Star Wars animation has done an excellent job in the last ten years by adding a wealth of depth to the epic space saga and introducing some fan-favorite characters. While the films existed on a tight schedule, long format series such as Clone Wars or even Rebels took the time to curate their stories and built tightly bonded and often complex relationships. Tales of the Jedi goes a step further by examining two main characters of massive interest and spotlighting critical moments in their life for fans to watch with six short animated episodes to enjoy coming exclusively to Disney+.
Tales of the Jedi comprises six original shorts written by Dave Filoni, Charles Murray, and Élan Murray that run roughly 12-15 minutes per story with various directors at the helm. The series’ focus is interesting, given its choice of characters and the particular storylines used for Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Count Dooku (Corey Burton).
Paralleling the stories between Jedi and Sith characters gives the initial impression that Tales of the Jedi lets us see how these particular people stepped onto their eventual paths of the light and dark sides. But a nuance links these characters closer than you may have thought possible.
Diving into the background of Ahsoka is something fans have always wanted to see. You could have a multiple-season series of Ahsoka, and fans would lap it up. The only apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, who chose to walk away from the broken politics of the Jedi order that would later join the rebellion only to be confronted by her former master, who is now the weapon of a galactic dictator. The layers that exist here have just been waiting to be explored. Of the three episodes, the one that encapsulates Ahsoka best for me was “Practice Makes Perfect,” as she allows herself to be pushed past her realms of capability.
What I wasn’t expecting, however, was to feel a connection with Dooku. Now, if you’re reading that sentence, I get you might be startled and think I’ve taken a hit to the head, but watch the episodes and tell me what you think. As I mentioned earlier, Dooku and Ahsoka’s paths are more closely related than I first imagined, and damn, his storylines have some weighty topics and themes that are explored that go way beyond the desire for power. There’s a progression in his story of frustration at where the galaxy is heading as corruption spreads and as the Jedi order becomes complacent. There’s also a more profound linkage to the prequel movies that caught me off guard but utilizing prior source material further cements Dooku’s growing darkness and deeper need to act against what he sees happening. A certain shadowy figure corrupts that frustration, but wow, “The Sith Lord” episode 4 lands with an impact.
While some episodes are better than others, some are okay. I don’t think the series will necessarily blow anyone away, and there’s no great surprise at the show’s end to anything more significant. This was just a collection of short stories focused on two fascinating characters at different points in their journey, with some delivering a big message and others just resulting in an extra chapter of the story without really moving the needle.
I enjoyed Tales of the Jedi, and I think it offers some valuable insight into the parallel journeys of Ahsoka and Dooku, which I truly appreciated. There’s a mixture of quality regarding the episodes and how they leave each plot point. I hope to see a continuation of stories like this in which you can use the space to develop characters off to the site with interesting one-shot backstories that add depth and color that may not have been feasible to address before.
Tales of the Jedi debuts exclusively on Disney+ on Wednesday, October 26th.
Tales of the Jedi
I enjoyed Tales of the Jedi, and I think it offers some valuable insight into the parallel journeys of Ahsoka and Dooku, which I truly appreciated. There’s a mixture of quality regarding the episodes and how they leave each plot point. I hope to see a continuation of stories like this in which you can use the space to develop characters off to the site with interesting one-shot backstories that add depth and color that may not have been feasible to address.