- "We are close now Vonya—to freedom from our miserable prison planet. And when we open the gate, we will have power beyond measure…the power of the elder gods!"
- ―Mother Zalem, to Vonya
Zalem was the Clan Mother of one of the many Nightsister clans on the planet Dathomir. She succeeded in rallying the warring covens, styling herself as the Queen of the Nightsisters. She conceived a daughter, Ros Lai, with an enslaved Jedi Knight, and used her mate's powers to augment her own connection to the dark side of the Force. When she became strong enough to dispense with him, Zalem murdered her husband and started to rear her daughter as a witch. The child, however, appeared to be deformed, which prompted Zalem to reject her. At some point, the self-styled queen discovered the Star Chamber on Dathomir, and she sought to unlock its secrets and gain access to the Infinity Gate. The effect of Zalem's meddling with that ancient technology resulted in the destruction of the planet Ova. That incident attracted the attention of the Jedi High Council, who sent the Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos to Dathomir. While Vos was unable to stop Queen Zalem by himself, Ros Lai wished to avenge the death of her father, and she ended up killing her mother.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
- Ros Lai: "What kind of family is it that murders a father?"
- Zalem: "Well, our family, dear…and your point?"
- ―Ros Lai and Zalem[src]
Zalem was born on the planet Dathomir within a community of Nightsisters, a society of female darksiders. From childhood onwards, she learned to master the spells of her elders in hopes of becoming a mighty witch.
When she was young, Zalem somehow seduced a Jedi Knight. When she became strong enough in the Force, she murdered her mate, as it was customary for witches to get rid of their "malelings" after mating. She then set out to bring up their daughter Ros Lai as a Nightsister on her own. But the child appeared deformed, and Zalem rejected her, allowing other witches to constantly bully and torture her.
At some point, Zalem brought together many warring covens of Nightsisters under her banner, and she appointed herself as "Queen of Dathomir". She had become the leader of all Nightsisters, a position the founding Mother Gethzerion once held until the Nightsisters broke into separate covens and would regain years later.
The Infinity Gates[edit | edit source]
- "Now, Sisters, with the help of our blue friend here, I will reset the coordinates…so the Infinity wave will be directed at the heart of our enemies... Coruscant!"
- ―Queen Zalem
In 31 BBY, Zalem hatched a plot to reopen the ancient Infinity Gate which lay under the Dathomiri surface. Her plan was complicated when Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos arrived on the planet, investigating the disappearance of the planet Ova. Shortly after Zalem finally gained access to the Gate, she sent a shockwave to destroy the planet Coruscant. However, before the shockwave could hit, Vos and her daughter Ros Lai arrived. Zalem died at the hands of her ambitious daughter, and Vos was able to turn the shockwave in on itself, destroying the Gate forever.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
- "The Mother is dead. Long live the Mother!"
- ―One of the Sisters
After Zalem's death, her murderer was expected to take her role as Clan Mother, but Ros Lai never got the opportunity, as she was foiled and taken away to Coruscant by Quinlan Vos. The Queen of Dathomir's plans for galactic domination had failed, and the Sisters once again split into several competing covens. Eventually, the shaman Talzin was appointed to the leader of the Nightsisters. She succeeded in reuniting the battling Nightsisters clans and stopped the infighting. Under her guidance, the Sisters would have a chance to explore the galaxy as Force-sensitive assassins and mercenaries—which might be considered a fulfillment of Zalem's desire to free the Nightsisters from their prison planet.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "So, Ros Lai... Is this a genuine change of heart? Or simply a clever ruse? Remember, I'm your mother. I wrote the book on betrayal."
- ―Mother Zalem to Ros Lai
Zalem rejected any form of ethics, considering morality acted as a brake on supreme power. The plight of the malelings and of the Kwi didn't seem to count at all, even if Zalem would sometimes promote certain servants into one of her "personal bodyguards". In her view, there was no justice, and the Jedi, these worshipers of the Light, were completely hopeless and misguided.
When the Queen discovered that Ros Lai had been hiding her true powers for all these years, she thought her daughter was 'deliciously cunning'. Indeed, the Queen didn't expect any less from the holder of her lineage, and she truly admired Ros Lai's immersion in the dark side.
Powers and abilities[edit | edit source]
Zalem was a powerful Nightsister, enough to become Queen of the competing covens.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars 23: Infinity's End, Part 1 (First appearance)
- Star Wars 24: Infinity's End, Part 2
- Star Wars 25: Infinity's End, Part 3
- Star Wars 26: Infinity's End, Part 4
Sources[edit | edit source]
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 127 (LAI1–2, Ros Lai)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Nightsisters but Were Afraid to Ask"—Star Wars Insider 122
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Nightsisters but Were Afraid to Ask"—Star Wars Insider Special Edition 2014 (Reprint from Star Wars Insider 122)