By George Bate & Josh Reilly B.
The trailer for the upcoming third and final season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch ended on a jawdropper – that Asajj Ventress is back. The former apprentice of Count Dooku featured heavily in The Clone Wars before starring in the novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. Given Ventress’ fate remains explored in a novel, which itself was based on unproduced episodes of The Clone Wars, we thought it would be a good idea to sum up Asajj Ventress’ journey before heading into Season 3 of The Bad Batch.
Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars Flashbacks
Asajj Ventress was born on Dathomir, the same planet of origin as Darth Maul. Ventress was raised as a Nightsister, a coven of witches led by Mother Talzin. It’s not long in her journey that an infant Ventress is given over to pirate and criminal Hal’Sted. The Siniteen criminal receives and enslaves a young Ventress for years until he is killed. At this point, Ventress is taken in by Jedi Knight Ky Narec, who begins to train her in the ways of the Force on her way to become a Jedi herself.
As she is trained to be a Jedi, Ventress undergoes a devastating loss when her master and mentor Ky Narec is killed by pirates. It’s at this point that Ventress embraced the dark side, which set her on a path to the sinister Sith Lord Count Dooku.
Asajj Ventress in Dooku: Jedi Lost and Brotherhood
Next up for Asajj Ventress are the events of Dooku: Jedi Lost, an audiobook-turned-script by Cavan Scott. Although this story delves into the history of Count Dooku, it provides an early look at Asajj Ventress before the onset of the Clone Wars. In Dooku: Jedi Lost, Ventress is the apprentice of Dooku and is sent on a mission by her master to find his lost sister Jenza. The story largely sees Ventress learn more about Dooku’s background while she grapples with the voice of her former Jedi Master Ky Narec, who urges her to turn away from Dooku and the dark side. Despite these urges, Ventress remains ever committed to the dark side, as emphasized by her ultimate alignment with Darth Tyrannus.
Ventress first crosses paths with Anakin and Obi-Wan in Mike Chen’s Brotherhood novel, in which she interferes in events on the planet Cato Neimoidia (referenced in Revenge of the Sith).
Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars
What follows are the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ventress appears in 14 episodes of the series, and is an antagonist in the 2008 film of the same name. During these episodes, Ventress serves Dooku loyally as he navigates the tumultuous Clone Wars as leaders of the Separatists. Things go awry from Ventress, however, when Dooku’s master Darth Sidious (aka Sheev Palpatine) grows wary of Ventress’ power and orders Dooku to kill her.
After surviving this assassination attempt, Ventress tries to seek revenge against Dooku with the help of Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters. Unfortunately for her, Ventress experiences even more loss when the Nightsisters are massacred by General Grievous and his droid army, under the direction of Count Dooku.
Deeply affected by this loss, Ventress becomes a lone bounty hunter, whose journey crosses those of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano, amongst others.
See below for a complete, chronological list of Asajj Ventress’ appearances in The Clone Wars:
- “The Hidden Enemy”
- The Clone Wars (2008 film)
- “Cloak of Darkness”
- “ARC Troopers”
- “Witches of the Mist”
- “To Catch a Jedi”
- “The Wrong Jedi”
Asajj Ventress in Dark Disciple
Viewers of The Clone Wars who have not read Dark Disciple will likely see the character’s journey as incomplete. That’s because there was originally an arc dedicated to expanding Asajj Ventress’ character and showing her fate, which was unfortunately scrapped when the series was canceled. Thankfully, these episodes were used as the basis for a novel by Christie Golden named Dark Disciple.
Dark Disciple picks up near the end of the Clone Wars. In the story, Ventress is approached by Quinlan Vos, a Jedi Master who has been given the seemingly impossible task to assassinate Count Dooku. Given the difficulty of this task, and the extent to which assassination runs counter to Jedi values and the light side of the Force, Vos partners with Ventress to kill Dooku. While Vos is driven by the desire to complete the Jedi Council’s mission, Ventress still seeks revenge against Dooku for abandoning her and commissioning the destruction of her people.
As their plan unfolds, Ventress and Vos fall in love. This love brings the two characters closer as they begin to trust on and rely upon one another. They both come to realize that the only want to kill Dooku is to embrace the dark side, which leads Ventress to train Vos in the dark side of the Force. Unfortunately, their assassination attempt fails and Vos is captured by Dooku.
With the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, Asajj Ventress eventually rescues Vos from Dooku. However, the Vos who returns is markedly different from the Vos who was initially captured. Twisted and turned by the dark side, Quinlan Vos is darker and his true allegiances remain unclear. When tasked once again to kill Dooku, Vos takes this as an opportunity to kill Dooku and Darth Sidious, with the ultimate goal of obtaining more power.
When they come face-to-face, Vos and Dooku duel. It’s here that Ventress sacrifices her life to save her one true love. It’s this sacrifice that ultimately sees Vos turn back to the light side of the Force.
Asajj Ventress in The Bad Batch
The perplexity of many Star Wars fans upon seeing Ventress’ inclusion in The Bad Batch Season 3 makes more sense when understanding her character’s journey in Dark Disciple. At the end of Dark Disciple, Asajj Ventress is (apparently) dead and laid to rest on her homeworld of Dathomir.
Evidently, however, this is not the case as Ventress seems alive and well during the events of The Bad Batch Season 3, which likely occurs approximately 17 years before the Battle of Yavin.
If you’re like us, you’re eagerly anticipating to see Asajj Ventress return to the fold in The Bad Batch, despite the question marks her appearance creates. Whether The Bad Batch ignores the events of Dark Disciple entirely or conveys that Asajj Ventress didn’t really die / is resurrected remains a mystery. Nonetheless, Ventress is an intriguing character and one whose legacy lives on in the hearts of many Star Wars fans.