'Tales Of The Jedi' review: Fills in the blanks for two Star Wars icons


This new animated anthology of Star Wars stories serves to tie up loose ends and enrich the stories of two iconic characters - Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. – Photos: Disney+ Hotstar

With the recent success of the Disney+ Star Wars live-action series like The Mandalorian, The Book Of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor, it would be easy to overlook the animated side of that galaxy far far away and dismiss them as ‘cartoons’ for kids.

But here’s an unpopular opinion: Lucasfilms should really make more animated shows and features rather than live-action ones, because these so-called ‘cartoons’ have done more to enrich and build the Star Wars universe than almost every other live-action series and film outside of the Original Trilogy.

Between The Clone Wars, Rebels, The Bad Batch and even the Resistance animated series, we’ve gotten more canon and backstory and insight into the characters, plots and motivations behind many of the franchise’s iconic characters and storylines.

And now, we have the just- released Tales Of The Jedi, a mini-series of six short episodes in which we get even more insight into the lives of two of the franchise’s most iconic characters - Ahsoka Tahno and Count Dooku.

Ahsoka's backstory is further enriched by the three short episodes in this series.Ahsoka's backstory is further enriched by the three short episodes in this series.

The new series, which is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, essentially tells the story of two Jedi on different paths, heading in opposite directions – Ahsoka’s accession from Force-sensitive infant to fugitive former Jedi, and Dooku’s descent from Jedi Master to one of the franchise’s most formidable Sith Lords.

To be honest, Tales Of The Jedi doesn’t really tell new tales of these two Jedi. Rather, it fills little holes in these two characters’ stories, answers niggling questions about their past, including – why did Ahsoka start using two lightsabers? What was the last straw that sealed Dooku’s downfall?

Count Dooku's story is the more fascinating of the two, especially since we've never had a lot of background on him in the past.Count Dooku's story is the more fascinating of the two, especially since we've never had a lot of background on him in the past.

Showrunner Dave Filoni also takes the opportunity to tie up some minor loose threads left by other films and shows, from the fate of Yaddle (the female Jedi council member from the same species as Yoda who appeared in The Phantom Menace and was never seen again), to the question of where Ahsoka disappeared to after the Clone Wars ended, and what convinced her to rejoin the fight in Rebels.

Between the two central characters, Count Dooku’s story is the one that fascinated me the most – since he arrived as a fully-formed Sith Lord played by the one and only Christopher Lee in Attack Of The Clones, we’ve never really gotten a proper on-screen backstory as to why he betrayed the Jedi, and how he turned to the Dark Side, which is perplexing for a character that plays as big a role as he does in the Clone Wars.

Move aside, Baby Yoda, Baby Ahsoka is here to take your crown.Move aside, Baby Yoda, Baby Ahsoka is here to take your crown.

That’s not to say Ahsoka’s story is any less interesting, but we’ve already seen so much of her in the Clone Wars, Rebels, and even The Mandalorian shows that the episodes here don’t add much to her story, but rather, serve to round out her character a little more, and maybe prepare casual Star Wars viewers for her upcoming live-action solo series.

And that’s Tales Of The Jedi for you in a nutshell. Its six 15 to 20 minute episodes doesn’t really add a lot more to the overall story of the franchise, but it serves to enrich these two particular characters further and add a richer context to their actions and the consequences.

Think of it as the putty that is used to fill in the little cracks in a wall after the bricklayers have finished it – it may be a small part of the entire process, but one that ultimately makes it so much stronger.

All six episodes of Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi are now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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Summary:

One for the fans, filling in the blanks

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