Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi follows Ahsoka Tano and Dooku as the anthology series fills in some of the gaps in Star Wars history.
There are a few phrases that I throw around every now and then: either in Dave Filoni I trust or in Kevin Feige I trust. When it comes to Filoni, he’s basically George Lucas’s hand-picked successor when it comes to Star Wars storytelling. What I love about these six episodes are that we get a chance to visit moments that took place during the prequel era. It isn’t even just that but we finally get to see some moments that led to other moments on screen. However, one downside is that six episodes are not enough–not when episodes run around 15-20 minutes.
Three episodes focus on Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) while the other three focus on Dooku (Corey Burton). The Dooku episodes in particular more or less show that he’s fallen out with the Jedi. I mean, you already know what he does in the years before Attack of the Clones. In this series, however, you see exactly what leads to a moment in that film. It comes during a moment that it taking place while The Phantom Menace is going on. Only we never see it in the prequel movie! In any event, I like how Filoni chooses to uses them as he guides us down the path of heroes and villains.
I’m going to get into spoiler territory below the logo so let this be your warning.
Poor Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard). This is a classic Star Wars character and Dooku murders her in cold lightsaber blood. I mean, we know the Jedi have to die and she goes shortly after Maul kills Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). At the same time, we now understand why Yaddle is unfortunately missing in action during the Clone Wars. We know that Dooku is already working with Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid) at this point but wow, it’s still somewhat shocking when you see it happen. The other thing about Yaddle is that she talks like a regular person. What does this tell us about Yoda? Your guess is as good as mine. But let me just say–this is A CHOICE when it comes to their species and how they talk!
When it comes to “Resolve,” one begins to feel bad for author E.K. Johnston. This novel takes place during the end of Revenge of the Sith and later. It also retcons her 2016 novel, Ahsoka, which came out at a time when new books were official canon. One can only wonder what discussions took place between Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo. But yeah, this episode will certainly get fans talking especially since it is different than the novel. There are things here that are the same. Using Ashla as a cover, settling down in a farming environment while staying away from the fight. While she interacts with Bail Organa in both, Filoni ends off the episode with us knowing Ahsoka is rejoining the fight but does not show her adopting the Fulcrum code name. Give the fans what they want! Some decisions are mind-boggling though.
There are plenty of Star Wars easter eggs throughout the series. Some moments are easier to play in the saga timeline than others. When one sees an episode description that says “Two Jedi are dispatched to resolve a hostage situation on a distant planet,” you can’t help but think about the first Star Wars prequel. Change hostage situation to a trade dispute and it could easily be Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan rather than Dooku and a younger Qui-Gon. During the episode focusing on Ahsoka’s training, we get a callback to The Clone Wars series finale where Rex mentions her training before they face off against the Clone Troopers. I cannot say enough about the Dooku easter eggs because a lot get a callback later on in the films. Removing Kamino from the records–check. You get the idea?
While Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is entertaining and it’s nice to fill in gaps, it also comes at the expense of retconning established canon in novels.
CREATOR/SUPERVISING DIRECTOR: Dave Filoni
SCREENWRITERS: Dave Filoni, Charles Murray, Élan Murray
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dave Filoni, Athena Yvette Portillo, Carrie Beck
CAST: Ashley Eckstein, Corey Burton, Janina Gavankar, Micheál Richardson, TC Carson, Ian McDiarmid, Liam Neeson, Phil Lamarr, Clancy Brown, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor
Disney+ released Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi on October 26, 2022. Grade: 4/5
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