This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
When Morgan Elsbeth was first introduced in The Mandalorian, we knew that her people had been massacred during the Clone Wars. In the episode “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” Ahsoka tells Din Djarin that Elsbeth “survived, and let her anger fuel an industry which helped build the Imperial Starfleet. She plundered worlds, destroying them in the process.” Given how many planets were affected by the violence of the Clone Wars, it was easy to assume that Elsbeth’s homeworld was just one of the many nameless planets affected by the conflict. But thanks to Ahsoka, we now know that Elsbeth has a connection to one of the most intriguing groups in Star Wars lore – the Nightsisters of Dathomir.
The Nightsisters were first introduced in Dave Wolverton’s 1994 novel The Courtship of Princess Leia as part of the Legends Continuity, but weren’t fully integrated into the canon timeline until Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In Clone Wars we learn that Count Dooku’s apprentice Asajj Ventress was born on Dathomir before being sold as a child.
The Nightsisters are like Force Witches. They are able to wield the Force like Jedi and Sith, but they are also able to tap into a sort of magick that other Force-wielders can’t. Like the Force, the Nightsisters believe that their magick is a living thing that flows through Dathomir and themselves. This magick can be used to create illusions, teleport, resurrect the dead, and even create potions of invisibility. While magick involves both the dark and light side of the Force, the Nightsisters have historically been fighters for their own best interests, and that’s often involved allying with the Sith or just generally against the Jedi.
However, this changes after Ventress recruits her sisters to help enact revenge on Count Dooku during the Clone Wars. When their plan ultimately fails, Darth Sidious realizes that the Nightsisters pose a threat to his plan to create a Galactic Empire and orders Dooku and General Grievous to mount an attack on Dathomir to wipe out Ventress and her sisters. While Ventress and a few others survive the attack, most of her sisters aren’t so lucky, and the Nightsisters are effectively wiped out.
As with Order 66 though, each survivor deals with the trauma of losing their people in a different way. Like the Jedi, the few surviving Nightsisters have scattered themselves throughout the galaxy, taking different paths forward to keep themselves safe. In the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Fallen Order video games, the young Jedi Cal Kestis meets Nightsister Merrin on Dathomir. Even though she attacks him at first trying to protect what’s left of her home, Merrin ultimately joins his small rebel crew, helping them fight against the Empire that massacred both of their people. But this clearly wasn’t the case for Elsbeth.
Instead, Elsbeth became just as formidable and violent as those who massacred the Nightsisters, plundering planets for their resources in the name of the Empire. But now that her connection to the Nightsisters has been revealed, it’s hard not to wonder if she’s really interested in helping Thrawn return or if she’s just using him as an excuse to assert power over a new galaxy, or perhaps even find more of her sisters to regain their strength as a people.
The Nighsisters seem to have known about this other galaxy for centuries given that they’ve built temples to hide and decipher the map that leads to it. It’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that some of the surviving Nightsisters found their way to this galaxy, or that there have been some there this whole time. While many of the Nightsisters that have been introduced in canon thus far have been antagonistic and even outright villainous, not all of the Nightsisters are evil. Their witchy Force powers are certainly a fascinating addition to Ahsoka, and I for one can’t wait to see how Nightsister lore is further incorporated into the series. Here’s hoping we see a zombie or two before the season is done.
Star Wars: Ahsoka is streaming now on Disney+.