- "Sidious is deceiving you—as he once deceived me."
"Then you know to betray the Dark Lord is folly."
"No, Count—to betray one's self is the ultimate defeat."
- ―Mother Talzin and Count Dooku
Talzin was a Dathomirian female who lived during the final decades of the Galactic Republic's reign and became a formidable figure of power during the Clone Wars. On her homeworld of Dathomir, Talzin lived as a shaman and the Clan Mother of the Nightsisters—a coven of Force-sensitive witches who used magicks to manipulate the wilderness around them and rule their male counterparts, the Nightbrothers. Talzin's expertise in magicks was significant enough to attract the attention of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, who came to Dathomir ostensibly to trade dark side Force teachings with Talzin and take her as his own Sith apprentice. Instead, the Sith Lord abducted Talzin's son Maul and took him as an apprentice in her place. Years later, he was presumed dead at the Battle of Naboo after sustaining mortal injuries, but his strength in the dark side allowed him to remain just barely alive. Although Talzin was aware of Maul's incredible survival, she was unable to rescue him and thus remained on Dathomir to plot her revenge against Sidious and his Sith, with her ultimate goal being galactic domination.
When the Clone Wars between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems erupted ten years later, Talzin gained galactic notoriety by selling the services of the Nightsisters as assassins and mercenaries. In the midst of the Clone Wars, Talzin began targeting Count Dooku, the leader of the Confederacy and the newest apprentice of Lord Sidious. Asajj Ventress, a Nightsister-turned-Sith apprentice, had been betrayed by Dooku and returned to Dathomir to seek Talzin's help in exacting revenge. Although their early attempts to assassinate Dooku failed, Talzin had a long-term plan for the Sith Lord's demise: she would provide Dooku with a new apprentice in the form of the Nightbrother Savage Opress, who was also one of Talzin's children. Opress was Maul's biological brother and, after falling under the influence of her magick, became completely loyal to his mother and was hidden in the ranks of the Sith. Ultimately, both Ventress and Opress proved unable to kill the Count and were forced to seek refuge with Talzin once more. While she tasked Opress with locating Maul somewhere in the Outer Rim Territories, she welcomed Ventress back to Dathomir as a full member of the Nightsisters. The world was then invaded by Dooku's droid armies shortly thereafter and nearly all of the Nightsisters were wiped out by the Confederate General Grievous and his forces, with the exception of a child called Merrin, Ventress and Talzin herself. Weakened, the elder Nightsister fled into the spirit world to survive. Shortly after the massacre, Opress returned to Dathomir having successfully retrieved a crazed and crippled Maul. Using what magicks she had left, Talzin reconstructed her son and restored his broken mind.
The act of restoring Maul forced Talzin to surrender her physical body to the spirit realm, but her son pledged to carry her torch of vengeance in a quest to draw out and kill Dooku and Sidious. Maul and Opress did succeed in forming the Shadow Collective as a power base but were quickly found and defeated by Darth Sidious himself. Maul was captured and Opress was killed, effectively halting Talzin's plans for revenge. In the interim, she undertook a scheme to absorb raw Force energy from the Dagoyan Masters of Bardotta. Her manipulation of Bardotta's Frangawl Cult, who revered her as the Great Mother, resulted in the successful abduction and absorption of nearly all the Masters, but the plan was derailed when Jedi Master Mace Windu and Representative Jar Jar Binks interfered with Talzin's attempt to absorb Bardotta's Queen Julia on the moon Zardossa Stix.
Talzin was again forced into the spirit realm, but was presented with a final chance at escape and revenge when Maul was freed from Sidious's grasp and began plotting with his mother to capture and kill Dooku to draw out Sidious. Maul succeeded in capturing Dooku and transported him back to the heart of Talzin's power on Dathomir, where his mother possessed the Count's body and nearly killed him. The torture of Dooku gave the Nightsister enough strength to return to the physical realm, but her ritual was again interrupted, this time by Grievous and Darth Sidious, who had come to end Talzin's threat once and for all. Despite her return to the material world during the skirmish, Talzin was unsuccessful in killing Dooku and was unable to withstand the might of two Sith Lords and their cyborg general. She sent Maul to safety before being slain by Grievous, a death that marked the fall of Dathomir and the end of Talzin's Nightsister coven.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
Rise of the Nightsister
- "Long ago, Sidious came to me on Dathomir. We exchanged secret wisdom—mingled dark side abilities with Nightsister Magicks. He promised to make me his right hand, but instead he stole what was most dear to me…my own flesh and blood. My son!"
