This season of Ahsoka has been all about the fantastical and the darkly strange. And so, we were expecting nothing less from the Star Wars series’ finale, and we were not disappointed. Ahsoka, Sabine, and Ezra have faced many treacherous foes over Ahsoka‘s eight episodes, but one of the most twisted and frightening was saved for last.
Zombie Stormtroopers in Ahsoka‘s Finale
From Grand Admiral Thrawn’s first appearance in Ahsoka, we’ve known of his partnership with the Great Mothers. The powerful Dathomirian witches seem closely connected to the tenacious Imperial. They stand at Thrawn’s side, ready to help. We see red fabric reminiscent of their robes wrapped around Thrawn’s night troopers’ shabby armor. And in the Ahsoka finale, we saw the strength of Great Mothers’ dark magick when, at Thrawn’s behest, they brought dead night troopers back to life. Yes, Ahsoka gave us zombie stormtroopers in live-action, and it was as haunting as you’d imagine. These death troopers, infused with the misty green magick of the Nightsisters, reanimated against Ahsoka, Sabine, and Ezra and could seemingly only be killed with shots (or lightsabers) to the head. The new zombie stormtroopers have gruesome decaying flesh and everything.
Have Zombies Appeared in Star Wars Before?
Your brain may not jump to the word “undead” when you think of Star Wars. That’s fair. But Ahsoka‘s zombie stormtroopers aside, it’s not a new concept. In fact, we’ve seen the ideas of zombies go hand in hand with the Dathomirian Nightsisters before in the current, canonical Star Wars storytelling universe. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we saw a Dathomirian Nightsister, Old Daka, resurrect corpses from a graveyard using a specific chant. Daka raised this undead army in “Massacre.” In the Star Wars show, she tasked the resurrected zombie Nightsisters to fight against Separatists who were trying to carry out Count Dooku’s revenge against the witches. Daka tells the corpses, “Rise, sisters. Undead sisters, rise from your sleep. The time has come. Awaken. You have been called upon.”
General Grievous killed Daka in the battle, but she was the oldest of the Nightsisters on Dathomir and very likely the most powerful. Even Mother Talzin didn’t have Daka’s level of knowledge. Perhaps Daka once learned the resurrection chant and other magick from the Great Mothers.
We have to wonder if Marrok, the Inquisitor who fought beside Baylan and Shin, was also an undead servant of some sort.
Additionally, we saw a different kind of reanimated corpse in The Clone Wars when a Geonosian queen used a parasitic brainworm to bring the dead to life and control them like puppets.
Zombie Stormtroopers in Star Wars
We have even seen zombie stormtroopers in Star Wars before, though they’re quite different from the ones in Ahsoka. The Legends novel Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber is specifically about zombie stormtroopers. In the story, set before the events of A New Hope, the stormtroopers become zombies in the more traditional fashion. A virus spreads through a ship, and those infected with it become flesh-craving zombies.
Does Thrawn Plan to Make an Army of Zombie Stormtroopers?
It’s possible that Ahsoka‘s small group of zombie stormtroopers was just the beginning of Thrawn’s undead attacks. As mentioned, we only saw a small group of night troopers become zombies. The Great Mothers’ power infused into them, enhancing their abilities. The zombie stormtroopers seem to be more resilient than Thrawn’s living night troopers.
At the end of Ahsoka, Thrawn is traveling straight to Dathomir, with the Great Mothers on board, and a cargo bay full of coffin-like objects, he could have plans for a massive zombie stormtrooper army. Thrawn, the Imperial Remnant, and a host of hard-to-kill stormtroopers mean trouble ahead for the New Republic.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm