Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Undead are rare in the Clone Wars but they do exist and so does magic

Undead Dathomirian Nightsisters. Kinda cool eh? Click to Embiggen.
I think that most people tend to think of Star Wars as lying firmly in the genre of science fiction space opera. However, I tend to think of it as a fantasy more than science-fiction. The Jedis are just wizards with swords, and then there's the whole Nightsister clan that gave birth to Asajj Ventress (Sith apprentice to Count Dooku depending on where you find her in the storyline) on the planet Dathomir.
Mother Talzin is a bonafide true sorceress in the complete sense of the word.
The episode "Massacre" is number 19 in season four. After failing to kill Dooku or control Savage Opress, Asajj Ventress is advised by Mother Talzin to reject the ways of the Sith and rejoin the Nightsisters. However, an angered and fearful Count Dooku is determined to see the end of Ventress and Mother Talzin. Via Dooku's command, General Grievous launches a droid assault, only to find an army of undead Dathomirian Nightsisters' awakened by Daka, the eldest of the Sister's clan. Talzin creates a voodoo doll to finish off Dooku, whilst Ventress and Grievous square-off in saber combat. Ventress downs Grievous, however she is helpless to watch as the last of her sisters on Dathomir are massacred. The episode closes with the green misty spirit of Mother Talzin bidding farewell and good luck to Ventress, whom is now left to grieve for her clan.
This is Daka, Eldest of the Nightsister clan. Unlike other grandmothers
who bake bread, Daka is a super powerful necromancer who calls forth
undead from their graves to defend their homeworld. I guess she also makes
a mean stew.
My take: I love the special effects in this episode and the Nightsisters made for some very interesting characters. It kind of added a third element to Star Wars. On the one side we have the Jedi. On the other we have the Sith. And then there's this murky gray area of practicing witches that can cast actual magic. Mother Talzin demonstrated tremendous power. She had illusions, could create objects out of nothing, turn her people invisible or into undead warriors, and the list goes on and on.

Now that you know magic is very much alive and well in the Star Wars universe, how does this sit with you? In other words...are you a Star Wars purist who doesn't want magic to infuse an otherwise "sci-fi" storyline? Or do you welcome the magic and hope that they use it in the Star Wars movies made by Disney? I sure do. I'm actually getting kind of jaded with the whole "I'm a Jedi; you're a Sith! We must battle!" I would like to see combats that have more than just glittering lightsabers and electrical fingers frying people. My love affair with telekinesis is kind of over too. Been there, done that. Let's have a Dumbledore vs. Voldemort recap in the Star Wars universe! Below is a very exciting clip that shows the end of the poor Nightsisters and the death of Daka. Oh well...she was really old.


  1. I really liked that clip and personally don't mind them throwing in a bit of magic (in small doses) to mix things up. But remind me again, this is a kids show??

  2. I never really thought about it but I guess the force is just another word for magic.

    Moody Writing

  3. The undead truly are everywhere. Magic only makes things better.

  4. Yes, purists don't consider the Force a form of magic?

  5. I read a Star Wars book featuring zombies once (I think it was called Red Harvest or something). It wasn't that good.

    And no Star Wars doesn't need magic. It's made billions of dollars without it so don't break wasn't isn't broken.

  6. I always thought the force was magic-like until they tried to explain it in episode 1.

  7. I love magic so this is a huge plus for me. Never thought of the Jedi as wizards with swords but that is perfect.

  8. Whoever thought Star Wars was pure sci-fi wasn't paying attention. When I was a teacher, we did a fun comparison of Star Wars and King Arthur.

    But, I refuse to even talk about midichlorians.

  9. Ah, an animated Star Wars on Cartoon Network. I haven't watched it. But adding magic? Doesn't bother me. The whole thing is based on magical skills of some sort. Each planet of beings has some sort of power--technical or using the power of the planet life. There is a fine line separating Fantasy/sci-fi.

    There are many technical advances based on or projecting from, current knowledge. But when you get to the various planets these beings are pure fantasy and so are much of their powers. The author makes them up and again, bases them on past civilizations adding their own twists.

    The beauty of imagination. Isn't it grand?

  10. This showdown gave me chills when I first watched it. Really dark stuff for CN, that's for sure. :)

  11. I liked the zombie Geonosians more.

  12. @Elise: Magic in small doses? I think we should have magic in big doses. And yes, this is a kid's show. You'd be surprised at the content in kid's shows these days. Plus Star Wars is a marketing juggernaut so they can get away with things other people wouldn't expect.

    @Moody: Ayep.

    @Sheena: LOL It does seem a little like a sell-out to the Walking Dead crowd, doesn't it?

    @Laughingwolf: I agree.

    @Alex: Purists don't consider the Force a form of sorcery.

    @P.T.: Star Wars needs magic, dude.

    @Adam: I think that explanation stems from men who want to know everything. You Brandon Sanderson and his "magic systems" or just about every other male fantasy author that wants to explain how the "internal combustion engine" works.

    @Julie: It's true, they're wizards in my opinion. Palpatine as Emperor kinda looks like Saruman.

    @Jay: Star Wars and King Arthur? How about Star Wars and the Wizard of Oz!

    @Sia: I agree, and yes imagination is grand.

    @DPK: I liked it. Season Four has a lot of gems in it. Can't wait to post about W for Water War on Mon Cala. That city was really cool.

    @Andrew: OH yeah?

  13. I never liked the "explanation" they thought they had to give us regarding The Force. Boooo on mitichlorians!!

    I liked it better when it was thought of as magic, so I've always considered magic a part of the Star Wars universe.

  14. I don't mind a little bit of magic. I think it's a fun addition that keeps viewers on their toes.

  15. I say mix it up; a little magic spices things up!

  16. This is sort of off topic to your blog post, but it occurs to me I should pick your brain about an upcoming Star Wars party I have to attend where everyone is supposed to dress up as a character. I wanted to be more creative than Princess Leia or Amadala.

  17. I agree with you about Star Wars being more of a fantasy than Science Fiction. I thought that there has to be a Science mishap or scientific explanations in Science fiction.

  18. @Johanna: Well, if you want to go as a good guy, you could go as one of the female Jedi:

    1) Ahsoka Tano
    2) Luminara Undulee
    3) Barriss Offee

    You could also go as:

    1) Mon Mothma
    2) Senator Amidala
    3) Duchess Satine Kryze

    IF you wanted to go as an evil character:

    1) Asajj Ventress
    2) Mother Talzin
    3) A Nighsister

    All of the pics can be found online. I hope that helps.

  19. Love your description of Daka and the possibility that she might make a mean stew! LOL! I am ok with the magic element, because I believe magic is unknown science (or whatever that famous quote is that's mentioned in Sorcerer's Apprentice). I haven't kept up with Clone Wars, but I have read some of the books and in some plots they highlight the witches and other magic users. I think it's interesting that the Star Wars universe has so many angles.

  20. That is so cool! I had no idea there was any fantasy element like that in Star Wars. Makes me love it even more.

  21. Magic always adds an exciting element to a story. I say, "Go for it!"

  22. I never saw Star Wars as anything other than a tale of sword and sorcery

  23. Oh yeah, too many magical elements in it to be pure scifi.

  24. Huh. I'd never thought of Star Wars as falling more into the Fantasy category, but now that I think about it, it is a blend of elements from both genres.

  25. More than magic, the original Star Wars were downright spiritual, complete with the souls of Obi-Wan etc. appearing to Luke Skywalker.

    I'm completely open to mixing genres, elements, themes, and whatever else makes a good story. When I started reading Charlaine Harris's Sookie Sackhouse books, I was so relieved when other "supers" started showing up and vampires were no longer the only game in town.

  26. Personally I want more blaster battles and less mysticism. If Lucas had to do prequels he should have gone smuggler tales with Han and Lando.

  27. I don't mind the magic in the Star Wars world. Actually, lots of science/technology was once thought of as magic...

  28. Star Wars was always more about the hero's journey. It's a fantasy in space.

    I've never had issues with mixing the two. But then, I believe in magic in the real world as well.

  29. I love a little magic thrown in for good measure.

  30. I always thought of SW as more of a fantasy tale too.

  31. Hi Michael .. I drove my younger brother to London to see this when it first came out - I fell asleep! He thankfully enjoyed it! I've never got to grips with the whole genre - one day soon perhaps I'll give it a go again ...

    My imagination goes off elsewhere I guess! Cheers Hilary