- ―Mother Talzin
Talzin, a Dathomirian female, lived during the final decades of the Old Republic prior to the rise of the Galactic Empire. She lived on her homeworld of Dathomir as the mother to her sons Savage Opress, Feral and the child who eventually become known as Maul, who she gave birth to in 54 BBY. She was also a member of the Nightsisters; a coven of witches who used their dark magicks and connection to the spirit world to rule the planet and subjugate their male counterparts, the Nightbrothers. Talzin was a particularly talented witch and was recognized as a spiritual guide for her people. Her prowess in magicks was impressive enough to attract the attention of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who was at the time plotting his rise to galactic supremacy. Sidious came to Dathomir on a special trip to conference with Talzin and intermingle his knowledge of the dark side of the Force with her techniques in Dathomiri magicks. Their relationship brought Sidious to proclaim that he would make Talzin his Sith apprentice and right hand, but was ultimately unfulfilled. Instead, the Dark Lord sensed the potential of the young Maul and abducted him from Talzin, taking the child away from his kinsmen and heritage on Dathomir.
Furious, Talzin resolved to one day take revenge upon the Sith and retrieve her lost son. In the meantime, she continued to lead her coven and protect her people from off-world threats. In 50 BBY, twenty-eight years before the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems, Talzin was forced by the Siniteen pirate Hal'Sted to gift a Nightsister infant to him in exchange for the survival and safety of her tribe. Talzin reluctantly complied, taking the infant Asajj Ventress from her mother and surrendering her to Hal'Sted. The young Ventress was ferried to Rattatak, where she lost all connections to her people on Dathomir and was repeatedly orphaned, eventually coming to join Talzin's enemies in the Sith.
Ten years before the Clone Wars began, Talzin's son—now known by the Sith moniker of Darth Maul—was defeated and presumably killed by the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Battle of Naboo. Although Maul was bisected by a lightsaber, his deep connection to the dark side of the Force allowed him to survive. Crippled and left for dead, the Sith was stranded on Lotho Minor, a garbage planet in the Outer Rim Territories. Although he was driven to insanity by his injuries and isolation, he managed to connect the remaining upper half of his body to a complex set of six cybernetic legs made from refuse and held together by the Force. Talzin meanwhile remained on Dathomir, fostering new hatred for Darth Sidious over his callous abandonment of Maul. Although she was aware of his survival, Talzin did not know where her child had disappeared to and his whereabouts remained a mystery to her. At one point during his exile, Maul was able to lure a scavenger ship to Lotho Minor. While attempting to take control of the ship, Maul expressed his desire to return to Talzin at Mount Gethzerion. However, the ship's crew were able to repel him and he remained trapped on the planet.
It was also around the antebellum of the Clone Wars that Talzin came to know Dooku, a charismatic Jedi Master who would ultimately become the leader of the Confederacy and the new Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious. Dooku and Talzin became familiar when the Jedi rendered aid to the Nightsister in a time of need, though they parted ways thereafter and she added the Serenno noble to her list of targets for revenge—particularly because of his association with Sidious. By this time Talzin had been elevated to the level of Clan Mother and was recognized as both the spiritual and political leader of the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers.
The Clone Wars
The returned Sister
- "Where one sees failure, others see opportunity."
- ―Mother Talzin to Asajj Ventress
When the Clone Wars exploded across the galaxy after the First Battle of Geonosis, Talzin largely kept her clan out of the conflict. Although she did gain notoriety for selling the services of the Nightsisters' warriors and assassins to wealthy clients, Talzin maintained strict loyalty to her clan and refused to ally with either of the warring factions. Several years into the conflict, the long lost Nightsister Asajj Ventress returned to Dathomir, wounded and in need. After being orphaned on Rattatak the young Dathomirian pledged herself to Count Dooku as an aspiring Sith apprentice and Confederate commander, and although she carried out her Master's will dutifully for many missions, Darth Sidious became wary of her growing strength and ordered that Dooku kill Ventress. The command was carried out at the Battle of Sullust, where Dooku ordered Ventress's own Confederate forces to fire on her. She survived but was furious by her Master's betrayal and so traveled back to Dathomir to reconnect with her people and find revenge.
