cause the weapon to emit green smoke when activated. This was done once by Nightsister Mother Talzin in order to create a sword worthy of dueling Jedi Master Mace Windu.

Choosing to remain isolated on Dathomir for generations, the Nightsisters didn’t involve themselves with Galactic politics until Clan Mother Talzin joined forces with Palpatine during his rise to power. Palpatine, being his typical slimy, backstabbing self, took Talzin’s son Maul from her to raise as his apprentice.

Popular Clone Wars baddie Asajj Ventress also had connections to the Nightsisters, leaving their ranks to become Count Dooku’s apprentice but returning to her sisters after the Sith lord betrayed her. Dooku, being unhappy with this, sent General Grievous to Dathomir to destroy the Nightsisters as a civilization, a mission that Star Wars’ second favorite cyborg completed successfully, save for a handful of Nightsister survivors, including Morgan Elsbeth.

Morgan Elsbeth Is One Of The Last Surviving Nightsisters

By the time the period depicted in Star Wars: Rebels rolls around, the Nightsisters are largely nothing but ghosts still haunting the ruins of Dathomir. Ahsoka‘s Morgan Elsbeth, being one of the few survivors with memories of what her people lost at the hands of General Grievous—all four of them—is determined not to let the same thing happen to her beloved Empire and is hellbent on bringing back Grand Admiral Thrawn to save the Empire from total collapse.

Behind the scenes, the Nightsisters were created by author Dave Wolverton and first appeared in the Legends novel The Courtship of Princess Leia, which sees Han Solo winning Dathomir in a Sabaac game and giving it to Princess Leia as a token of his affection.

George Lucas liked the idea of the Rancor riding Force Witches so much that they became one of the few concepts from the Star Wars Expanded Universe that Lucas made canon when he introduced the Nightsisters in an episode of The Clone Wars animated series.

Since then, the unorthodox Force users have gone on to make appearances in Rebels, the popular video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and now, thanks to Ahsoka, the Nightsisters have made their first leap into live action. Only time will tell if other Nightsisters will pop up throughout Ahsoka‘s first season or if Morgan Elsbeth will continue to be the only representative of their nearly extinct order.

This is the way.

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