Ventress

August 2, 2013 in Guest Blogs, The Clone Wars by Firebird

A guest blog by Darth_Namialus

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Asajj Ventress, part-time Jedi, Sith, Witch, and bounty hunter, is one of the greatest Star Wars characters in that special galaxy far far away. Her quest to discover her destiny has captivated us for years as she journeyed across the galaxy to seek out what she was meant to be. Despite not being one of the more widely recognized Star Wars characters such as Anakin Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi, Asajj is a thought-provoking character and one that I am glad to call my favourite.

“I remember the day we were forced to give you up to protect the clan. Your sacrifice has never been forgotten.”

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Asajj Ventress hails from the planet Dathomir. As a Nightsister in her younger years, Asajj was given away to a Siniteen criminal named Hal’Sted in exchange for the safety of her clan. The loss of her Sisters was one of the many losses Asajj experienced in her life. Taken to Rattatak by her new Master, Hal’Sted, she was raised there as a slave girl until Hal’Sted was killed during an assault by Weequay pirates, ironically the same pirates who would later kill her Jedi Master. Saddened at the loss of Hal’Sted, the young slave girl used the Force and fought back against the pirates, catching the attention of a nearby Jedi, Ky Narec. Ky took Asajj, sensing her potential and determining that he would train her to be a Jedi like him. The loss of Hal’Sted is similar to the loss of Ky Narec.

“Thank you, Master.”

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Trained by Ky, Asajj Ventress grew to become a strong Jedi. The duo were said to have become heroes of the people of Rattatak, although never leaving the planet as Narec’s starship crashed. Her Jedi training remained with Ventress throughout her life as the darkness she would face later never managed to truly overcome her.

“Master!”

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During a second pirate raid, Ky Narec was murdered by the same Weequay pirate group who killed Hal’Sted. Driven to anger by another loss, Ventress let herself go to the Dark Side and eliminated the pirates. Due to the loss of her Jedi Master, Asajj grew a hatred of the Jedi, believing they had abandoned Ky on Rattatak. Ky’s death is one of the parallels in Asajj’s story. Her first two Masters, Hal’Sted and Ky Narec, were both slaughtered by Weequays and both deaths drove Asajj into a fit of madness. All these losses in Asajj’s young life had strayed Ventress away from her path, leading her towards the Dark Side.

“I can sense the darkness within you. I will teach you the ways of the Dark Side…”

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Years later, Dooku found Ventress. Promising to teach her the ways of the Dark Side, Dooku made Asajj a Separatist Commander. Asajj Ventress, fuelled by her hatred of the Jedi, fought for the Confederacy during the Clone Wars. Apprentice to Dooku, the sultry Sith assassin, Ventress, mindlessly followed her Master’s orders against the Jedi and the Republic, from rescuing confederate leaders to stealing clone DNA. Utilizing her Master’s teachings, Asajj Ventress allowed the darkness to consume her and became a powerful foe during the war.

“Your assassin, eliminate her.”

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Darth Sidious began to fear Asajj’s growing power. Suspecting that Dooku planned to betray his Master alongside Ventress, Sidious ordered his apprentice, Dooku, to have Ventress killed. Meanwhile, Ventress engaged in a space battle against Jedi forces above Sullust. After being shot down, Asajj was forced to crash her ship into the hangar of a Separatist dreadnought. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi followed the assassin. Ventress, calling Dooku for reinforcements, was struck with a terrible revelation. Her Master was to have her executed. Dooku ordered his droids to destroy Asajj’s ship. Adding Dooku to her everlasting list of losses, Asajj was fuelled by a newfound rage and clashed lightsabers with the two Jedi.

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After a short duel, the ship was set for destruction, and the three duellists were forced to escape the Separatist destroyer. Dooku, believing that his former apprentice was killed, was disappointed at the death of such a valuable assassin.

“Now why would anyone want to go there? Nothing there but fog and witches.”

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Ventress was retrieved by a Twi’lek scavenger, Ratch, and his Weequay crew among the debris of the battle. Asking them to take her to Dathomir, they refused, and Ventress flew their ship herself after killing them all. The presence of the Weequays, although probably coincidental, could have been used to represent Asajj’s turn to revenge. Her flight to Dathomir was to get revenge at Dooku for his attempt to kill her, and the Weequays that she killed on the Raider represented the Weequays who killed her two first masters. This meant Ventress’ spree of vengeance involved avenging her first two masters as well.

Arriving on Dathomir, Asajj was greeted by the Nightsisters, her old clan. Reunited with Mother Talzin, Asajj swore revenge against Dooku. Performing a ritual on Ventress, the Nightsisters saw her memories, looking into her past filled with loss and betrayal. Formulating a plan with Ventress, Mother Talzin sent Karis and Naa’leth alongside Asajj in an attack to kill Dooku. Making them invisible and giving them Jedi lightsabers, Talzin sent the three Sisters to Serenno where the Count would meet his destiny.

