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"Such a generous offer, Count. But our loyalty is reserved for only each other. The only reason I am aiding in your search for a new assassin is because long ago, you chose to help me. After this matter is resolved, I hope our paths never cross again."
―Mother Talzin, to Count Dooku[src]

Mother Talzin, revered by the Frangawl Cult as the Great Mother, was the Dathomirian leader of the Nightsister clans of witches before and during the Clone Wars. The coven was located at a village on the planet Dathomir where they lived in seclusion. She was responsible for the unification of the Nightsister clans after the defeat of Mother Zalem in 31 BBY.

Not only did she look after the well-being of the Nightsisters, but she took a special interest in the Nightbrother and Sith Lord Darth Maul. She sent Savage Opress to find his lost brother and bring him back home to Dathomir, where she helped Maul become reborn.

Biography[]

Uniting the Nightsisters[]

Talzin with Naa'leth

A Dathomirian female,[1] Talzin was a member of the Nightsisters prior to the Clone Wars. While birthing her first daughter, Talzin was struck with a fatal affliction, but was enlightened by the spirits of her culture and survived the incident. She subsequently became a shaman of the Nightsisters and eventually united the various Nightsister covens following the death of Mother Zalem in 31 BBY. Whereas previously, competing Nightsister covens had been ruled by a clan mother and a shaman, Talzin, holding both titles, was able to unite her warring people into a single coven, which thrived into the time of the Clone Wars. Talzin's coven also had a close relationship with a clan of Nightbrothers.[5]

Mother Talzin was forced to take the infant Asajj Ventress from her mother and give her to the Siniteen criminal Hal'Sted as payment sometime prior to the Clone Wars in order to protect her clan.[6] Sometime later, Dooku helped Talzin out of some manner of predicament. It is unknown if he was a Jedi Master or a Sith Lord at this stage.

Talzin rarely traveled off-world, but when she learned that one of her witches, Kycina, had given up her infant, whom she dubbed Maul, Talzin took a small group of witches and headed for Orsis to find the Nightbrother. She was told by Meltch Krakko, a Mandalorian instructor from the Orsis Academy where to find him. After subduing Maul, she attempted to convince him to return to his home and face the Nightbrother challenges. Maul refused and said that he only answered to one Master, which Talzin thought was the Falleen headmaster, Trezza. After a brief firefight on an orbital station, Talzin was shot in the thigh, and her witches, along with Maul helped heal her until the Zabrak found Darth Sidious. Sidious told Talzin that the body of a fallen Nightsister was on board and that Maul belonged to him. Talzin and her witches boarded the ship and set off for Dathomir where Talzin was able to heal herself.[7][8]

At some point during the Clone Wars, Talzin wrote a short chapter, entitled Wild Power, which explained the role of the Nightsisters and their usage of the dark side of the Force in the galaxy.[5]

The Clone Wars[]

The attempt on Dooku's life[]

During the Clone Wars, a wounded Asajj Ventress landed on Dathomir to escape Dooku, who had betrayed her at the Battle of Sullust. Talzin stepped in and prevented the Nightsisters from killing Ventress, revealing that she was in fact one of them, later recounting how her clan had been forced to give up Ventress. After she and her sisters healed Ventress with a spell, she promised to help her in her quest of vengeance against the Count. She introduced her to the two most highly skilled Nightsister warriors, Naa'leth and Karis, both of whom would aid her in making Dooku pay for his betrayal. Using her magics, Talzin and the Sisters performed a spell to give the three the ability to be invisible to most, as well a special poison dart to Ventress to dull the Count's senses. She also handed them each Jedi lightsabers, saying that they should use them if Dooku were to engage them and to believe that they are Jedi mounting the attack.

Talzin directing Ventress.

After Ventress's failed attempt, Talzin reassured her that she had proved Dooku was vulnerable, and there were other ways of exacting revenge against him. She contacted the Count, and offered him a new assassin to replace Ventress. Although somewhat suspicious at first, Dooku agreed.[6] Dooku himself made a journey to Dathomir, with the ulterior motive of enlisting the Nightsisters in his Separatist movement, though Talzin quickly rejected the prospect, opting to remain neutral in the galactic conflict--as well as insisting that she was only aiding Dooku because of his help earlier. She promised him a male Zabrak Nightbrother (while enticing him with the revalation that the new assassin would be linked by blood to the late Sith warrior Darth Maul) and Dooku left the planet. Ventress met with Talzin shortly afterward, and the clan mother asked Ventress to travel to the Nightbrother village to choose the most powerful male warrior she could find, under the pretense of merely selecting a mate.[9]

