This article contains spoilers for Ahsoka episode 8.
With the Chant for Resurrection echoing around the fortress walls, the recently dispatched Night Troopers begin to rise again, much to the horror of Ezra, Sabine, and Ahsoka. The Great Mothers used their Dathomiri magic to reanimate the soldiers and buy enough time to make their escape with Thrawn. As the three Jedi battle their unexpected foes, Ahsoka asks Ezra if he has ever seen anything like this before, but it is a phenomenon as new to him as it is to her.
While the team of heroes may be inexperienced regarding this spell, fans of other Star Wars projects may recognize the creepy green smoke that brings the dead to a temporary animated state. The first appearance of the reanimation spell was in The Clone Wars. In Season 4 episode 19, “Massacre,” the Nightsisters of Dathomir battle against General Grievous and his droids.
Asajj Ventress, the former apprentice of Count Dooku, has recently taken refuge on her home world, hoping to join the Nightsisters. She had previously attempted to kill Dooku but failed, and now he brings his vengeance by instructing Grievous to kill her and all of the other witches. To defend their home, the leader of the Nightsisters, Mother Talzin, calls upon the reanimation spell to summon an army of undead Nightsisters to fight beside them.
Despite their army of Nightsister zombies, Grievous soon turns the tide of the battle by killing the witch who created the spell. Their undead forces return to corpses; without them, the Nightsisters cannot stop the droid rampage. The episode truly lives up to its title, “Massacre.” By the end of the battle, most of the Nightsisters are dead.
Prior to the Ahsoka episode, the only other person to use the reanimation spell was Merrin, a Nightsister from the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. In Fallen Order and the novel Jedi: Battle Scars, Merrin uses this spell to call more troops to her aid. In the video game, Merrin summons a group of zombie Nightsisters to help her fight Jedi Cal Kestis. She originally thinks he is her enemy but later joins his crew to help him take on the Empire. In the book, she uses this spell again, but this time, it is to help her new family, the Mantis crew.
The reanimation spell may not be a common sight for fans or characters in the Star Wars universe, but it is certainly powerful. Often, the only way to overcome an army of undead soldiers is to attack the spell’s original caster, as Grievous did. In the future, we may see the Great Mothers attempt this spell again, but with luck, the heroes of the New Republic will learn the secrets of Dathomir’s magic and overcome this creepy spell by striking at its source.