Ventress's return was initially met with hostility from the other Nightsisters who were uneasy around outsiders and unaware of the new arrival's true parentage. Their aggressions were stayed by Talzin, who recognized the lost sister as Ventress and had her carried into their village for care. Talzin led her coven in a ritual to heal and rejuvenate the young woman, using the magicks to show Ventress visions of her life and betrayal by Dooku. The experience left Ventress with a need for vengeance against the Sith similar to Talzin's own, and the two agreed to work together against the Count in retribution for his disloyalty. This set in motion the long-awaited plot for revenge against Sidious, beginning with a mission to assassinate his apprentice and closest confidant. Talzin encouraged Ventress to strike at Dooku at his home on Serenno and selected the clan's two strongest warriors to accompany her on the journey—Naa'leth and Karis. Hoping to maintain anonymity in the attack, Talzin conjured a spirit ichor mist that allowed her assassins to operate in the physical realm while appearing nearly invisible. She armed the three women with a poisoned dart and Jedi lightsabers, ensuring that Dooku would not think the Nightsisters to be responsible for the attack in the case of his survival.
Her foresight proved vital when the assassination attempt failed and Ventress, Karis, and Naa'leth returned in defeat. Ventress was convinced that her bid for revenge was foiled, but Talzin revealed that her plot was only beginning to unfold. Having only narrowly survived the attempt on his life, Dooku was now vulnerable and eager to find a new apprentice to replace Ventress. Mother Talzin jumped at the opportunity and contacted the Count with an offer to replace his lost Nightsister with a highly skilled Nightbrother to train as a pupil. He agreed to meet with Talzin to discuss the specifics of the deal and so traveled to Dathomir to parley with the Clan Mother. During their meeting, Dooku, who was unaware of Talzin's hatred of the Sith, asked that the Nightsisters ally with him and pledge themselves to the Confederacy. Talzin refused, sticking to her original offer of a single Nightbrother—specifically one of Maul's kinsmen. The Count was aware of Maul's prowess and so accepted the deal, leaving the Clan Mother to make arrangements. Her plan was to send Ventress to select a skilled Nightbrother from the men's village on the far side of Dathomir and transform that warrior into a beast slaved to her will. Ventress returned from the Selection with the Zabrak Savage Opress in tow—a Nightbrother who, unbeknownst to all but Talzin, was another one of her sons.
Opress was brought before Talzin, who marveled at his potential before forcing him into an enchanted sleep. She and her coven of spellcasters came together to perform an enhancement ritual, using dark magicks to transform the Zabrak's body and mind. The process was an overwhelming success, causing Opress to grow in both size and ferocity. His free will was largely destroyed by the magicks, making him a puppet who was ultimately loyal to Talzin alone. The true test of that loyalty came when the Nightsisters forced Opress to kill his beloved brother, Feral; Savage complied, murdering Feral in cold blood and proving his obedience to Talzin and Ventress. Satisfied with the results, Talzin gifted Opress with an enchanted pike summoned from the spirit world before taking him to Serenno to deliver him to his new Master, Dooku.
Turning loose a monster
- "You have an important destiny to fulfill, Savage Opress. You, and your brother."
- ―Mother Talzin
Dooku was supremely impressed with Opress and quickly began training him in the dark side of the Force. Although he fulfilled the Count's will with great skill, the Nightbrother remained loyal to Talzin and her clan. On Dooku's orders, Opress assaulted a Jedi Temple on Devaron and slew the Jedi defenders stationed there. His brutal attack was caught on surveillance by the Republic, alerting the Jedi Order and their Grand Army to the existence of this new Sith apprentice. Recognizing the attacker as a member of the Nightbrother clan, Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker traveled to Dathomir to uncover his identity. Their investigations led them to the Nightsister village, where they were received by Mother Talzin in her chambers. She initially denied any knowledge of him, claiming that the Nightsisters lived as outcasts and maintained no contact with Dathomir's men. Kenobi, knowing that Dathomir was a matriarchal society, saw through the ruse and demanded that Talzin aid them. The Clan Mother finally acquiesced, using a crystal ball that she had created to reveal that Opress was heading towards the planet Toydaria.
