In Star Wars, the Nightsisters are some of the most mysterious groups of people we’ve ever seen in the lore because of how they possess powers that not even the Jedi or the Sith can completely understand. Of course, we know that the Separatists destroyed these witches during the Clone Wars, only for a few of them to survive the purge. Morgan Elsbeth was one of them, and she answered the call of the Great Mothers when she arrived on Peridea. So, who are the Great Mothers in ‘Ahsoka’?
The Great Mothers are a trio of powerful Nightsisters or Dathomiri. They seem to be the most powerful out of all of the Nightsisters we’ve seen so far, as suggested by the “Great” title that they have. It is also likely that they have been on Peridea for a long time and were also looking for a way to leave their galaxy.
It is worth mentioning that there aren’t many things we know about the Nightsisters due to how strange and mysterious they are. In that regard, the introduction of the Great Mothers and the fact that Peridea was the homeworld of the Nightsisters answers some of the mysteries regarding these strange women. So, with that said, let’s look at what we know about the Great Mothers.
A trio of powerful Nightsisters
In episode 6 of ‘Ahsoka,’ we learned that Morgan Elsbeth’s forces succeeded in getting to an entirely new galaxy. The moment they exited hyperspace, they arrived just outside the Peridea planet, which Morgan Elsbeth called the ancient homeworld of the Dathomiri or the Nightsisters of Dathomir. Baylan Skoll also said that this world was the ancient graveyard of the Purrgil, who only traveled to Peridea when they were already at the tail end of their lifespans.
Upon reaching the surface of Peridea, Morgan, Baylan, and the rest of their allies were greeted by three Nightsisters who were obviously allied with Grand Admiral Thrawn. That’s because they were the ones who told Elsbeth that Thrawn was on his way there. On top of that, they also respected and served Thrawn.
Nevertheless, Elsbeth respected them and understood their power and standing amongst the Nightsisters. Their powers were so great that they could easily tell that Sabine Wren was a Jedi, even though her connection to the Force was weak. One of the Great Mothers said that Sabine reeked of Jedi, which means that they could use their powers to sense her connection to the Jedi.
The Great Mothers also communicated to Morgan Elsbeth from beyond time and space. In episode 2, people wondered why Elsbeth said that she could hear Thrawn from an entirely different galaxy because Thrawn couldn’t have done that due to his lack of Force powers. But it became clear in episode 6 that Thrawn could communicate with Elsbeth by using the powers of the Great Mothers.
Another thing that is worth noting is that they could foresee things using their powers. They could foresee Morgan Elsbeth’s coming as they told Thrawn of this beforehand. Then, later in the episode, they could sense that a Jedi was on their way to Peridea. But this power had its limitations, as they couldn’t sense that Sabine Wren was also there.
It is also possible that they are incredibly powerful and are much more powerful than any other Nightsister we’ve seen. Near the end of episode 6, Thrawn told the Great Mothers that he would need their Dark Magicks once more as he was preparing for the arrival of Ahsoka Tano. This means that these Nightsisters can use spells that some Nightsisters don’t have access to. And there’s also a good chance that they were the ones who revived Marrok.
They’ve been living on Peridea
Back in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ we learned that the Separatists decided to destroy the Nightsisters of Dathomir after Mother Talzin betrayed Count Dooku. We only know of three Nightsisters who survived the genocide. Of course, Morgan Elsbeth was one of the last Nightsisters living in the known galaxy.
Because of that, there’s a good chance that the Great Mothers were never in the known galaxy then. That’s because the leader of the Nightsisters was Mother Talzin, who was probably not as strong and as powerful as the Great Mothers. After all, she didn’t have the “Great” title in her name. And because we know that almost all of the Nightsisters of Dathomir died.
This opens up the possibility that the Great Mothers have lived on Peridea their entire lives and were never part of the original contingent of Nightsisters who migrated from Peridea to the known galaxy, where they settled on Dathomir.
There was also a suggestion in the episode that the Great Mothers were also looking to leave Peridea. As such, there must be something wrong about this planet, as even Shin Hati wondered why these witches were looking to leave a world that they had been staying on for a long time.
The Greek inspiration behind the Great Mothers
We know that the world of Star Wars and its deep lore was inspired by many different cultural, religious, and even mythological influences. In that regard, there’s a good possibility that the Great Mothers were inspired by Greek mythology.
In Greek mythology, we have three powerful entities called the Fates, which are goddesses that weave the threads of fate and are the ones responsible for assigning individual destinies to different people. These three work together and can see things that happen in the past, present, and future.
The fact that Great Mothers work together to see the future and rely on the thread of fate is a good clue about their Greek mythology inspiration. Of course, unlike the Fates, the Great Mothers aren’t capable of seeing everything, as this was suggested by the fact that they couldn’t foresee Sabine being part of Morgan Elsbeth’s contingent. Still, it was clear that Thrawn and Elsbeth relied on their ability to see the future.
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