Star Wars Echoes, a series of articles written at the official site, examines the lives of two characters — seemingly very different on the surface — and how they’re often more similar than we might think. This time it’s Asajj Ventress and Sabine Wren….
Both were born to loyal, tight-knit familial clans…and then sent away.
Beneath an impressively-carved fortress on the planet Dathomir lived the witch-coven known as the Nightsisters. Hunting alongside one another, led by Mother Talzin, the Nightsisters harnessed the power of the dark side and were content to remain separated from the conflict tearing through the galaxy, keeping to themselves and their arcane ways. The sisters raised young Asajj to be one of their own until the day they were forced to surrender the girl to the pirate Hal’Sted in order to protect the clan. After years of hardship, training and suffering, Ventress returned to Dathomir and the Nightsisters, hoping to rally her clan against Count Dooku and the Sith. Unfortunately, their betrayal earned the coven Dooku’s enmity; he ordered his droid army to wipe out the lot of them. On another planet touched by the horrors of the Clone Wars, Sabine Wren was born to a completely different clan — Clan Wren of House Vizsla. Also trained from an early age, she became an adept warrior and joined the Imperial Academy. When her weapons skills were used by the Empire against Mandalore and her clan, Sabine — guilty, horrified — spoke out against the Empire and was cast out by her parents and brother. No stranger to hardship and training herself, like Ventress, Sabine eventually returned to her homeworld again. This time alongside a new, tight-knit family with whom she liberated the planet from an oppressive Viceroy and delivered it back into her the hands of her clan.
Their experiences with the Empire and the dark side sent them back into the welcome arms of their respective clans…as well as those who opposed the dark side.
One-time apprentice to Count Dooku — a.k.a. Darth Tyranus — Asajj Ventress opened herself to the siren call of the dark side, more than ready to drink in its secrets and power. Her being, her entire life had been dedicated to its dark energies…first as a Nightsister, then as a would-be Sith. When Dooku betrayed Ventress, the former assassin found herself reeling, nowhere to turn other than to the witches of Dathomir who healed her body, nurtured her mind, and re-focused Ventress’s allegiance back into the power of the clan. Eventually, Asajj would come out in open rebellion against Dooku, his Sith master and the Separatists, leading her on a journey toward those with whom she’d never before considered an alliance: Jedi. Sabine Wren’s life, by comparison, had always been an open rebellion. First against those who’d used her weapons against her family. Then the Empire, alongside a cell of hopeful heroes that grew to a full-blown strategic alliance. Sabine, too, felt the dark side’s siren call — on a mission to save Ezra from Maul’s clutches, Sabine recovered the lost Darksaber on Dathomir and found herself possessed by the spirits of the Nightsisters. Eventually exorcised, she reluctantly carried and trained with the Darksaber, a cruel reminder of her estrangement from Clan Wren. This period would lead to Sabine joining Kanan, Fenn Rau, and the others to helping bring her mother, brother, and clan into peaceful relations with the Rebel Alliance, if not recruiting them outright after freeing them from Gar Saxon.
Bounty hunters? We don’t need their scum…but for a time, these women absolutely did.
Following her exile from Mandalore, Sabine connected with her longtime friend Ketsu Onyo, with whom she’d escaped the Imperial Academy. The duo established a bounty hunting partnership, flirting with recruitment into the Black Sun syndicate. Eventually the two friends parted after a tense situation (reuniting years later, after Sabine was firmly involved with the Rebel Alliance), but for a brief time Sabine could see a life as an intergalactically-known bounty hunter before finding a home on the Ghost. Years earlier, Asajj Ventress found herself alone, as well — her clan had been exterminated by Dooku’s forces, and a sense of purpose eluded the former-Sith apprentice. She turned to bounty hunting to make ends meet, first joining up with Boba Fett’s Syndicate as “No Name” (she betrayed them for the right reasons, an inkling of justice and goodness perhaps sneaking into her heart) and then striking out on her own to some measure of success. Along the way, Ventress entertained odd moments of partnership with those she felt she could trust, including members of the aforementioned Syndicate…and eventually a Jedi disguised as bounty hunter with whom she would fall in love.
Read the full article here.