While the Jedi rushed to intercept the Nightbrother, Talzin met with Ventress and told her that the time had come to strike against Dooku. Although Ventress did not believe that Opress would be ready to fulfill his duty, Talzin insisted that they could no longer keep their pawn's existence a secret and could wait no longer in their attack on the Count. Ventress gave in to the Mother's wishes and followed the Jedi to Toydaria. There, she met up with Opress and challenged Dooku; the Dathomiri duo very nearly killed the Count, but the Sith Lord was able to subdue Opress to Ventress's great chagrin. Being berated by both his Master and his Nightsister mistress, Opress broke down and attacked both of them. The battle devolved into a three-way brawl until Dooku fled the scene, nearly killing Ventress in the process and leaving Opress to face his Jedi pursuers on his own.
With this second attempted assassination a failure and their plan revealed, Ventress and Opress were forced to flee Separatist forces to escape Dooku's wrath. While Ventress went into hiding elsewhere in the galaxy, Opress returned to Dathomir to seek guidance from his mother, Talzin. The grievously injured warrior collapsed in Talzin's chambers and confided in the Nightsister that he was not strong enough to survive being hunted by Ventress, Dooku, and the Jedi. The Clan Mother helped Opress to his feet and revealed that there was indeed a way he could learn such strength. Her other son, Maul, still lived hidden in exile somewhere in the Outer Rim. She gave Opress a magick-imbued talisman and tasked him with finding his brother and learning the path to power from him. Although neither of them knew his exact location, the talisman would guide the Nightbrother to his quarry while the Mother monitored his progress from afar.
The Nightsister massacre
- "What… happened here? Where are the rest of the sisters?"
"Dooku sent his minions to destroy us, but we will survive. We always have."
- ―Savage Opress and Mother Talzin
Sometime after the botched assassination, Ventress returned to Dathomir to once again seek refuge with Mother Talzin. Although Ventress believed she was now powerless because Opress had forsaken the Nightsisters, Talzin welcomed her back with open arms, insisting that she needed to abandon the Sith ways in totality and rejoin her sisters as a member of the coven. The promise of a reprieve from both war and Dooku motivated Ventress to accept the Mother's offer. The coven gathered in the village to participate in Ventress's baptism into the Nightsister clan, a ceremony led by Talzin and her spellcasters. The initiate was bathed in magick ichor while the Clan Mother proclaimed the baptism rites and ultimately declared Asajj Ventress to be a reborn sister of the night. Talzin called for a feast in celebration and joined her clan as they gathered outside the great edifice of the village to recognize the induction of their newest member. The revelry was cut short when the village was attacked by droid bombers—the first wave of an extermination assault on Dathomir launched at Dooku's command by his cyborg Confederate General, Grievous. Recognizing that the war finally reached her world, Talzin rallied her sisters for the defense of their home and lives.
Although Ventress was upset that her presence brought Dooku's wrath upon her people, Talzin encouraged her to push past her regret and use her knowledge of Grievous and the Separatist battle droids to lead their people to victory. The Clan Mother joined her sisters on the front line of battle, using magicks to conjure a protective bubble around herself while unleashing a flurry of destructive lightning on the approaching droid forces. Recognizing that the witches were vastly outnumbered, Ventress informed Talzin that they would need an army to have any chance at defeating Grievous, motivating Talzin to seek out Old Daka, an elder witch who would be able to assemble the required reinforcements. She joined Daka in the hidden cave deep within the fortress, where she asked the elder to summon the Army of the Dead—the reanimated corpses of deceased Nightsisters who would fight under Ventress's command.
Daka's spellcraft helped Ventress to turn the tide of battle against the Confederacy, but Talzin sought additional assurances of victory. Thus, she had two of her attendants retrieve from her chambers a silver orb that contained a lock of Count Dooku's hair that she had acquired during one of their previous dealings. The witch used the lock in a ritual of totem magick that created a miniature figure of the Count that could be subjected to tortures that the true Dooku would feel far away at his home on Serenno. Talzin began her voodoo attack simply by holding the doll over a boiling cauldron, causing blisters and painful burns to appear on Dooku's face. However, she quickly escalated by dropping the entire figurine into the boiling fluid, inducing extreme pain for the Count. As he writhed on the floor of his palace, Talzin used her magicks to reach out and appear to him as a specter breaking out of his torso. She insisted that he call off his troops or face a painful death, but the Sith Lord remained defiant in the face of the Nightsister's magick.
