This Star Wars: Ahsoka article contains spoilers.
It’ll be a race to the finish line in the final episode of Star Wars: Ahsoka. Both sides want to escape Peridia and return to New Republic space, but in the penultimate episode, “Dreams and Madness,” it really looks like it’s the villains who hold all the cards. While Thrawn has a Star Destroyer, Night Troopers, the Witches of Dathomir, two dark siders, and the Eye of Sion on his side, Ahsoka and friends don’t even have their purrgil anymore. How the hell are the heroes supposed to not only stop Thrawn’s plans of galactic conquest but also get back home? Only showrunner Dave Filoni knows at the moment.
But what Ahsoka, Sabine, and Ezra plan to do to thwart the Grand Admiral isn’t the finale’s only big mystery. There’s also the question of what’s in those coffin-like containers the Empire is transferring to the Chimaera ahead of the trip back to the galaxy far, far away. An exchange between Thrawn and Lady Morgan in episode 6 revealed that the containers were coming from the Nightsister catacombs on the planet’s surface. This quickly sparked theories that the Nightsisters planned to bring their dead ancestors back to the New Republic and resurrect them with their dark magic. As The Clone Wars fans know, these witches have used necromancy in the past to take down their enemies.
Fast forward to “Dreams and Madness” and the episode’s biggest callback. No, we don’t mean Anthony Daniels’ return or those references to Senator Leia Organa (which were neat, of course), but the big Clone Wars era villains who are namedropped in the episode. The scene in question sees Ahsoka practicing her lightsaber forms while a hologram of Anakin Skywalker offers words of encouragement. We learn Anakin recorded several training holograms for Ahsoka during the Clone Wars, and this one offers a particularly fan service-y pep talk about the many trials his padawan will face on the battlefield. Not just battle droids, Anakin says, but also General Grievous, Count Dooku, and even…Asajj Ventress, who so happens to also be a Nightsister who Filoni used quite a bit during The Clone Wars.
The timing of the reference couldn’t be more suspicious. Ventress, a fan-favorite Nightsister villain-turned-sorta-anti-hero, died in the final days of the Clone Wars, and now she’s being referenced on a show about witches who are moving their dead sisters out of their catacombs, presumably to resurrect them? Not to mention that she’s a favorite of Filoni’s, and he’s even considered bringing her back from the dead in the past.
“We had Mika Grey, who, originally, early on, was actually Asajj Ventress in the storyline. That was going to be an older version of Asajj Ventress. And that was [Dave] Filoni’s idea,” Star Wars Resistance writer and producer Brandon Auman revealed to the Friends of the Force podcast (via Screen Rant) in 2021. Filoni and the rest of the animated series’ creative team initially planned to bring Ventress forward to the Sequel Trilogy era for that show, where she would at one point face off against another big Star Wars villain. “We were even gonna have a scene where Asajj Ventress takes on Kylo Ren. That was something that we had discussed very early on.”
That didn’t end up happening, of course. As of this writing, Ventress’ last chronological appearance in the canon was in the novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, in which she sacrificed herself to save Quinlan Vos, a Jedi she fell in love with during the Clone Wars (you heard his name referenced on Obi-Wan Kenobi). That book was originally meant to be an eight-part story arc on The Clone Wars before the series was canceled in 2014, so it’s clear Filoni always meant to explore a lot more with the character — or at least provide her story with some closure on screen.
Well, bringing her back on Ahsoka could be that opportunity. Interestingly, the character was actually born out of concept art for an unused Sith character in Attack of the Clones, before she eventually made her onscreen debut in the Clone Wars microseries on Cartoon Network in 2003, so she’s always been kind of destined to appear in live action, anyway. And Ahsoka has already foreshadowed the Nightsisters’ ability to resurrect dark siders. In fact, they seemed to do just that with Marrok, a former Inquisitor whose body let out a mysterious green smoke when he died earlier in the season, suggesting he’d been a product of the witches’ dark magick all along. In theory, it would work the same way with a resurrected Ventress.
Now, while the Nightsisters’ catacomb plan and this reference in the penultimate episode of Ahsoka have added fuel to the fan theory of Ventress’ resurrection, there’s one little detail that technically derails the whole thing: we know that her body was laid to rest on Dathomir, the Nightsisters’ adopted homeworld, at the end of Dark Disciple. So why would she be in a coffin in the catacombs of Peridia, which is located in a completely different galaxy? Well, she doesn’t need to be.
We’ve yet to learn where in New Republic space the Chimaera is headed to if/when it leaves Peridia. But it would make a bit of sense for their first stop to be Dathomir, where the Great Mothers would presumably have even more dead sisters to resurrect and add to their numbers. Perhaps that’s the deal Thrawn made with the Nightsisters: they help him make his way back to the galaxy far, far away and he transports them back to Dathomir so that they can rebuild their coven, including by reviving one Asajj Ventress.
We’ll find out for sure whether Ventress will somehow return when the Star Wars: Ahsoka finale hits Disney+ on Wednesday, Oct. 3.