Tales of the Jedi Review

Tales of the Jedi is now streaming on Disney+. Below is a spoiler-free review.

Animations have proven to be an excellent way for Star Wars to explore their world, in addition to those earlier years of pretty bad, and Tales of the Jedi is another solid entry to that legacy. Is it absolutely necessary to watch Star Wars? Not really, no, but it’s a great and well-made animated movie for two important characters: Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku.

Tales of Jedi entries of small size, which are all between 15 and 20 minutes long, split their focus between Ahsoka and Dooku evenly; Interestingly, if you watch them in the order that Disney+ lists them, it starts with Ahsoka as a baby, then goes through three episodes around Dooku, and then moves back to Ahsoka. Although there is no direct line between the stories being told – they are all stand-alone anthology-style sets that take place at different pivotal moments in each character’s life – you can draw some parallels between the central character if you dig deeper and there is none – a subtle feeling That’s the point, especially when it comes to Dooku’s concerns about asking for the Jedi, something we know Ahsoka eventually leaves behind.

For the most part, Dave Filoni, the creator of Star Wars animators and Star Wars staff, is not dependent on the scene. This does not mean that there is no business; “Practice Makes Perfect”, which focuses on Ahsoka Padawan’s training, is heavier than others, and there is an exciting climax in the final episode “Resolve”. But, for the most part, this Star Wars leans on its moody and meditative side, which makes the battles more challenging, especially in Dooku episodes. “The Sith Lord” is the best example of this, where a great deal of unreal but poignant actions are built in. The entire quest is tightly written without feeling a bit rushed, despite the short run times – Filoni, at this point, knows how to plunge into the atmosphere and build tension without stuffing the run times to unnecessary lengths.

In particular, the Dooku episodes offer some interesting insights into how the Sith Lord we know today came to be, but they don’t veer too much into an unrealistic sympathy for the man. As far as Ahsoka goes, the first episode, “Life and Death,” gives us some background on her home planet and early performances of Jedi ways, but other than that, they mostly spend more time with the Togruta we know and love at different stages of her life. But hey, that’s never a bad thing, and if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the live Disney+ series, this is a good way to whet your appetite.

To that end, Ashley Eckstein is making a welcome return to reprise her role in Clone Wars, and Corey Burton (who previously voiced Cad Bane in The Clone Wars) does some powerful and intimidating work as Dooku. But the real star is the animation. It’s the best inanimate Star War story ever, especially in the lush and colorful landscapes in both “Life and Death” and “Desire,” which are almost as strikingly beautiful. Everything is incredibly polished, and feels like just a small step out of the animation in The Clone Wars.

And while the stories are quick little crumbs, it doesn’t feel like it’s for newcomers. Jedi tales are definitely made for those who have already won Star Wars cartoon stories, but that’s not necessarily a point against it. Fan service, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing, especially when it’s so masterfully done. Plus, if you haven’t already watched The Clone Wars, you probably should.

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