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Mother Talzin – what’s her deal? Talzin leads a Nightsister clan on Dathomir, and from what we’ve seen she rules the planet. This mysterious witch wields extraordinary power. She aids Ventress against Dooku, but also later on aids Savage, who was an enemy of Ventress. What is she plotting?

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On Serenno, a blinded Dooku duels the three Sisters who he believes to be Jedi. Asajj believed that her team might be able to defeat the Count, but is instead met with a blast of Force lightning and a throw out the window. Despite her defeat, Asajj’s hatred of Dooku grows and she swears Dooku’s death. Returning to Dathomir, Talzin forms a new plan with Ventress. Contacting Dooku, Talzin offers him a new apprentice of Dathomir. The Count agrees, and Ventress is sent to find a new apprentice for Dooku, one that would eventually be his death.

“My life is yours.”
“Yes, it is.”

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Travelling to the home of the Nightbrothers, Ventress assembles a group to participate in the three tasks she has to set to find who would be the Count’s apprentice. This is where I think she was in her darkest time. Forcing innocent Nightbrothers to fight and die amongst themselves to see who would come out the victor and become Ventress’ slave shows how far Ventress had fallen due to her lust for revenge. Although she has killed Jedi and other innocents before, her strive for the death of Dooku pushes her to the darkest limits. After three tasks, one Nightbrother, Savage Opress, is chosen. Returning to Talzin, Savage is presented. Talzin also finds that Savage would especially suit her own purposes well, knowing he would bring back Maul as part of Talzin’s secret plan, one that even we don’t know of. Performing a ritual on Opress, Talzin and the Sisters make him their slave, creating a hulking brute out of what was once a mere brother. Presented to Dooku, the new apprentice is accepted.

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After weeks of Sith training, Talzin believes Savage is ready for the duel against Dooku. Anakin and Obi-Wan attempt to capture this new Sith threat and they are led back to Toydaria, where Savage kills King Katuunko. Returning to Dooku’s ship, Savage is punished for the murder of the King with a shock of lightning, but there Dooku was also met with a shock.

“That’s no way to treat your apprentice, I should know.”

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Ventress! Dooku is shocked at the return of his former apprentice, who he believed was killed, and orders Savage to kill her. Savage refuses, revealing that Ventress is his true mistress. The three engage in a duel. If not for Savage’s uncontrollable rage, the Dathomiri may have defeated Dooku, but Savage, feeling betrayed by Ventress, attacks both Masters. Ventress and Dooku escape to fight another place whereas Savage is left to duel Skywalker and Kenobi.

“Leaving so soon, Master?”

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Asajj confronts Dooku alone. Blinded by her lust for revenge, Asajj did not realize that she would not be able to defeat the Sith Lord. At that point, overconfidence had become her weakness. Master and apprentice duelled, and Dooku quickly subdued the Nightsister, but Ventress managed to escape with her life, leaving her lust for revenge behind.

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After a time of thought, Ventress decided to return to her clan. This is where Ventress began to take a turn to the light. Forgetting her Sith past behind, she joins a family and all the events that happen after this are not an evil of Ventress. Asajj is baptized by Talzin and the Sisters, and at last she belonged somewhere, but her sense of belonging would not last. Dooku, determined not to let the witches continue plotting against him, dispatches Grievous and his droid army to massacre the Nightsisters.

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A battle occurs, and the Nightsisters fight off the droid army. Talzin and Old Daka use various forms of magic to fight the Separatists, including zombies and voodoo dolls. Dooku is almost killed by Talzin. This leads me to believe that Talzin is capable of immense power, being able to kill others from different planets. Normal Jedi and Sith cannot do that.

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Grievous and Ventress, once both apprentices to Dooku, duel. The once two competitors under Dooku fight in front of their armies, and the overconfident Grievous is quickly defeated. Ventress is shot before being able to kill the cheating cyborg, and the battle continues. An injured Ventress escapes after a Sister sacrifices her life to save Asajj. Knowing the Nightsisters would not survive because of her, Ventress feels regrets and begins to rejoin the light.

“No! You can’t leave me here!”

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Ventress reunites with Talzin among the forests of Dathomir after the Sisters are massacred. Talzin reveals that Ventress is meant to follow her own path now, but her destiny would always be linked to the Sisters. Ventress is overcome with grief as her last parent figure leaves her life, once more losing a loved one. This is where Ventress is truly alone. Losing four masters and having no one else to go to, Ventress leads a life of her own. The second half of her life, after the death of Ky, also has parallels. In the first half, both her masters are killed, but in the second half, both her Masters, Dooku and Talzin, abandon her.