Talzin presents Savage Opress to Count Dooku

Ventress soon returned with a Nightbrother in tow called Savage Opress, the brother of the Sith Darth Maul, (whom Talzin encountered years earlier). Talzin was quite impressed with Savage's physique, referring to him as "strong" as well as a "perfect male specimen". She cast a spell on Savage, causing him to fall unconscious. Talzin then led her sisters in a magic incantation and used it to enhance the abilities of Savage Opress, amplifying his rage, and his physical appearance, giving him a far more muscular bulk and lengthening his cranial horns--an additional spell, however, was set in place to ensure Savage would ultimately be loyal to Talzin. As a final test of Savage's strength and loyalty, the now-monstrous Zabrak was ordered to murder his younger brother Feral, which he did without remorse. Satisfied, Talzin presented Savage with an enchanted blade and afterward Talzin and two Nightsisters, Talia and Naa'leth, brought Opress to Dooku via a Separatist shuttle. The Count gladly accepted his new assassin, and Talzin returned to Dathomir.[9]

Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi were brought into her village soon after, seeking information on Savage Opress (who had massacred two Jedi previously) from the Nightsisters. She initially denied she had any knowledge of Savage's whereabouts and claimed the Nightsisters were an outcast society with no relations whatsoever to the male inhabitants of the planet. Obi-Wan rebuked her lie, stating it was a well-known fact that females were dominant on Dathomir and insisting that she disclose any information she had on Savage. Talzin relented, using her crystal ball to view Savage and informing the Jedi he was on Toydaria. After they left in earnest, Talzin met with Ventress and told her that the time to put her plot in motion had come—she would have to confront the Count herself with Savage's aid. While Ventress believed Opress needed more training, Talzin assured her that he was indeed ready and additionally, they could not keep him a secret forever. Later, a battle-weary Savage returned, having broken away from his loyalty to Ventress and having escaped from both her and the Jedi. Talzin helped him to his feet and told him she would help him obtain the power he needed. She sent him on a quest to find his brother (Maul) who was hiding in exile in the Outer Rim Territories, with the aid of a special talisman.[10]

Battle of Dathomir[]

Talzin tortures Dooku.

When Ventress returned after Opress betrayed her, Talzin accepted her and made her an official Nightsister, although she neglected to inform Ventress that Opress had briefly returned. During their celebration, General Grievous, at the behest of Count Dooku, attacked Dathomir to destroy Talzin, Ventress, and the Nightsisters. During the battle, Talzin used her dark powers to destroy numerous battle droids, but retreated from the front lines early on, so as to ask Daka to raise the Army of the Dead, as well as inflict retribution upon Dooku for ordering the assault. Using a lock of Dooku's hair, Talzin fashioned a Voodoo doll in the Count's likeness, and used it in conjunction with her magic to torture Dooku to the point of near-death. However, Grievous, ordered by Dooku to destroy Talzin, attacked the inner sanctum of the village, where Talzin and Daka were performing their spells, killing the few guards present and murdering Old Daka. Before she could also be executed, Talzin teleported to safety, but with Daka dead, the undead army also perished, and the Nightsisters were virtually destroyed. In the wake of the massacre, Talzin appeared to Ventress, the only other survivor of Grievous' onslaught, telling her that, although the most recent chapter of Ventress' life had ended, and that she must seek a new path, her destiny would always be tied with that of the Nightsisters. With that, Talzin disappeared, leaving Ventress alone.[11]

The return of Darth Maul[]

"Arise, Maul, reborn son of Dathomir."
―Talzin cures Darth Maul.[src]

On his mission given to him by Talzin, Savage Opress found Maul living a seclusive life in a cave on Lotho Minor, and she awaited their return to Dathomir where Maul would receive treatment.

When Savage and Maul returned to Dathomir, Mother Talzin led them to her village, where she removed Maul's spider-like cybernetics and used magicks to create a brand-new pair of cybernetic legs, as well as restore Maul's sanity and memories. When her work was done, she disappeared once again.[12]

The Disappeared[]

Talzin escapes once more.