Although Talzin nearly tortured Dooku to death, the Count gathered himself long enough to contact Grievous and order him to abandon the hunt for Ventress and instead find and kill the Clan Mother. The general, having forced Ventress into a retreat, pushed past the remaining defenders and followed the green mist trail of Nightsister magick into their sanctum. He destroyed the enchanted barrier that concealed the hidden cave and killed the witches within, including Talzin's guards and Old Daka. Before he could execute the Mother herself, Talzin vanished into a green smoke, dissolving her physical form and fleeing into the spirit world to seek refuge. With Daka's enchantment over the Army of the Dead broken and Dooku no longer in immediate danger, the battle was a clear victory for the Confederacy. The remainder of the Nightsisters were exterminated by Grievous's battle droids, the only survivors being a wounded Ventress who fled into the Dathomiri wilderness, Yenna, and Jerserra and Merrin, two young girls of the clan.Projecting her presence from the spirit world as a ghostly specter, Talzin found Ventress lost and orphaned once more. Although the younger Nightsister pleaded with her not to leave, Talzin insisted that she move on from this chapter of her life and follow her own path. The conflict had decimated the Nightsister coven and destroyed most of Talzin's power base on Dathomir, but the Mother remained in the ruins of her village to continue pursuing her most pivotal objective: the retrieval and rebirth of her son.
A sacrifice for her son
- "Come. Let us fix what has been broken. Come to me. Come to me. Follow us, son of Dathomir. Follow me, lost one. Come, child of Dathomir. Follow me."
- ―Mother Talzin leads her son Maul back to her
In the aftermath of the massacre, Talzin remained in contact with Savage Opress while he scoured the Outer Rim in search of clues to the whereabouts of his brother. After some time, the Nightbrother found himself on Stobar, where his talisman reacted to dust found in a private hangar. He reported his findings to Talzin, who was monitoring his progress from afar on Dathomir. Understanding that Opress was close to finding his brother, Talzin began making the necessary arrangements to bring Maul back to health without the aid and support she traditionally received from her coven of spellcasters. Opress meanwhile followed the Force and his talisman to Lotho Minor. There, Opress found Maul broken and abandoned in the caverns beneath the planet. He had little memory of his former life and no knowledge of Opress, but agreed to return with his brother to Dathomir under the temptation of revenge against the one figure who he could recall: Obi-Wan Kenobi.
When Savage and Maul returned to Dathomir, Talzin led them to her village, where she removed Maul's spider-like cybernetics and used magicks and some of her own life energy to restore Maul's sanity and memories, while additionally providing him with a new pair of cybernetic legs. When her work was done, she vanished once again, leaving Savage and Maul to begin forming an army with which they could rival Talzin's enemy, Darth Sidious.
She succeeded in restoring her son's mind and body, but the impressive exertion of magick power took a great toll on Mother Talzin. By sacrificing part of her own energies to resurrect her son, she trapped herself in the spirit world, unable to embrace her full strength and without a complete physical body. She now relied on her sons and their rapidly growing criminal army—known as the Shadow Collective—to execute her revenge against Sidious. Maul's obsession with Kenobi caused the plot against Sidious to be derailed multiple times, but he and Opress eventually managed to recruit at army of underworld enforcers backed by the highly disciplined Death Watch exiles of Mandalore. Talzin's son decided to exploit the political turmoil of Mandalore to make the world into the seat of his criminal empire that he would lead against Sidious, Dooku, and the Jedi. The whole scheme was put into jeopardy early on; a faction of the Death Watch turned against Maul and Darth Sidious himself sensed the plot before the initial stages were ever completed. While civil war raged between Death Watch rebels and Shadow Collective loyalists, Sidious found and confronted Maul and Opress. Despite her sons' best efforts, the Dark Lord ultimately proved to be too strong and overwhelmed the brothers, killing Opress and capturing Maul. Talzin's remaining son was taken to the Spire prison on Stygeon Prime, where he was repeatedly tortured by Sidious and Dooku for his attempt at rivalry.
Scheming for survival
At some point, Mother Talzin gained the allegiance of High Seneschal Peteen and the Frangawl Cult on Bardotta, who came to worship her as the "Great Mother." Under her direction, they abducted Dagoyan Masters, draining the Force within them into a containment sphere. Talzin later rendezvoused with the cult, who had captured Queen Julia, on Zardossa Stix, and revealed her intention to use a ritual to drain the life force from the Queen and absorb it to gain her powerful connection to the Living Force, making her more powerful than the Jedi and Sith and rejuvenating her fading physical form. However, Jedi Master Mace Windu and Junior Representative Jar Jar Binks were hot on their trail and arrived at the temple. Talzin attacked the two with Force lightning and engaged the Jedi Master with a blade conjured from magick but her distraction allowed Binks to free Julia, disrupting the ceremony. The Gungan also accidentally destroyed the containment sphere, causing a massive explosion. Her plan in ruins, Talzin shrieked in pain as her physical body disintegrated into mist.
