Most recently, the world of Star Wars has perhaps become best known for its live-action adventures, with shows like Andor, The Mandalorian, and Obi-Wan Kenobi lighting up the Disney+ service. However, it is in animation that Star Wars may have found its best storytelling platform. Tales of the Jedi, the most recent animated limited series from Star Wars, is not only great, but it explores just how vital these shows are to the overall canon.
Spoilers for Tales of the Jedi follow
While Ahsoka’s episodes, especially the latter two, are fantastic watches, it is the Dooku stories where Tales of the Jedi really shines. Looking at the fall of the Jedi and the Republic through the eyes of the man who tried, time and time again, to warn everyone, only for it to fall on deaf ears, is incredibly fascinating.
They add depth to a character whose failures and shortcomings had yet to be seen on screen. For those only familiar with the movies, he was a surface-level villain that offered very little besides being an opponent to the good guys. Even if you’d seen The Clone Wars, you could make a similar argument.
Here, Dooku is a tragic figure, one who was the canary in the coal mine in the twilight of the Republic. Here, he believed that he could have stopped the downfall of democracy and the Jedi, but no one was willing to listen. Instead, he listens to Darth Sidious, who corrupts him and, in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, becomes the very thing he swore to destroy.
The stories of Ahsoka and Dooku do not connect directly. Still, the narrative threads of betrayal, losing one’s faith, and adjusting to a rapidly changing world are felt throughout all six episodes. Ahsoka must learn to survive without a support system, and Dooku is forced to adapt to a world that has left him behind.
It’s here where Star Wars has done so well with animation. At first glance, shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels appear like “kids’ shows,” but thanks to writers like Dave Filoni, they succeed in telling much deeper and more complicated stories. Arcs like “The Siege of Mandalore,” which provides one of the best looks at the events of Order 66, is a story that is only told in The Clone Wars series.
Animation lends itself perfectly to the bright visuals of Star Wars and isn’t a replacement for live-action content. Rather it is the perfect way for people to expand on what makes the galaxy far, far away, so appealing, and so beloved.
All six episodes of “Tales of the Jedi” are now streaming on Disney+.