Tag Archives: Mother Talzin

Gender in the Saga – SWBTF #23

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Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week hosts Mark and Nathan are joined by special guests Kelly of Big Shiny Robot and Nanci of Tosche Station Radio!
The ladies provide a female point of veiw this week as we focus on gender and sexism in the films and in the EU.
They look at the thin line of portrayal of strong and sexy characters.
Personality goes a long way. Sometimes it’s not about the gender, it’s the character’s personality, these characters don’t need to be made “sexy” they just need to allowed more page time.
Is the “catsuit” of Mara Jade’s just a publishing agenda?

Is the Dark Side sexier?
Cue Mother Talzin: “Yes… yes I am…”

One lesson Nathan learned in Star Wars is that the Empire is bad, anti-alien, and very sexist. And yet we have examples of women within the regime. In universe it seems equality is used well.
Mon Mothma was a chief of state. Even Leia, and no one batted an eye. Daala had a chance to show her stuff in the recent Fate of the Jedi series.

In Fate of the Jedi we were shown a very brutal father daughter scene, was it Sithly enough to work? Or was it too far? The hosts look into this hot topic.

Has the EU been gearing readers to the Dark Times of the Empire? As in it gets harder to shock the readers who are as up to date as possible? Humor runs rampant during this week’s episode. As does the name-calling!
One of the things that bothers Nathan is the occasional gratuitous, over-sexed scenes that we get with the strong characters, hailing back to the films with Leia and her slave outfit.
This gets the hosts pondering if it was purposeful?
Was it a “We can sell posters” mentality?
A basic rule: Give Jaina a lightsaber and let her be AWESOME!

Girls love Star Wars too! Merchandising needs to reflect this! It’s time for the Dathomir Nightsister battlepack! Her Universe appeals to not only girls, but fellas too, yet has created a hub for fangirls to gear up.

Kelly explains what any guy dating a fangirl needs to buy her. Yes it’s a 4 letter word: YODA!

Has sexualization been a taboo topic for Fandom? Is it a “Hot potato” topic? Does Fandom need to be ready for certain themes to be explored? Fandom can occasionally suffer from the “powder keg” effect. Twitter recently exploded over EUCantina’s gender themed articles. Sometimes the powder-keg effect gets fans so riled they miss the point of articles. Such is human nature. And everyone has an opinion. They hosts then turn to the different novels/comics that focus on leading ladies.
The ladies both agreed that The Courtship of Princess Leia had the potential to be a Leia-centric novel, but due to poor characterization it failed to capitalize on the potential.

In the end you can’t please 100% of the people, 100% of the time.

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The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 22 Review

Hello and welcome to our final review for season four of The Clone Wars! Season four has certainly been a wild ride, but did the last episode live up to its predecessors? In the season finale Maul has returned, angrier than ever, and looking for revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi! Below are my thoughts on the finale and a look back on the season.

In the beginning of the episode, Savage has taken Maul back to Dathomir in order to be healed by Mother Talzin. After getting some awesome new legs, not unlike the legs we’ve seen in the Visionaries comic, Maul plans to exact his vengeance on the Jedi. I found it interesting how, even after Talzin healed Maul, he still struggles with the Force. For a character that we know will be reoccurring at least in the next season, I think it’s fantastic that a villain in the show will have his own problems with the Force, and will have to not only fight the Jedi, but rebuild to his former level of strength at the same time. I’m curious to see how Maul evolves throughout next season, and if his path crosses with Sidious, and what that outcome would look like. Will he join the Separatists? Will he form a rivalry with his replacement, Dooku? His mind is on one track, revenge, but judging by his patience at the end of the episode, he’ll take any route necessary if it means getting Kenobi.