A final bid for revenge
- "That witch never learned—there are those with power, and those who dream of power…and her existence was nothing but a dream."
- ―Darth Sidious
After being revived by Talzin and forming the Shadow Collective as per his mother's wishes, Maul was captured by Darth Sidious and imprisoned, only to break out with the help of his Mandalorian allies. However, this was planned all along by Sidious, who believed that Talzin had survived the battle of Dathomir due to Maul's resurrection. On the run after a disastrous defeat at the hands of General Grievous, Maul implored Talzin for help and her image materialized from his chest in the form of green mist. Maul explained what had happened and Talzin surmised that Maul's escape had been planned by Sidious in an attempt to draw her out, and told him to rendezvous with the Black Sun's forces on Ord Mantell while she sent him aid in the form of Brother Viscus and the Nightbrothers to deal with Dooku. Maul and his army won the battle, and he contacted Talzin afterward to inform her of Dooku and Grievous's capture.
In a secret asteroid outpost, Maul attempted to sway Count Dooku to his cause. Talzin again appeared from Maul's chest and told Dooku to forgive their previous disagreements on account of Dooku only following Sidious's will. She revealed that Sidious sought a new apprentice to replace Dooku—similarly to how she herself was cast aside—and explained her history with the Sith Lord, also revealing that Maul was her son much to Dooku's shock. She then offered Dooku a chance to join them, destroy Sidious, and rule the galaxy together. Shortly afterward Maul and Dooku were interrupted by an attack by Obi-Wan Kenobi and several other Jedi, and Dooku opted to join Maul, though Talzin's son realized that this was a ploy and had the Nightbrothers arrange for Dooku to be used as the sacrifice for the Mother's resurrection.
Maul brought Dooku to Dathomir and was greeted by Brother Viscus, who had survived his battle with Dooku. The Nightbrothers had made the necessary preparations for Talzin's revival and escorted Dooku to a chamber in a temple near the Nightbrother village so he could be sacrificed. Maul prayed to a monolith, imploring Talzin to reveal herself, and Talzin's essence manifested from the stone and possessed Dooku. She then began draining his life energy. Darth Sidious and General Grievous arrived shortly after, having tracked Dooku's signal. While Maul dueled Grievous, Talzin, in Dooku's body, was left to contend with her rival Darth Sidious. After a brief lightsaber duel the Sith Lord bombarded Dooku with Force lightning, forcing a fully rejuvenated Talzin to emerge from Dooku's body to take on Sidious once again. The two rivals traded barbs and attacked each other in a ferocious display of Force lightning. Although Maul begged for Talzin to take his strength, the tide began to turn against them when Dooku recovered and joined his Master's onslaught. Talzin pulled up a magical barrier around herself as her son implored her to fight on. Knowing that escape was impossible, Talzin threw Maul to his ship over his desperate objections. As the witch collapsed to her knees from the exertion, Grievous bypassed her defenses and impaled her with his lightsabers. Maul cried out in despair as Talzin turned to stone and the magicks faded from her body.
Although Maul was able to escape Dathomir alive, Sidious judged him as no longer being a threat to the Sith rule of the galaxy. Thanks to Talzin's sacrifice, Maul ultimately managed to survive the Clone Wars and wound up hiding on Malachor where he continued plotting revenge against the Sith and their Empire. Many years later, Maul attempted to recruit the young Ezra Bridger as an apprentice, recounting how he was ripped from his mother's arms by Sidious. After escaping Malachor, Maul lived for a time on Dathomir, taking up residence in Talzin's old chambers while he studied Nightsister magick. Maul would later be killed by his nemesis Kenobi on Tatooine.
