To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is an animated anthology series created by Dave Filoni for Disney+, with Saul Ruiz (Star Wars Resistance) leading the directing team and Charles Murray (Luke Cage) as head writer. Featuring the voice talents of Ashley Eckstein, Corey Burton, Janina Gavankar, Micheál Richardson, TC Carson, Ian McDiarmid, Liam Neeson, Bryce Dallas Howard, Phil LaMarr, Clancy Brown, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, and Dee Bradley Baker; Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is part of the Star Wars franchise, meaning it shares continuity with other series and films of the franchise. This season consists of six episodes exploring different Jedi characters from the prequel trilogy era. Split into two “paths,” three episodes follow the character Ahsoka Tano and the other three depict the character, Count Dooku.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Star Wars animation. Before Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi I had only seen a few episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and season 1 of Star Wars: Visions. That’s it! They’ve never really connected with me the way the movies do. Maybe it’s because I’m older and can’t just watch cartoons all day. I have to be choosy about what I decide to watch and even more choosy about what I decide to review. What’s enjoyable about shows like Star Wars: Visions and now Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is that they are shorts in an anthology format. Therefore, it takes a lot less time to watch the entire season. The episodes are easier to digest and give the audience just as much information about the universe as a full series would.
The best episodes are all directed by Saul Ruiz, who seems to enjoy tackling the darker storylines. Ruiz’s best episode concerning Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) is “Resolve,” which takes place during and after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Ahsoka is in hiding as a farmer but is soon discovered by an Inquisitor (Clancy Brown) While their interaction is brief, Ahsoka easily dismembers the Inquisitor revealing the difference in their abilities. She was trained by Anakin Skywalker after all. The Ahsoka episodes were most likely included because she is Dave Filoni’s favorite character and to get fans excited for the upcoming live-action Ahsoka series.
While the episodes about Ahsoka Tano are interesting and informational the highlight of the series are the episodes featuring Count Dooku (Corey Burton). We learn more about Dooku than we ever did in the prequel trilogy and get a clear arc showing his fall to the dark side. “Justice” finds Dooku on a mission with his Padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn (Micheál Richardson) to investigate a kidnapping. In this episode, we see where Qui-Gon got a lot of his traits that the Council did not favor. “Choices” sees Dooku teaming up with Mace Windu (TC Carson) to investigate the mysterious death of a Jedi Council member. Windu fills the empty council seat over Dooku because of his rash actions during the mission. The final episode featuring Dooku is “The Sith Lord,” which gives us not only the reason Dooku began to follow Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid) but also what happened to Master Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard). Taking place during and after Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Dooku takes the death of Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) very hard and blames the council for not listening to him sooner. Of course, Dooku knew that the sith had returned as he was working for them during that time and hoped to turn his former apprentice.
The in-depth world-building presented in this series has the potential to invigorate other Star Wars titles. Not many people liked the sequel trilogy. Maybe in future seasons of this anthology, we can get more backstories for Ben Solo, Poe Dameron, and Rey Palpatine – She’s not a skywalker! Going over to the television series it would be nice to see more of Boba Fett’s childhood or Din Djarin’s start as a bounty hunter. The possibilities are endless.
The solid animation, interesting stories, and short episode length make this anthology some of the best television Star Wars has to offer. I give Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 1 a Superb 5/5. It will be fun to see which Jedi will be featured moving forward and if they will venture beyond the prequel trilogy era.