Ahsoka: Did Peridea's Nightsisters Orchestrate Thrawn's Arrival?
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Grand Admiral Thrawn returned in Ahsoka Season 1, Episode 6, "Part Six: Far, Far Away." Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth and former Jedi Baylan Skoll located the Imperial leader on the distant planet Peridea. Thrawn (played by Lars Mikkelsen), had disappeared nearly a decade earlier. The space faring Purgill whales had transported Thrawn and Rebel Ezra Bridger to parts unknown. The climatic moment happened in 2018's series finale of Star Wars Rebels. Elsbeth discovered his likely whereabouts in Ahsoka's second episode, "Part Two: Toil and Trouble."
The reveal of Thrawn's location, however, begged an obvious question: why Peridea? Why would the Purgill take Thrawn to that specific planet, among the countless worlds comprising this unknown galaxy? A world that happens to be the home of the Dathomiri witches' distant ancestors? One potential answer is that Thrawn's transference to Peridea might not have been so haphazard. The uncertainty of Thrawn and Ezra's fates implied a certain level of randomness to their potential location. But someone could have orchestrated Thrawn's arrival with reason to draw him to their world. More specifically, individuals who could find use for an Imperial master strategist. One group that stands to gain from Thrawn's talents are Peridea's own Great Mothers.
The Nightsisters Intentionally Brought Thrawn to Peridea
The Purrgil can naturally travel through hyperspace. The creatures' behavior patterns after Earth's own whale species, and while animalistic, the whales have a degree of intelligence. This aptitude enables the Purrgil to communicate, even with more intelligent beings like humans. Through the Force, Ezra enlisted their aid in Rebels' series finale. Ahsoka Tano also later communicated with the creatures via similar means. If Force-sensitive beings can converse with the Purrgil, then the Nightsisters would also have that ability.
Force users can also sense each other. The Peridean Nightsisters may have detected Ezra between galaxies, in the aftermath of Rebels. From Ezra's mind, they could have also deduced Thrawn's presence, his strategical skills and the power he can command. The Nightsisters could sense Thrawn as a valuable ally, and probably also knew of Thrawn's army of Night Troopers at his command.
The witches might not have communicated with the pod, per se, as much as manipulated them. Baylan Skoll noted in "Toil and Trouble" that Peridea is the world where the Purrgil travel to die. The Purrgil pod in Rebels' finale, however, didn't exhibit any signs their lives were about to end. Peridea's Nightsisters, however, could have given their minds a little collective push. The dark Force-wielding witches knew the Purrgil pod had left the neighboring galaxy. A subliminal suggestion to the Purrgil could have tricked them into believing their end was near. The pod of whales, in turn, would venture to Peridea and bring Thrawn directly to the Nightsisters.
Thrawn Could Restore Dathomir's Presence in the Galaxy
The main question that arises from the events of Episode 6 is why Peridea's Nightsisters seek Thrawn as an ally. The answer dates to the far-reaching Clone Wars in the neighboring galaxy. In this case, General Grievous massacred Dathomir's Nightsisters clan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4, Episode 19, "Massacre." Count Dooku ordered the slaughter and the clan's Mother Talzin had previously run afoul of Dooku's master, Darth Sidious. The latter had adopted Talzin's son, Darth Maul, as his previous apprentice. Obi-Wan Kenobi, of course, sliced Maul in half in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
After the massacre, the few remaining Nightsisters went into hiding and Dathomir became a largely empty world. The end of Dathomir, however, doesn't mean the end of all Nightsisters. If Dathomir's Nightsisters emigrated from Peridea, plenty more could still be there. The three Nightsisters seen in "Far, Far Away" may be but a sampling of those still on the planet. The witches undoubtedly sensed the slaughter of their brethren on Dathomir decades ago, but lacked the means to respond, or the strategy to avenge their sisters and repopulate the planet.
Thrawn's arrival on Peridea, on the other hand, changes all that. The Peridean Nightsisters realize Thrawn could be the leader they need to retake their adopted world. This also means the proven leader with an existing army now has the means to return to his galaxy. His first stop could be Dathomir, not only to bring Peridea's Nightsisters to their adopted home, but to retake it. Whatever the New Republic might send against Thrawn, he has the military might to counter it. Not to mention another potential army of force-wielding allies.
The Heir to the Empire Could Be Thrawn and the Nightsisters
A Thrawn/Nightsisters alliance would be formidable as Thrawn could stand to help bring Dathomir back into a position of power. In return, he could gain an army of powerful Force users. This would increase his leverage with leaders of other Imperial fragments, such as Moff Gideon. It could also give him the means to outright take over as the resurgent Galactic Empire's new ruler. Moff Gideon appeared to perish in the finale of The Mandalorian's third and most recent season. But then, the galaxy thought Thrawn was gone, as well. Viewers might welcome a throwdown between Thrawn and the Nightsisters and Gideon and his Dark Troopers.
The Galactic Empire is no stranger to alliances with Force users as Darth Sidious became Emperor, after all. Darth Vader also served as his apprentice and enforcer. But the Sith's Rule of Two limited its influence with the Empire, even with Sidious as its ruler. Had an army of Sith served, the Empire likely would never have toppled. Should Thrawn ascend to the throne, he will have no mere two Force users at his command. Instead, he would have an entire planet of them. The fledgling New Republic would have little like power to match their might.
Of course, there are a few Jedi left in the galaxy and Ahsoka Tano could still officially become a Jedi. There's also Sabine Wren, Luke Skywalker and Grogu, the latter of whom still has potential. Beyond them, however, the Jedi were all but destroyed at the end of the Clone Wars. In the generation since, comparatively few still exist. Should Thrawn command an army of Nightsisters, his victory over the galaxy is all but ensured. Thus, Thrawn could use some powerful allies.
The Nightsisters could similarly use a leader with influence as they and Thrawn have knowledge of each other. Coincidence thus seems too contrived a circumstance to bring about such a destined alliance. Both sides needed it to happen, so they made it happen.
New episodes of Ahsoka are available to stream every Tuesday on Disney+.