Star Wars: Visionaries Maul vs The Clone Wars Maul

Another big topic of the episode was Ventress. Now, having been betrayed by the Separatists, the Sith, and being the only Nightsister left (besides Mother Talzin), Ventress’s new career as a bounty hunter has driven her into an alliance with Kenobi. This sets up a battle between Asajj and her former servant Opress, and Obi-Wan and his master’s killer. To put it simply, it was incredible! We’ve seen a lot of lightsaber duels in The Clone Wars, even some that might’ve been similar to this one. But the fact that it were four people, one of whom could be considered a giant, in a tiny cargo hold of a ship that’s filled with supplies made it even more intense. Plus the banter between Kenobi and Ventress, which I have severely missed over the past few seasons, really added to the episode. As someone who watched season one, I greatly appreciated the nod to their established character relationship, making their alliance a highlight of the episode.

Something I would like to discuss was when Maul could feel Obi-Wan’s rage. And it could’ve been something small that Maul just said to distract Obi-Wan, but what if this was something that could affect Obi-Wan later on? It would certainly be something to shake things up since Obi-Wan throughout all the films really never struggles with any issues similar to Anakin’s. So if Maul struggles with re-mastering his Force abilities and Obi-Wan starts to struggle with his rage against Maul, pitting the two disadvantaged characters against each other is a cool concept.

Revenge was a very good episode. And I think that this is the first finale where we get left on a cliffhanger ending. I loved how Maul was portrayed, and the alliance between Ventress and Kenobi that will continue into the next season. I really think that this episode was the strongest finale we’ve seen yet for The Clone Wars.

I would also like to say that season four of the series was the best it could possibly be, and easily the best season of The Clone Wars yet. It had a bit of a rocky start, nothing too bad, but nothing fantastic. We’ve seen episodes like the Mon Calamari ones before, and the Jar Jar episodes weren’t too bad either, but very predictable. I think when I reached the Krell arc I was amazed with season 4. The writing suddenly skyrocketed, the action intensified, and the stories became suspenseful and totally unpredictable. Since then, we’ve gotten stories about mandalorians, bounty hunters, Nightsisters, and slavers. This was not a boring season by any means, and there was a huge variety of stories packed into twenty two episodes, which are all beautifully animated. I was so impressed with how this season turned out compared to the last one that I can’t wait for season five, and to see what they can improve even more! Great work Clone Wars team!

And that wraps up my final review for the season! I would like to thank you all for reading these over the past months; I can’t wait to come back and start reviewing season five! Anyways, if you have any comments regarding this last episode, or the whole season, feel free to leave a comment below! See you in September and may the Force be with you… always!

-Ryan

 

The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 19 Review

Hello and welcome back to another review of the latest installment in The Clone Wars! This week Asajj Ventress returns home to the Nightsisters, and Grievous leads an attack to destroy the Dathomiri tribe, in the strangest and possibly darkest Clone Wars yet, “Massacre”. This is season four, episode nineteen, which means we only have three episodes left until the end of the season, and these last few episodes look fantastic judging from the new trailer we saw last week. Really though, if you have not seen that trailer, watch it now! Okay, enough about future episodes (I’m sure I’ll bring them up again at the end of my review.), time to talk the latest episode!

This episode revolves entirely around the Nightsisters, over a year later from when we saw them last. This episode starts with Asajj returning to Dathomir after an unknown amount of time wandering the galaxy since her betrayal in the last season. It has me wondering why this episode (and the next episode) will be focused on Asajj so much, since “Massacre” continued right where the conflicted character of Asajj left off, I wonder if this will be the end of Asajj’s character, one way or another. She’s a character we’ve been seeing less and less in the series since season one, and honestly, I just don’t see her going back to the Sith, or making anymore mayhem for the Jedi in the war.

So how will they take this character out of the series? The more I watch it, the more I feel like they’re going to go the comics route and allow her to escape and flee into hiding, which would be pretty awesome. I think an ending like that would capitalize the tragedy that her role has turned into, first being betrayed by her master, then by Savage, and then being the last of the Nightsisters. I’m also wondering if she will even be around long enough to face Obi-Wan again, or maybe even Savage. One thing I hope doesn’t happen is leaving her character at a cliffhanger again, letting us guess where she is and what she’s doing for another year.

