Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka Episodes 6.
The Big Picture
- Ahsoka Episode 6 reveals that Peridea is the actual homeworld of the Nightsisters, an all-female order of Force-sensitive people with connections to The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
- Peridea is described as a graveyard planet, inhabited by the dominant force of the Nightsisters. It has giant statues, a stronghold, and a mysterious power lurking within it.
- The Nightsisters have a historical animosity towards the Jedi, despite not being inherently evil. They view the Force differently, which has caused conflict between the two factions.
Episode 6 of Ahsoka came packed with long-awaited arrivals, the one everyone was the most eager for being Grand Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen). But we also arrived at the mysterious world of Peridea, the planet in a whole new galaxy where Thrawn and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) are exiled, and it’s full of mysteries, too. Turns out this is the actual homeworld of the Nightsisters of Dathomir, an ancient group of Dark Side Force users of which Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) is part. She had already revealed that back in the series premiere, but now we get to see there’s a lot more about them than we previously knew.
The world of Peridea is described by Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) as a graveyard, the place the space whales known as the purrgil migrate to when they are ready to die – the ring around the planet is literally made of purrgil bones. The surface looks like a barren wasteland, but it hides a lot of fun new Star Wars species, like the Noti and the Howlers, but the Nightsisters are the dominant force. They have giant statues scattered all around the planet, and their stronghold is carved onto a mountain with an altar just like the one on Seatos on top. It looks like they have been there for a long time, so let’s take a look into who they really are – and what they want.
The Nightsisters Had a Big Impact in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and ‘Star Wars Rebels’
For those who have watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels before Ahsoka, the Nightsisters and the planet of Dathomir are familiar, and they were also mentioned in The Book of Boba Fett and play a big role in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. They are an all-female order of Force-sensitive people (mostly Dathomiri Zabraks) who tap into the Force. Although powerful, they have always been rather closed-off, remaining mostly on Dathomir because of the planet’s magical ichor, a permanent green mist that was the source of their power. During the Clone Wars, though, they did have a brief expansionist period, even establishing a stronghold on the planet Arcana, as seen in the Ahsoka series premiere.
Apart from Morgan Elsbeth, the most famous Nightsister is Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman), a Dathomiri Zabrak who briefly apprenticed in the ways of the Dark Side of the Force under Count Dooku (Corey Burton), but eventually returned to her homeworld to rejoin her sisters after being betrayed by him. During her apprenticeship, she wreaked havoc on the Republic Army, but Dooku’s wrath led to the Separatists turning on the Nightsisters and sending General Grievous (Matthew Wood) to Dathomir to wage war on them. Their downfall is one of the saddest arcs of The Clone Wars, as they are the victims of genocide. After this, Ventress also briefly worked with Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) herself after she left the Jedi Order, but would eventually perish in the waning years of the Clone Wars, as seen in the novel Dark Disciple.
Although the Nightsisters themselves are all women, Dathomir also had male inhabitants, the most famous being Maul (Ray Park/Sam Witwer). In the comics Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, it’s revealed that he was, in fact, the son of Mother Talzin (Barbara Goodson), the leader of the Nightsisters on Dathomir, which explains how he and his brother Savage Opress (Clancy Brown) were so powerful in the Force. There were clans of male Zabrak on Dathomir who served the Nightsisters, but, as far as power and Force-sensitivity go, they were exclusive to Maul and the Nightsisters.
‘Ahsoka’ Builds on the Nightsister Lore Revealing Their True Origins
Now, Episode 6 of Ahsoka revealed that Peridea is the actual homeworld of the Nightsisters, in a distant galaxy that’s so far away, most people only think of as folklore. The term “Dathomiri” is still said a lot, though, which probably means the planet Dathomir was named after the Nightsisters, and not the other way around. Peridea has many similarities with Dathomir, including the eerie atmosphere and the aspect of being a mostly barren wasteland, even though it doesn’t have the red sky and the green ichor floating around. It also gives us more insight into the Nightsisters themselves.
The only members of the group that we see are the Great Mothers Klothow (Claudia Black), Aktropaw (Jeryl Prescott Gallien), and Lakesis (Jane Edwina Seymour), who appear to be the chiefs of the Peridea coven. They bear a lot of resemblance to the three witches in William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth, and the very frame that introduces them could have been pulled from Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth. They constantly mention “the threads of fate”, which is a recurring topic in the Shakespearean play, too. As witches, they have a connection to the occult and the unseen thanks to their tapping into the Dark Side. Baylan mentions that he feels a great power in Peridea, something that “stirs” on the planet, which may either be the source of the Nightsisters’ power or a threat to them, hence their alliance with Thrawn.
As part of this treaty, Thrawn begins loading some mysterious crates onto his Star Destroyer Chimera, which Morgan Elsbeth mentions as having come from the catacombs. It hasn’t been confirmed what’s really inside these crates, but they have average human dimensions. This and the fact that Thrawn’s army seems almost macabre is likely a tie to the Nightsisters’ abilities to reanimate dead corpses. That happens a lot in The Clone Wars and Jedi: Fallen Order, and also in Ahsoka: Marrok, the last Inquisitor, was actually an undead being reanimated by Nightsister magick (with a K, as it’s the name they give their own power).
Another aspect of the Nightsisters that’s present both on Peridea and on Dathomir is their connection to nature. As they follow arcane ways and philosophies, they are in constant contact with their planets, often drawing on their arcane energy for power. Also, every construction and stronghold of the Nightsisters seems carved into the planet’s mountains and rocks, which we can see in their previous appearances in Star Wars as well as now in Ahsoka. Their stronghold in Peridea has a striking resemblance to The Lord of the Rings’ Minas Tirith, being a citadel and fortress carved into a mountain, too.
The Nightsisters and the Jedi Have an Ancient Animosity Towards One Another
Also, the Nightsisters have historical bad blood with the Jedi, which is why the Great Mothers say that it “reeks of Jedi” when Morgan Elsbeth and her party arrive at Peridea. The planet is part of Jedi folklore and was taught in nursery rhymes at the Jedi Temple because of the purrgil, which probably means Jedi have already traveled to the planet in ancient times. But the Nightsisters were never inherently evil, despite tapping into the Dark Side of the Force for power. They just view the Force differently, which is more than enough for the Jedi to see them as evil.
Baylan Skoll himself may be respectful when he’s around Nightsisters but displays a lot of contempt about their ways when talking with his apprentice Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno) in private. In fact, when the Great Mothers say “It reeks of Jedi”, they are probably talking about Baylan and Shin, not about Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), as the latter can’t use the Force.
There is, though, a Nightsister that has good relations with the Jedi. In the games Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Jedi protagonist Cal Kestis (Cameron Monaghan) meets Nightsisters Merrin (Tina Ivlev), and the two become friends and help each other frequently. They got off on the wrong foot upon meeting for the first time on Dathomir precisely because of the bad blood there is between the two factions, but, as the games go on, they see there’s much more to one another and that they are more powerful as allies than apart.