TV Brew: ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi’ Review
Ever since Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm Animation team debuted Star Wars: The Clone Wars back in 2008, animation has been key in telling stories from our favorite Galaxy Far, Far Away. Flashforward 14 years and 4 animated series later and we now have Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi.
You may be asking “What is Tales of the Jedi and what is it about?” Well, Tales is a six episode anthology series of shorts that focus on Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. Each character gets three episodes: Ahsoka’s center around her early childhood, her time as a Padawan learning under Anakin Skywalker and her life after the events of Order 66. The Dooku episodes are about his time as a Master in the Jedi Order and what drives him to leave the Order. I don’t want to give anything else away because I don’t want to spoil the series for anyone.
So how is Tales of the Jedi? For the most part it is really well done and entertaining but I do have some issues. But, before I get to the issues, I will start with the positives. First, this show is absolutely gorgeous! Filoni and his team have always delivered quality animated experience but with Tales they truly have outdone themselves. Every single frame of every episode is breathtaking and the use of light, colors and shadows only enhances the more mature nature of the stories that we are told. One of my favorite shots is in an episode involving Count Dooku and a standoff he is involved in. We see Dooku standing his ground, holding his lightsaber as it glows through the small patches of fog that surrounds him. Not only did it make my heart race but it left me speechless. Second, the acting is incredible! Dave Filoni has brought back actors Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter and James Arnold Taylor to play Ahsoka, Anakin and Obi-Wan again and once again their chemistry is on point. One of my favorite things about The Clone Wars was the witty banter between the three characters and once again it is here. Another fantastic performance is from Corey Burton who plays Count Dooku. Burton delivers a performance that is so beautiful and haunting that it will bring you to tears by the end of his story. Honestly, I can’t say enough about the acting: it’s just fantastic.
Despite my praises of the animation and acting, I do have to address the writing in this series. Tales of the Jedi is written by Dave Filoni, Charles Murray and Elan Murray with Filoni writing 5 out of the 6 episodes. For the most part the show is written very well (especially the Dooku episodes that tie into Star Wars: Dooku: Jedi Lost and Master & Apprentice) but it’s Ahsoka’s final episode that doesn’t sit well with me. I’m going to try to explain this without giving anything away because it not only contains spoilers for the episode but the Ahsoka novel from E.K. Johnston. Filoni and company seem to disregard the novel and retcon some of the events and characters from it. One of the characters is a POC and a member of the LGBTQ+ community and an essential part of Ahsoka’s life. I hate to say this but Filoni and his team have a history of doing stuff like this as well as whitewashing characters like the Clones. To me it feels like Filoni is almost ignoring the book and comic book writers and the Lucasfilm Story Group. The Story Group determines what is cannon and everything from the novel A New Dawn and moving forward. I don’t want you to think that I am bashing on Filoni because I am not, the man is definitely talented and has contributed a lot to Star Wars but I think it’s time for him to stop writing and just focus on producing and directing.
As I said above, Tales of the Jedi is very entertaining and does a decent job in telling these stories. But it’s in the last episode that the show stumbles. I wanted to enjoy it more than I did but I still had fun watching it.
I give Tales of the Jedi 3 Dooku Lightsabers out of 5