Both Ventress and Merrin, survivors of the Nightsister massacre, were left alone by Talzin in the aftermath of the battle, leaving them to fend for themselves in the belief their leader had also perished at Grievous's hands. Ventress went on to become a bounty hunter and was later enlisted in a Jedi plot to assassinate Dooku. Ventress would speak of the Nightsister massacre while training Quinlan Vos on Dathomir, seeking to instill within him her hatred for the Sith. Shortly after Talzin's own death, Ventress would ultimately give her life to save Vos from the dark side and be reunited with her clan once her body was returned to the waters of the Nightsister village. Merrin, meanwhile, survived in the wilds of Dathomir, taking control of the surviving Nightbrothers after Talzin's death and becoming highly proficient with Nightsister magicks much like her former Mother. For a time Merrin also sought vengeance for the massacre of the clan, but five years after the end of the Clone Wars she left the planet to join Great Jedi Purge survivor Cal Kestis and his crew on their mission to rebuild the Jedi Order. At one point, in order to cloak their ship with a magical spell, she asked the fallen Mother and her sisters to lend her their strength through a magical talisman.
Personality and traits
- "No one remains. This is all my fault. Where do I go? What do I do?"
"This chapter is over. Your destiny will always be linked with ours, but you have your own path to follow now."
- ―Mother Talzin tells Ventress to leave Dathomir and start a new life
Mother Talzin's main loyalties laid with the Nightsisters and with her son Maul, and her primary goals were to exact revenge against Darth Sidious and eventually rule the galaxy alongside her son. In service to these grander aims she was duplicitous and manipulative, able to control various different factions in a puppetmaster-like fashion to achieve her goals, all while maintaining a facade of loyalty to her various underlings who were none the wiser to her true intentions. While she was ultimately overcome and defeated by Sidious, she possessed a shrewd and tactical mind and was able to go toe-to-toe with the Sith Lord for a time, accurately predicting his movements and adjusting her own strategies accordingly.
As the leader of her Nightsisters, Talzin taught them to be loyal to nobody except each other and to only focus on themselves and their sisters. As their leader and shaman, the Nightsisters obeyed her orders without question, as did her other followers such as the Frangawl Cult. Acting as a maternal figure, she was very sympathetic and kind towards Asajj Ventress, aiding her and giving her a hug when she returned to Dathomir. While initially helping Ventress in her quest for revenge, she was also adamant in her belief that she should return home and renounce the ways of the Sith. While supportive, she wasn't against deceiving Ventress to advance her own goals, helping Savage Opress after he betrayed Ventress and sending him on a quest to find Talzin's other son, a fact she withheld from Ventress after her return. She comforted Ventress when the younger Nightsister blamed herself for bringing the Separatists to Dathomir, and also defended her fellow Nightsisters with her magick. However, when Talzin realized that the Nightsisters were going to lose the battle, she fled, and rather than continuing to give Ventress sanctuary she told her to leave and find her own path so Talzin could focus on her endgame: vengeance against the Sith.
While she did care for the Nightsisters, Talzin's greatest attachment was to her "beloved son," Maul, which ran contrary to her culture that viewed males as expendable tools for breeding. After losing Maul to her former partner Darth Sidious, Talzin wished to rescue him, and she stated he was what was most dear to her. After Maul was returned to her, Talzin provided some of her own life force to revive him, sent him aid as he carried out her plans for revenge, and eventually, gave her life to help him escape from Sidious. Her protectiveness and love for Maul was reciprocated and Maul was devastated by her death.
Talzin's regard for Nightbrothers other than Maul seemed more in line with the Nightsisters' matriarchal tendencies; despite this, Viscus and the other males under her command respected her leadership and showed concern for her well-being, and were trusted with guarding the heart of her power at the Nightbrother village. While Maul, Feral, and Savage were all her children, she appeared to be fine with using Savage as a pawn in her and Ventress's game for revenge, empowered him with magicks that suppressed his personality and amplified his anger, and allowed Ventress to force him to kill his brother Feral. In private she displayed a much kinder attitude towards him, such as when she comforted Savage when he returned following his betrayal of Ventress, and they regarded each other with mutual respect when Savage arrived on Dathomir with Maul. She also pressured Ventress to treat Savage with respect after his transformation. Despite her apparent fondness for Savage, Talzin never expressed any desire to avenge his death at the hands of Sidious even as she sought to have him killed for betraying Maul.
Talzin despised the Sith and deeply resented Darth Sidious for taking Maul from her and casting her aside. A talented liar, she was able to trick Dooku into believing she was fulfilling a debt she owed him, while in reality was planning on having him killed. She also showed signs of sadism, as she was very gleeful when torturing Dooku. However, she later opportunistically tried to convert him to her cause, warning him about Sidious's true intentions to replace him in the process. She didn't think very highly of the Jedi either, telling blatant lies to Anakin and Obi-Wan when they arrived seeking information on Savage's whereabouts, though she did eventually relent upon further prodding. She displayed a snarky and dismissive side when confronted by Mace Windu, sarcastically declaring she was a "simple witch" and beneath his attention. In her lust for power she was willing to sacrifice innocent Bardottans including Queen Julia to enhance her own abilities.
