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Dave Filoni hits another home run in ‘Tales of the Jedi’

Lucasfilm Animation, under the direction of Dave Filoni, has had another successful animated series, this time premiering exclusively on Disney+.

Tales of the Jedi debuted Oct. 26 on the streaming platform and consisted of six episodes, about 15 minutes apiece. The series follows two well-known Star Wars characters: Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. Each character is featured in three episodes at different points in their lives and expands on the mythology of both characters.

The first episode kicks off with Ahsoka’s birth. Ahsoka is shown to be Force sensitive within a year and she encounters a dangerous foe as a baby and uses the Force to save herself, with an elder of her tribe predicting Ahsoka will be a Jedi.

The next three episodes center on Dooku during his time as a Jedi, at three points in his life. Dooku is shown to be a much grayer Jedi than his counterparts, willing to go to extremes to get the results he wants, including using the Force to harm those he’s questioning. Dooku’s hint of the Dark Side causes concern amongst his fellow Jedi, including Mace Windu.

For the first time in on-screen canon, we see Dooku interact with his padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn. We first see Qui-Gon as a teenager, voiced by Micheal Richardson, son of original Qui-Gon actor Liam Neeson. Qui-Gon is clearly nervous about his master’s methods, which often includes violence, and it’s interesting to see the difference in both men.

In Dooku’s third episode, The Sith Lord, we see Dooku interact with Qui-Gon (once again voiced by Neeson) during the events of The Phantom Menace. Qui-Gon discusses his encounter with Darth Maul on Tatooine and Dooku expresses his desire to meet Obi-Wan (a nice callback to Dooku’s interrogation of Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones). This episode also officially shows that it was Dooku who erased the information about Kamino from the Jedi Archives.

The Sith Lord is probably the most powerful of the mini-series, as it shows Dooku’s descent into the Dark Side. He is drawn to the dark after the death of Qui-Gon and he confronts Sidious over the matter. Unknown to Dooku, a Jedi had followed him and tries to save Dooku, only for Dooku to say it is too late and he fully becomes Darth Tyranus.

The final two episodes focus on Ahsoka (voiced by Ashley Eckstein, once more) again. The fifth episode, Practice Makes Perfect, shows Anakin training Ahsoka to prepare for anything on the battlefield. Anakin repeatedly has Ahsoka face off against the Clone Troopers, including Captain Rex, as Anakin sees them as aggressive as the deadliest droid troopers. The episode concludes by showing this training followed Ahsoka later in life, as Captain Rex tells her he hopes the training works right before he and Ahsoka “surrender” to Jesse and the other troops affected by Order 66, as depicted in The Clone Wars series finale, Victory and Death. The episode implies Ahsoka’s training helped her and Rex survive the final battle before their exile.

Episode six is called Resolve and follows Ahsoka in the years after the Clone Wars, when she is living in exile. The episode reveals Ahsoka was i present at Padme’s funeral before she went into hiding, with Bail Organa imploring her to stay in touch. Years later, Ahsoka lives under an assumed name, Ashla, and her Jedi origins are suspected by those she surrounds herself with. Push comes to shove and an Inquisitor shows up, thrusting Ahsoka back into action, perfectly setting up her arc in Rebels.

Although each episode is short and the series can be watched in an afternoon, the writers and creators manage to pack a lot into each episode. Both characters are explored in-depth and the episodes never feel rushed.

There is no word on any future seasons, however exploration of other Jedi through future seasons would be welcome. Dave Filoni is certainly the man for the job when it comes to full fleshing out a story of a character and he always handles it beautifully in animation.

Tales of the Jedi is streaming exclusively on Disney+.

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