Massacre was, I would say, the most out-of-universe episode to date. Some parts just didn’t feel like Star Wars, which I guess was bound to happen when you’re creating an episode about a group of witches. But there were lots of things that kind of made me wish for a little familiarity in this episode (besides battle droids). Instead of using the Force, the Nightsisters replaced it with their magic, summoning Nightsister zombies to their aid in battle, (those were really weird, and well-designed I might add). There was one part that even reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with the voodoo doll, to torture Dooku, even at one point allowing Talzin to emerge from his torso to warn him. There were no Jedi, no clones, and no good guys in this episode. This was a brawl of the baddies, and combining that with the bizarreness of the Nightsister’s magic, and you’ve got one strange episode, not knowing who to root for, if anyone.

One thing I’d like to touch on briefly before I wrap up my review is the return of some season one technology. The “Defenders of Peace” Defoliator tank is back; it’s always great to see stuff from past seasons show up in current episodes, even though it is strange it’s taken this long for it to show up again. Hopefully we’ll be seeing it in some large scale battles soon.

Is this the end of her story?

All in all, “Massacre” was a very unique episode, the red colors of the world of Dathomir fit the dark and evil mood perfectly. Like I said before, it did not feel as much like a part of the Star Wars universe as I would have liked, but the story was decent, exciting, and the ending left me with a great sense of uncertainty for Asajj, and pity for her character. And that wraps up my review this week! What did you think of the episode? Love it? Hate it? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Thanks for reading, and I cannot wait for next week’s episode with the return of some classic characters! May the Force be with you… always!

-Ryan

 

Clone Wars Trailer Speculation: Darth Maul

Speculation on the final three episodes of The Clone Wars Season 4

A few days ago we were treated to a trailer for the 4-part season finale of The Clone Wars.  As we have known for a while, Darth Maul will be returning in the last two episodes of the season, and the trailer gives us some great images from those episodes.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the images from the trailer and do some speculating.  As a bonus we will also look at some images from the preview clip of the next episode called “Bounty” featuring Boba Fett!

This post will be discussing things revealed from the book The Wrath of Darth Maul as well as the latest The Clone Wars episode “Massacre”.  If you are sensitive to spoilers you may not want to read further.

So if you want to know exactly how Darth Maul survived and his current state before The Clone Wars episodes are released, read the last two chapters and epilogue of the young readers novel The Wrath of Darth Maul.  In this book it tells how Savage Opress finds a crazed Maul on the planet Lotho Minor.  Savage first confronts and fights Maul and then helps him recover his memory.  Maul is described as having six, mechanical, spider-like legs.  Judging by the episode description and the clips from the trailer it looks like the upcoming episode “Brothers” will be be covering this part of the story.  Here is the episode description:

After being used as a weapon of vengeance by Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress, the dark warrior Savage Opress embarked on a galaxy-spanning quest to find his long-lost brother, the legendary Darth Maul. Maul lives in the depths of a ruined world as a shattered madman barely held together by dreams of vengeance. Savage conspires with the scheming witch Mother Talzin to heal Darth Maul’s body and mind, so that the brothers can begin a new crusade of vengeance against the Jedi.

My guess is that this first image is Savage fighting off some of the locals on Lotho Minor before he finds Maul.

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In the trailer they never clearly show Maul with his spider-like legs but we do get a couple shots of him skittering by in the shadows.  Here is an image where you can see one of his legs.  It’s hard to tell but it looks like it is made up of twisted cord rather than solid metal.

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Here is an image from the confrontation between Maul and Savage in the cave.  You can see that Maul’s horns have grown out to look almost like antlers and that a couple in the front have been broken off.  The antler style of horns matches the way they look in his appearance in the Visionaries comic story “Old Wounds.”

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You can see in this shot that his horns eventually get filed down to a manageable length.