Powers and abilities
- "I am not a natural Force wielder like the Jedi or Sith. I use dark magick to achieve power."
- ―Mother Talzin
Mother Talzin was an extremely powerful witch and a master of dark magicks, able to manipulate the spirit ichor that flowed from Dathomir's depths in a variety of ways. Unlike other members of her kind, she claimed to not have a natural connection with the Force; despite this, her powers were in fact derived from the Nightsister's unique connection to the Force, which allowed her to craft a crystal ball to see the future or events across the galaxy. She often led the rest of the Nightsisters through incantations, such as when she transformed Savage Opress, and when she made Asajj Ventress into an official Nightsister, as well as when she was able to disguise Asajj Ventress and two other Nightsisters from Count Dooku's detection, transforming them into ghostly versions of their true forms. She also could put people to sleep with the tap of a finger. Talzin was capable of using her powers to torture Count Dooku using a lock of Dooku's own hair even though the Count was on a completely different planet at the time. She was even capable of appearing in more than one place at a time, as shown when a ghostly vision of her appeared from within Dooku's chest, although Talzin's physical body was still on Dathomir. She was also able to contact members of the Frangawl Cult in the form of visions. Talzin was also capable of dematerializing her body, transforming into smoke and vanishing into the spirit world when General Grievous had her cornered, as well as materializing and disappearing from wisps of green mist before Savage Opress after he returned to Dathomir. Using her magicks and a portion of her life energy, she was able to repair Maul's damaged mind and build him a fully functional set of new legs formed from salvaged droid parts, and after doing so could still manifest in the physical world by using her son's body as a vessel.
In combat, Mother Talzin was capable of creating a green protection bubble capable of absorbing blaster fire and Force lightning, although it was useless as a barrier against physical attacks. She was able to launch Force lightning at the opponent whilst maintaining the shield at the same time. Unlike other Force lightning users, Talzin's lightning appeared green in color and was fired in concentrated beams that could home in on multiple targets from afar. It was very powerful, able to destroy a B-1 battle droid in one hit. She was able to create a lightsaber-like sword conjured from magick and survive in battle against Mace Windu, one of the most powerful Jedi in the Order, displaying impressive dueling skills. While possessing Dooku, Talzin was able to use Dooku's lightsaber to briefly hold her own against Sidious, though Sidious remarked that Talzin's skills could not be compared to Dooku's. However her magicks proved to be powerful enough, at least while on Dathomir, to challenge Sidious's dark side powers, and it took the intervention of both Dooku and Grievous to overcome her.
Though she was never known to use telekinesis in combat, Talzin was a powerful user of telekinesis, able to lift many types of objects with ease as well as levitate herself. She could also incinerate or form objects with her magic, as she was able to melt the silver orb that contained Count Dooku's lock of hair, as well as create a drinking cup for Dooku when he visited her. She could set things on fire simply by using her magicks, as shown with the large pot that contained Count Dooku's Voodoo doll. Although Talzin was extremely powerful, she asked one of the elder Nightsisters to use a resurrection spell, showing that she may not have mastered the ability to resurrect the dead.
Talzin's magicks were said to be strongest on Dathomir; her power was such that Darth Sidious himself believed that even an entire droid army would be unable to defeat her there. After sacrificing her life energies to her son she receded into the spirit world, and could be revived with a sacrifice in a temple near the Nightbrother village. Within this temple her spirit was able to emerge from a stone monolith to directly possess Dooku, drain his life energy, and even regain her physical form, though upon receiving a fatal injury she was permanently destroyed.
Behind the scenes
- "Well I remember auditioning for her and they said they wanted a Romanian witch type of voice."
- ―Barbara Goodson, about voicing Talzin
Mother Talzin is voiced by Barbara Goodson, who is world famous as the voice of another sorceress, Rita Repulsa, among many other roles. When Goodson auditioned for the part, she was told that the creative staff of The Clone Wars wanted a "Romanian witch" type of voice. Because of that, Goodson's ensuing vocal performance was inspired by the late Russian actress Maria Ouspenskaya, who notably portrayed the fortune teller Maleva in the 1941 classic horror film The Wolf Man.