Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi came to Disney Plus on Wednesday, giving us six CGI animated shorts in the style of The Clone Wars. Half of the stories are devoted to legendary Jedi Ahsoka Tano (long before her alliance with The Mandalorian), while the others focus on future Sith Lord Dooku during his time as a Jedi.
They’re written by Clone Wars executive producer Dave Filoni, who’s currently working on the live-action Ahsoka series that’s scheduled to hit Disney Plus next year.
These are all set in the prequel era, decades before the events of original Star Wars movie A New Hope (and current live-action show Andor). Let’s use the Force to dive into each episode’s SPOILERS.
Life and Death
On her homeworld Shili, prior to the events of The Phantom Menace, an infant Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) is taken by saber tooth and seems doomed. When she instinctively tames it with the Force and rides it back home, the village elder recognizes her power and declares her a Jedi.
We know from The Clone Wars that she’s brought into the Jedi Order by Master Plo Koon, and becomes Padawan to Anakin Skywalker.
Jedi Master Dooku (Corey Burton) comes close to killing a corrupt Republic senator after witnessing the suffering of his people. His Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn (Micheál Richardson, son of live-action Qui-Gon actor Liam Neeson), manages to save the senator by releasing his kidnapped son, whose love for his father helps Dooku snap out of it.
This takes place years before The Phantom Menace, and highlights Dooku’s disillusionment with the Republic (a story that’s also told in the audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost). We also get to see Dooku’s blue lightsaber, which has an awesome curved hilt similar to the one he’ll wield as a Sith.
Sent to retrieve a dead Jedi’s body along with fellow Master Mace Windu (T.C. Carson), Dooku takes the mission in the direction that results in a corrupt senator’s death. He identifies with the rebel group responsible for the incident, echoing its distrust for the Republic and its control over the Jedi.
Mace is given the fallen Jedi’s place on the Council, which annoys Dooku. He presumably sees it as Mace playing politics to rise within the Order and the Republic system, in the years before The Phantom Menace.
The Sith Lord
This one is set during events of The Phantom Menace, after Qui-Gon encounters Darth Maul on Tatooine but before the return to Naboo. Dooku deletes the planet Kamino from the Jedi archives, hiding the conspiracy to create the clone army (it won’t be discovered for another decade, in Attack of the Clones).
He also has his last encounter with Qui-Gon before his former Padawan is slain by Maul.
In the wake of Qui-Gon’s death, Jedi Council member Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett) follows Dooku to a secret meeting with Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid). Faced with a choice between Jedi and Sith when she’s discovered, Dooku sides with Sidious, kills Yaddle and becomes the Sith Lord’s apprentice — Darth Tyranus.
This reveals the fate of Yaddle, who’s of the same species as Yoda and Grogu. She previously only made a brief appearance in The Phantom Menace and had vanished by Attack of the Clones. It’s unclear if the Jedi ever discovered her fate.
This episode also suggests that Sidious took advantage of Dooku’s grief over Qui-Gon’s death to seduce him completely to the dark side. He’ll ultimately discard Dooku in favor of Anakin in Revenge of the Sith.
Practice Makes Perfect
After the events of The Clone Wars movie, Anakin (Matt Lanter) brings Ahsoka to a clandestine training session in which she tries to deflect clone troopers’ blaster fire for as long as possible before being stunned.
She continues that training throughout the war, and it ultimately allows her to survive Order 66, in which Sidious makes clone troopers across the galaxy to slay their Jedi allies.
This episode was the first one Filoni wrote for the series. It also features a cameo from a young Caleb Dume, a Padawan who’ll make it through the destruction of the Jedi Order. He’ll take on the name Kanan Jarrus and become the Jedi hero of Rebels.
After the rise of the Galactic Empire (seen in Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars finale) Ahsoka quietly attends Padmé’s funeral on Naboo, and future Rebel Alliance leader Bail Organa (Phil LaMarr) gives her a communicator.
Living in hiding on an agricultural world, Ahsoka finds employment in farming until she blows her cover by using the Force to save a coworker and draws an Imperial Inquisitor (Clancy Brown) to them.
She slays the Inquisitor with his own red-bladed lightsaber and contacts Bail to rejoin the fight. It’s unclear how this fits with the 2016 Ahsoka novel, which tells a similar story, but any contradictions could be explained as an alternate telling.