Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi
This premiere season contains six short stories that offer three snippets each in the lives of two former Jedi. As a Star Wars fan that has little love for the Jedi and their practices, I found this series refreshing. It is rare that this universe directly touches on the negative qualities of the Jedi. And I was happy to see this explored from a different, and more relatable perspective.
Overall, “Tales of the Jedi” excels in its multiple roles. While remaining highly political, it is steeped in both emotional depth, and high-octane action. This is Star Wars animated content at its finest, as it combines quality visuals with solid, well-crafted script work.
The only complaint I have is the ordering of Episode 1. This episode is awkwardly followed by the history of a different ex-Jedi, and its story character’s voice isn’t seen again until episode 5. Elsewise, this collection of stories is, in my opinion, immaculate.
Life and Death
Run Time: 19 minutes
Not long after her birth, Pav-Ti takes baby Ahsoka on her first hunting trip when something unexpected occurs. I had mixed emotions watching this dynamic opening episode. I loved seeing Ahsoka’s original home and the interactions of the Togruta people. However, it was a stark and uncomfortable reminder of the Jedi’s practice of obtaining force sensitive children. While this story ends happily, what may be deemed a tragedy is quickly on the way.
Run Time: 16 minutes
Jedi Master Dooku and his Padawan travel to an impoverished planet on a rescue mission. It is interesting to see a much younger Dooku experience life as a Jedi and encounter the Republic’s corruption. The parallels between he and Anakin are made very clear as his impassioned nature is revealed. It is also easy to see how Qui-Gon Jinn became the free thinker shown in “The Phantom Menace,” as he is freely allowed to assess the opinions of the civilians he encounters.
Run Time: 15 minutes
Jedi Masters Dooku and Windu investigate the death of a Jedi Council member. I found this tale particularly interesting as it explores the disparate ideology between the two Jedi that may be seen as representative of the two sides of the force. The main conflict is the battle between overzealousness and passivity.
The Sith Lord
Run Time: 17 minutes
The death of a friend leads Jedi Master Dooku into a confrontation with a Sith Lord. This episode takes place directly after Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. I was particularly moved by this episode. After watching the previous two chapters, I was heartbroken by the understandable, yet wayward choice of an idealist whose questioning nature resulted in a loss of faith.
Practice Makes Perfect
Run Time: 12 minutes
After easily conquering an assignment, Anakin challenges his Padawan to a much harder task. One that will eventually save her life. There is something so special about the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka that will always warm my heart and this episode captures that dynamic perfectly. Also, this action heavy short clears up questions I had regarding a particularly unusual scene in the final season of “The Clone Wars.”
Run Time: 16 minutes
Ahsoka attends the funeral of a dear friend and encounters a Senator who offers her assistance. Later, while in hiding, an accident forces her to reveal her true identity. She must then deal with the consequences of her actions.
This episode begins directly after the events of “The Clone Wars.” Hardcore fans should be aware that this story is a departure from the events occurring in the previously released “Ahsoka” novel. I found this to be an enjoyable episode that will most likely be revisited in the upcoming “Ahsoka” Disney+ series.