In 19.1 BBY,[13] Mother Talzin gained the allegiance of the Frangawl Cult on Bardotta, who worshiped her as "the Great Mother." Under her direction, they abducted Dagoyan Masters, draining the Living Force within them into a containment sphere. Talzin later rendezvoused with the cult, who had captured Queen Julia, on Zardossa Stix, she revealed her intention to use a ritual to drain the Living Force from the Queen and absorb it, making her more powerful than the Jedi and Sith combined. However, Jedi Master Mace Windu and Representative Jar Jar Binks were hot on their trail and arrived at the temple. Talzin engaged the Jedi with a lightsaber conjured from spirit ichor but her distraction allowed Binks to free Julia, disrupting the ceremony. The Gungan also accidentally destroyed the containment sphere, causing a massive explosion that killed all the cultists. Her plan in ruins, Talzin dissolved into mist and vanished.[14]

Demise[]

"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[src]

Mother Talzin appears from green mist to speak with Maul.

After Maul was resurrected by Talzin he went to form the Shadow Collective as per her own wishes, Maul was soundly defeated and imprisoned by Darth Sidious, however he was able to escape thanks to the help of his Mandalorian followers.[15] in reality, this was all planned by Sidious, who believed that Talzin had survived the battle of Dathomir due to Maul's resurrection. after escaping a disastrous defeat at the hands of General Grievous, Maul asked Talzin for help and her image appeared from his chest in the form of green mist. Maul explained what had transpired and Talzin concluded that Maul's escape had been planned by Sidious himself in an attempt to draw her out, and told him to rendezvous with the Black Sun's forces on Ord Mantell while she helped him in the form of Brother Viscus and the Nightbrothers to deal with Dooku. Maul and his army come on top in the battle, and he contacted Talzin later to inform her of Dooku and Grievous's capture.[16]

In a secret asteroid outpost, Maul attempted to convince Count Dooku to leave Sidious and join him. Talzin again materialized from Maul's chest and told Dooku to forget their previous feud on account of Dooku only obeying Sidious's orders. She revealed that Sidious was searching for a new apprentice to replace Dooku—just how she herself was cast aside once—and explained her history with the Sith Lord, revealing on top of that, that Maul was her son much to Dooku's surprise. Just like her son a moment she then offered Dooku a chance to join them, destroy Darth Sidious, and rule the galaxy. Shortly afterwards Maul and Dooku were interrupted by an assault by Obi-Wan Kenobi and several other Jedi, Dooku opted to join Maul,[17] though Talzin's son realized that this was a trick and had the Nightbrothers arrange for Dooku to be used as the sacrifice for Talzin's resurrection.[3]

Grievous slays Talzin.

Maul brought Dooku to Dathomir and was received by Brother Viscus, who had survived his fight with Dooku. The Nightbrothers had made the necessary preparations for Maul' mother's revival and sent Dooku to a chamber in a temple that was close to the Nightbrother village so he could be sacrificed. Maul prayed to a monolith, imploring Talzin to manifestate herself, Talzin's essence manifested from the stone and possessed Dooku. She then began draining his life energy slowly killing him. However Darth Sidious and General Grievous arrived shortly after, having tracked and followed Dooku's signal. An intense duel begun. While Maul fought Grievous, Talzin, in Dooku's body, was left to contend with her rival Darth Sidious. After a brief lightsaber duel the Sith Lord mocked Talzin claiming that even if she had Dooku's body she didn't posses any of his skills and then proceded to bombard Dooku's body with Force lightning, forcing a fully reincarnated Talzin to emerge from Dooku's body to fight on Sidious once again. The two rivals insulted one another and attacked each other in an intense display of Force lightning. Although Maul wanted Talzin to take his strength, the tide began to turn against them when Dooku recovered and joined his Master's side. Talzin pulled up a magical barrier around herself as her son implored her to fight on. Knowing that escape was impossible for both, Talzin threw Maul to his ship over his angry objections. As the witch collapsed to her knees from the exertion, Grievous easily bypassed her defenses and impaled her with his lightsabers, killing her. Talzin turned to stone and the magicks faded from her body, ending her life for good.[3]

Legacy[]

Although Maul survived his confrontation with Sidious, his appearance in the galaxy would disappear from galactic affairs soon after. Mother Talzin's book: Wild Power would be collected by Darth Sidious who placed it within his Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side alongside the journals of Sorzus Syn, Darth Malgus, Darth Bane and Darth Plagueis. The book would later be rediscovered by Luke Skywalker on Byss following the final death of the Emperor.[5]

Personality and traits[]

"At times, Mother Talzin shows more concern for reputation than the will of the spirits."
―Asajj Ventress[src]

Mother Talzin claimed that the Nightsisters were loyal to nobody except each other, and she taught the other Nightsisters to only focus on themselves and their sisters.[9][11] Talzin was quite maternal towards Asajj Ventress, even giving her a hug when she returned to Dathomir, showing that she really did consider herself a mother to the rest of the Nightsisters. She was not afraid of war, and comforted Ventress when the younger Nightsister blamed herself for bringing the Separatists to Dathomir, and also defended her fellow Nightsisters with her magic. However when Talzin realized that the Nightsisters were going to lose the battle, she fled.[11]

Although she cared about her fellow Nightsisters, Talzin was also rather sadistic and seemed to enjoy torturing Count Dooku.[11]

Talzin's voice was both deep and eerie, backed up with an otherworldly echo.[5] As a shaman, she acted as a conduit and a mouthpiece of the Spirits, channeling their dark and ancient energy through her gestures and her voice.[6]

Powers and abilities[]

"I am not a natural Force wielder like the Jedi or Sith. I use dark magic to achieve power."
―Talzin[src]

Talzin utilizing a form of Force lightning against invading battle droids

Mother Talzin was an extremely powerful witch and a master of dark magic. She often led the rest of the Nightsisters through incantations, such as when she transformed Savage Opress,[9] and when she baptized Asajj Ventress. 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.[6] She was also one of the few shaman capable of creating objects from spirit.[5] 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.[11] She also displayed the rare ability to teleport, transforming into smoke and vanishing when General Grievous had her cornered,[11] as well as materializing and disappearing from wisps of green mist before Savage Opress after he returned to Dathomir.[12] However, this appeared to cost Talzin her physical body, as there were several instances where parts of her appeared transparent and she constantly exuded a greenish mist.

In combat, Talzin was capable of creating a green protection bubble capable of blocking blaster fire. She was also able to launch Force lightning at the opponent whilst maintaining the shield at the same time. Unlike many other Force Lightning users, Mother Talzin's Force lightning was green. It was also very powerful, able to destroy a B-1 battle droid in one hit.[11] She could also conjure fear-casting illusions.[4] She was able to create a lightsaber-like sword conjured from spirit ichor and hold her own against Mace Windu, who was a renowned Jedi Master and master of a deadly and powerful form of lightsaber combat few encountered, let alone practiced.[14]

Though she never used telekinesis in combat, Talzin was a powerful user of telekinesis, able to lift many types of objects with ease as well as levitate herself, though the full extent of the latter is unknown. 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 even 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.[11]

Behind the scenes[]

Iain McCaig's unused concept art that would eventually become Talzin.

"Well I remember auditioning for her and they said they wanted a Romanian witch type of voice. I don't remember the exact breakdown of the character but I had a very strong sense of Maria Ouspenskaya, who no one will know unless they're in their fifties or sixties. She was in the old black and white werewolf movies from the time of Bela Lugosi."
―Barbara Goodson, about voicing Talzin[src]

Mother Talzin is voiced by Barbara Goodson.[18][19] 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 took part in various classic-era horror movies.[20]

Talzin's look was based on the "Nightsister Sith witch," an unused piece of concept art from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace for what would become Darth Maul.[21]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 StarWars.com Encyclopedia Mother Talzin in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; (backup link)
  2. The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 44 (20 BBY 47–50, Maul on Mandalore)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Head-to-Head
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nightsi"
  7. Restraint
  8. The Wrath of Darth Maul
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Monster"
  10. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Witches of the Mist"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Massacre"
  12. 12.0 12.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Revenge"
  13. The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 23 (PLO5–6, Clone Wars Ace Pilot) dates "Sabotage" to the final month of the Clone Wars, which The New Essential Chronology establishes as occurring in 19.1 BBY. The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 60 (20 BBY 67–70, Sifo-Dyas' Legacy) dates "The Lost One" to 20 BBY. Since StarWars.com Star Wars: The Clone Wars Chronological Episode Order on StarWars.com (backup link) places "The Disappeared, Part II" between those two episodes, it can be concluded that "The Disappeared, Part II" also takes place in 19.1 BBY.
  14. 14.0 14.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Disappeared, Part II"
  15. Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 1
  16. Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 2
  17. Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 3
  18. Barbara Goodson. Power Morphicon. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020.
  19. Barbara Goodson. Voice123.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019.
  20. The Wicked-Cool Witch of Dathomir: Barbara Goodson. Barbara Goodson—Woman of Many Hats. Archived from the original on December 8, 2019.
  21. StarWars.com The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Nightsisters on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link)
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