“Get lost.”

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Ventress now leads a life of her own. Refusing to make new friends or attachments, a grieving Ventress travels the galaxy alone. On Tatooine, she joins a band of bounty hunters led by Boba Fett, needing to make some money. The team is taken to Quarzite, where an aimless Ventress is ordered to guard the back of a train holding a very important chest. Kage Warriors then attack the train, attempting to steal the chest, and after a battle on the train only Boba, Ventress, and the leader of the warriors, Krismo, remain. The chest is thrown open and out of it emerges Pluma Sodi, Krismo’s sister. Ventress realizes this, but still subdues Krismo and captures the siblings. Pluma begs Ventress to let them go, telling Ventress that she did not ask to be ripped away from her family. Ventress realizes that Pluma is being faced with what Ventress had to face in her own past; being ripped away from those she loved without a choice. Vowing not to allow this to happen to innocents, she forces Boba into the chest and gives it to the buyer, Otua Blank, who expected Pluma instead. Ventress frees Pluma and her brother and is paid for the job, returning to the team of hunters and giving them their shares. This is where Asajj moves closer to the light side. Instead of allowing her own greed to hurt innocents, she saved the innocent.

“I have a future now.”

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Ventress finds that bounty hunting would be a fitting career for her, and I like to believe she only does the good jobs.

In a cantina on Tatooine, Ventress finds that Savage has a bounty on his head. Taking the job, she goes off to track him. I like to think she wanted to take the job not only for the money but so she could clean up her mess. Savage was obviously a danger to the galaxy and his creation was her fault, and she would end it.

“My former servant, still an animal.”

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Ventress travelled to Savage’s ship. There, she found Maul and Savage torturing Obi-Wan. Leading them away, she woke up Obi-Wan. Giving him one of her lightsabers, the unlikely team-up duelled the Sith brothers. I like to think she gave Obi-Wan her lightsaber not because she thought she could not fight the brothers alone, but because she cared for Obi-Wan’s life. (Yes, I like the idea of a relationship between the two.) The four duelled, but Asajj and Obi-Wan realized that defeat was imminent. They fled to an escape pod and escaped the brothers. Obi-Wan offered Asajj a chance to join the Republic, but she refused, knowing that the Republic was not meant for her. Her fate was meant for elsewhere. This team-up showed that Asajj was now willing to work with Jedi, forgetting her hatred of them in the face of a larger threat. She had changed.

“See? Didn’t kill one. It’s the new me.”

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On Coruscant, Asajj met a rogue Ahsoka. Planning to turn her in for the bounty, Ahsoka changed Asajj’s mind. Asajj found that they were in similar position, both abandoned by their masters. She agreed to aid Ahsoka in exchange for a full pardon from her war crimes from the Republic. Ventress was willing to help Ahsoka instead of handing her over due to her past hatred of the Jedi, making what was once an evil Sith assassin into a reasonable hunter. Ahsoka, after contacting Barriss, asks for Ventress to lead her to an abandoned warehouse. On their way, they are stopped by clone troopers attempting to arrest them, but the two fight back. Ventress does not kill even one trooper, instead only hurting them temporarily. This shows that she refuses to kill innocents anymore, just as she did with Pluma and Krismo. Ahsoka is led to the warehouse, and after a short discussion, even Ahsoka realizes that Ventress is not the same evil Sith anymore. Later, Ventress is attacked by Barriss, and her weapons are stolen.

“My Master abandoned me, and that’s exactly what you did to her. You and your precious Jedi Order.”

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During Ahsoka’s trial, Ventress was also framed. Anakin and Ahsoka could not figure out who could have been the bomber, other than Ventress, and Anakin was determined to find Ventress. He did so, and after a short fight, Ventress began to talk. Although fighting back could be seen as an act of darkness from Ventress, I believe she was merely acting in self-defense. She had experienced far too much pain in her life and she was not going to allow Anakin to arrest her. Revealing that Barriss had contacted Ahsoka, Ventress indirectly proved Ahsoka’s innocence and saved the Togruta’s life. Despite the fact that she was forced to do so, Ventress did a good deed, and I like to think she continues to do good deeds for good people if the time calls for it.

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Ventress. Jedi. Sith. Hunter. Throughout her dangerous life, she has gained so many people and she has lost so many, and yet she still manages to wow us every time. Although flawed and evil at times, Asajj Ventress is a tragic hero. I love her deeply, and I would love to see the continuation of her story, but as that probably won’t happen, I made up and end for her myself. Here it is. Despite what Talzin said about her destiny being linked to the Nightsisters, she belongs to no one. She’s lost everyone, and she still manages to live life proudly. Why is that? She doesn’t need anyone anymore. Why? Because she belongs to herself.

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(This is my dear Ventress, being her own woman.)