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Based on the episode description it seems as if Mother Talzin will have something to do with getting Maul fixed up with his new legs.  This will likely mean replacing his cobbled together spider legs with the more practical, bipedal, metal legs we see in the trailer.  In this image Maul is on an unknown planet that looks a lot like The Force Unleashed‘s version of Felucia.  There is a group of unlucky people in his path (are they children?).  He is using what looks like half of his damaged lightsaber we know from The Phantom Menace.  If this is the same lightsaber, how did he get it back?  Will we not see Maul with the double-bladed version at all?

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What would a good Darth Maul resurrection story be without a confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi?  In the trailer we see Maul’s metal foot stomp down and Kenobi standing off in the distance.  It looks like they also kept the design from the Visionaries story and gave him clawed feet.

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We can do this for old times’ sake.  But I was a Padawan then… now… you won’t heal clean! – Obi-Wan Kenobi from “Old Wounds”

And it looks like not only does Obi-Wan have to face Maul but also Savage Opress!

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Savage Opress and Ventress will have a face-off as well.

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Then we get the most revealing image of The Clone Wars version of Maul yet.  Mechanical legs and all.

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Looks like they pretty much stuck to the design from the Visionaries comic, right down to the collar thing and arm gauntlets.

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Now let’s move onto some images from the upcoming episode “Bounty”.  The Nightsisters have been all but wiped out by General Grievous and Count Dooku.  Ventress is now on the run and is looking to join up with a group of bounty hunters with some very familiar faces.  With the preview clip and images from this episode, some really cool stuff has already been revealed.

Looks like Embo has a pet anooba.

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We get our first look at The Clone Wars’ version of Dengar!

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Boba Fett has a new helmet, but it’s not the one we are used to.  He is heading up a team which includes Bossk.

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Asajj Ventress doesn’t seem too impressed with Fett, even with his new haircut.

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We also get to see Boba Fett in action with his new helmet and what looks like his father Jango’s pistols.

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I cannot wait to see these last three episodes of Season 4.  This show just keeps getting better!

- Aaron Goins

 

Momma Ain’t Happy, Nobody Happy: Mother Talzin and The Clone Wars

In the past year we have been introduced to a major new player on the Dark Side stage, Nightsister Clan Mother and Shaman Mother Talzin.  First introduced in last season’s three-part The Clone Wars story arc, dubbed “The Nightsisters Trilogy,” Talzin has gone on to appear in some recent Expanded Universe works, most recently in Dan Wallace’s Book of Sith.  As we get ready for Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters of Dathomir to return to The Clone Wars, lets take a look at what we have learned about Mother Talzin, her clan, and how they are connected with the rest of continuity.

In The Clone Wars we are introduced to Mother Talzin in episodes 3.12-3.14: “Nightsisters,” “Monster,” and “Witches of the Mist.”  Along with all the continuity changes that take place with Dathomir and the back story for Asajj Ventress and Darth Maul, we are introduced to a clan of dark Magick using witches referred to as the Nightsisters.  The Nightsisters were first introduced by Dave Wolverton in his Bantam era novel, The Courtship of Princess Leia.  Lucas and his Clone Wars team combined the concept of the Nightsisters and some Sith Witch concept art from the prequel films to create the look of the Nightsisters for the show and their leader Mother Talzin.

The clear attempts by the book licensee Del Rey to weave TCW into the novels has resulted in Mother Talzin has received passing reference in James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis novel, a larger role in Scholastic’s The Wrath of Darth Maul, as well as an entire section in becker&mayer!’s Book of Sith.

While Talzin’s reference in Darth Plagueis is more of the passing variety, her appearance in The Wrath of Darth Maul (Wrath) and her “writing” in the Book of Sith have direct impact on the story that will be featured in the concluding story arc of Season Four.  In Wrath, Talzin went to Orsis where Maul was being trained in combat to claim him as a Nightbrother and return him to Dathomir.  Talzin was prevented in this by the appearance of Sidious and she submitted to Sidious’ superior claim to Maul, but she did take a parting gift home with her.  On her way back to her vessel to leave, Talzin brushed an open wound of Maul’s with a talisman capturing his blood upon the magical object.  This talisman will become very important later on.

