What?! That’s where all of us Star Wars fans are at after watching the trailer for The Bad Batch season 3, which reveals that Asajj Ventress is ALIVE. What the heck is happening in the galaxy far, far away?
Remember: the fan-favorite The Clone Wars Nightsister villain was a staple of that TV series…until she was killed offscreen during the show’s long hiatus, in the pages of the novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. In that 2015 novel, Asajj, operating as more of an anti-hero than a straight up dark sider, sacrificed herself to save the man she loved, the rogue Jedi Quinlan Vos, from Count Dooku. At the end of the book, Asajj is returned to the waters of Dathomir, where the Nightsisters lay the dead to rest.
Here’s the problem: this all happened during the Clone Wars era, some time before the events of Revenge of the Sith. Which is why it’s so jarring to see Asajj back in The Bad Batch season 3, which follows the adventures of a group of rogue clone troopers after Revenge of the Sith and the rise of the Empire.
So how is Asajj back from the dead? The short answer is that we don’t know and the team behind the show isn’t offering up any explanations just yet, although they did try to reassure confused fans that it would all make sense in the end.
“We love Asajj Ventress. She’s a character that we’ve been wanting to tell more stories about,” exec producer Brad Rau told StarWars.com. “We don’t want to spoil anything, but want fans to know that any new storytelling with Ventress will align with the events of Star Wars: Dark Disciple.”
“I wasn’t planning on killing you,” Asajj says in the new trailer, while swinging a yellow lightsaber, “but you’re making it very tempting.” The trailer definitely makes it look like she’s going up against the Bad Batch in the scene, and that perhaps she’s gone back to her villainous ways, but it could also be a red herring. Either way, it’ll be great to have the character back, and once again voiced by Nika Futterman.
First introduced in Genndy Tartakovsky’s excellent Clone Wars microseries in 2003 as a new nemesis for Anakin Skywalker, Asajj went on to become a mainstay of both The Clone Wars series and the tie-in novels and comics, serving as Count Dooku’s secret Sith apprentice. The character’s look was heavily inspired by unused concept art designed for Attack of the Clones by Dermot Power.
The Bad Batch season 3 will pick up where the last season left off, with what’s left of Clone Force 99 working to rescue Omega and Crosshair from Imperial captivity, while also coping with the death of Tech, who sacrificed himself for the rest of the squad in the season 2 finale. The trailer also teases the return of two of the most dangerous bounty hunters in the galaxy: Cad Bane and Fennec Shand.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 3 will begin with a three-episode premiere on Disney+ on Feb. 21.