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Dathomirians, also known as Dathomirian Zabraks and Dathomiri, were a subspecies of Zabrak native to the planet Dathomir. During the Clone Wars much of the species was eradicated due to earning the ire of the Sith, and by the time of the Galactic Civil War, the last known survivors of the Nightsister clan were Shelish, Yenna, Jerserra, and Merrin, although there were other Dathomiri witch clans on the planet.

Biology and appearance[]

A Dathomirian Nightbrother

Dathomirians were a subspecies of Zabrak native to the planet Dathomir.[1] Dathomiri showed considerable sexual dimorphism. Female Dathomiri had white, blue, or gray skin with various hair types.[2] Male skin was commonly peach or yellow. Few had red skin.[3][4] Male Dathomirians had horns, however, females did not.[3]

The Dathomiri had tattoos on their body that represented their tribal heritage. The male Zabraks, particularly those belonging to the Nightbrothers, had natural striping which they embellished with tattoos. The females, particularly those belonging to the Nightsisters, had more subtle tattoos that were in contrast to their pale skin.[1] Tattoos were made using the mushling. The pods of the mushling were boiled down into a yellow paste, and then mixed with pigments like clay, ash to create a variety of colors.[7]

Many Dathomiri were force-sensitive, including the witches that lived on their native planet.[10] Some male Dathomiri were capable of rudimentary force abilities,[7] while a few, like Savage Opress and Maul, were exceptionally good at manipulating the Force due to their training.[3][4]

They aged even faster than humans, by the time a Dathomirian was around 50 years old, they were already old age.[11]

Society and culture[]

Several Nightsisters

Dathomirians were a reclusive people and hid dark secrets.[12] Female Dathomiri lived as witches. Their society was matriarchal in nature, meaning females, particularly the Nightsisters, were dominant in society.[10] Nightsisters titled their leaders Mother.[13] Nightsisters were particularly skilled in using dark side magick and voodoo, which had such powers as raising the dead,[6] or making one invisible.[8]

Some female Dathomirians lived in clans,[14] while others were of no clan[15] There were different witch clans on Dathomir, which included the Nightsisters,[8] the Nardithi Nightsisters,[16] the Blue Coral Divers Clan, the Singing Mountain, and the Howling Crag.[15]

A ritual known as the Selection happened when females wanted to choose a mate. Males would undergo brutal trials to prove themselves. The winner would become the Nightsister's mate and servant.[3]

A Nightbrother archer

Males, particularly the Nightbrothers, were non-dominant in society, and lived separately from the females. They were tribal in nature, and lived a violent and brutal life.[3] Sometime after the Battle of Dathomir, the Nightsister Merrin made the Nightbrothers her servants.[7]

Nightbrothers were accustomed to engaging in rites of passage; one such practice involved covering their faces with thin, dark tattoos. The best and boldest of the Nightbrothers faced another sort of rite of passage in which they battled beasts known as chirodactyls. Those that faced these behemoth creatures and survived were deemed worthy.[7]

Nightbrothers practiced painting glyphs using acid from hydraatis on hard rock surfaces. Their usage of it was deliberately careful to preserve accuracy and damage to themselves. Those who were master calligraphers—rare positions within the society—were extremely valued for their talents.[7]

The Nightbrothers respected power and honor, often fighting in a combat arena to demonstrate their strength with intent to win. Although hostile to outsiders, one that proved powerful could be given substantial influence over the group, be it through respect or fear, even allowing them to gain leadership over the society and worship.[7]


A group of females, known as the Nightsisters, were the most dominant clan on Dathomir. They used the Zabrak Nightbrothers as mates and servants.[10] One mother, Talzin, gave birth to three sons, Savage Opress,[17] Feral,[18] and Maul. Talzin lost Maul to the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who took him as his apprentice.[19] Later, Talzin was forced to give Hal'Sted a child, Asajj Ventress, in order to protect her clans.[8]

Clone Wars[]

Mother Talzin, leader of the Dathomiri Nightsisters.

Following Ventress' betrayal at the hands of Count Dooku, Talzin and Ventress planned their revenge upon Dooku.[8] Talzin allowed her son, Savage, to become Dooku's apprentice[3] with the intention to kill the Count. However, Savage and Ventress failed.[10] In response, Sidious and Dooku ordered General Grievous to wipe the Nightsisters out. Only Ventress, Talzin,[6] Shelish,[20] Yenna,[15]Jerserra,[16] and young Merrin[7] survived Grievous' onslaught. Savage, discovering his brother Maul was alive,[21] brought him back to Dathomir. There, Talzin was able to restore Maul's mind, memories, and body, building him a new set of metal legs.[22] Following the death of Savage,[23] Maul and his Shadow Collective joined forces with Brother Viscus and his Nightbrothers.[24] However, the Nightbrother village came under attack and only Maul was able to escape.[25] The surviving Nightbrothers retreated to another village.[7]

Age of the Empire[]

Strong willed and defiant, Dathomirian Zabraks fought against the Galactic Empire's escalating attempts to subvert them. Rather than surrendering, many joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, fearlessly fighting their oppressors.[26]

A young Jerserra was found on the planet by a female Inquisitor and taken for secret training.[16]

During the age of the Empire, the Nightsister Merrin, a survivor of the Battle of Dathomir, encountered the Jedi Master Taron Malicos, who crashed on Dathomir following Order 66. Malicos, who fell to the dark side of the Force on Dathomir, manipulated Merrin, wishing to learn their magick. When the former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis visited Dathomir in search of the Tomb of Kujet, Merrin realized Malicos was deceiving her. She was reluctant to fight alongside Kestis as all she knew was that an armored-warrior brandishing a lightsaber had killed her people. Kestis reassured her that he was on her side, and he had shared his own story of a grief-stricken past. After working together to defeat Malicos, Merrin joined Kestis' crew aboard the Stinger Mantis.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

Dathomirian Zabraks first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.[4] They appeared in the 2017 video game Star Wars Battlefront II as playable skins for the Heavy classes of the Rebellion and Resistance.[26]


Non-canon appearances[]


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Notes and references[]

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