Also in Wrath we learn that somehow Maul survived his maiming on Naboo and fall down the reactor shaft only to awaken in a dank hole on Lotho Minor were he spent the next decade.  As of that book it was unrevealed if Maul had some mysterious benefactor that saved his life and got him from Naboo to Lotho Minor.  The Book of Sith may provide some answers in a few abilities of the Nightsisters that it described.

What if Maul actually died briefly on Naboo?  In the Book of Sith it lists the talismans that the Nightsisters possessed, one of these was the “Talisman of Resurrection” that allows them to return a spirit back to it’s body, the sooner this is done though the better shape the physical body will be in.  What if Mother Talzin arrived on Naboo just in time to use this talisman on Maul?  This poses the further question of how would she have known where and when to be to save Maul?  Well we know she already had the talisman with Maul’s blood on it that she could use to track him, but she also had the ability through divination and scrying to “view events occurring anywhere in the galaxy.”  This is the arability that she used when meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to locate Savage Opress for them in “Witches of the Mist.”

So we now have an explanation of how Maul could have been returned from the dead as well as rescued by Mother Talzin.  But if Mother Talzin saved Maul, why not keep him on Dathomir?  Well the ability of divination allowed her to see multiple possible futures, perhaps she foresaw the return of Ventress and creation of Savage Opress and is playing out events according to her visions.  Leaving Maul in a safe and secluded place was the best option for her.  Leaving his mind broken also kept him from making any trouble.

We also learn that Mother Talzin is a bit of a charismatic leader, not only did she defeat Mother Zalem, but she unified warring Nightsister tribes into one coven and assumed the dual roles of Clan Mother and Shaman.

In Season Three we saw Mother Talzin exhibit a number of abilities, such as the ability to conjure a weapon from thin air for Savage Opress, to use the waters of life to heal Ventress’ body and mind, and to mesmerize Savage Opress.  Based on the waters of life ritual we know Talzin could have healed Maul’s mind and injuries following the events on Naboo, but she did not.

The biggest revelation regarding Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters is that they and she know about Mortis.  The Nightsisters spirituality is centered on two beings, the Winged Goddess and the Fanged God, who are depicted and described just like the Daughter and Son from Season Three’s Mortis Trilogy.  Mother Talzin believes that there is a spiritual realm and a physical realm, this Winged Goddess and Fanged God exist on the spiritual realm, but through their magicks the Nightsisters are able to bridge the gap between the two realms and tap into the power granted by the Goddess and the God. In fact she claims that she experienced a near death experience that brought about her connection to the spirit realm, and it is this through this connection that “the spirits pull upon the folds of my robe as I walk and echo beneath my voice when I speak.” (Book of Sith pg. 100)

The Book of Sith goes into great detail listing other abilities and aspects of the Nightsisters’ culture that will undoubtedly show up in The Clone Wars at a future point, but it is clear from our examination that Mother Talzin has some very strong powers and some very curious connections with the Force wielders of Mortis.  In appearance they are rather similar to the Son in particular.

The question becomes, what is Mother Talzin’s role in the saga and what are her real goals during the Clone Wars?  If I may speculate, I believe she is trying to cultivate a trio of instruments by which she can rule the galaxy.  Perhaps her goal is to position Maul, Opress and Ventress so that all three are under her influence and control.  One of the interesting features of the Book of Sith is that Ventress commented in the margins of Mother Talzin’s writing, the tone of her comments makes me think she at some point grew disillusioned with Talzin and ends up either trying to usurp Talzin’s position or leaving the Nightsisters all together.

The future is always in motion, but one thing is for sure, Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters are playing a much more central role in the Clone Wars era then we ever thought they would be.

~ Peter