StarWars.com picks a few of the greatest moments from the new animated anthology series, now streaming only on Disney+.
Spoiler warning: This article contains story details and plot points from each installment of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi.
Now streaming on Disney+, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is a six-part anthology of animated shorts, diving into never-before-seen, pivotal moments for both Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. Both of these fan-favorite characters left the Jedi Order on their own accord, but both of their stories take vastly different turns.
Three of these episodes focus on Ahsoka, detailing her birth and first experiences with the Force, her training at the Jedi Temple, and her eventual reclamation as a Rebellion hero. The other three delve further into the character of Dooku, beginning with him as a well-respected Jedi, wielding a blue curved lightsaber, who gradually falls further away from the light.
Helmed by supervising director Dave Filoni with stunning animation and an all-star cast, including Janina Gavankar as Ahsoka’s mother, Bryce Dallas Howard as Yaddle, and the returning talents of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn and Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine, Tales of the Jedi is a vital, beautiful chapter in the saga, for fans of all ages. Here are 15 highlights.
"Life and Death"
1. “She’s here!”
The first short, “Life and Death,” begins with the joyous proclamation of Ahsoka Tano’s birth. These earliest moments of Ahsoka’s life are filled with incredible warmth, as the community gathers around her mother, Pav-ti, as she proudly announces her new child’s name to the rest of the village.
A hero is born.
2. Mother and daughter.
After a year, Ahsoka’s mother, Pav-ti, decides to take her daughter out of their village and into the woods for the toddler’s first hunt. As the child babbles and laughs, enjoying the natural world around her, Pav-ti silently stalks the graceful kybucks.
After bringing one down with an expert shot, Pav-ti takes this opportunity to teach Ahsoka about the delicate line between life and death, that it’s a natural part of the world and should not be feared. These words will prove to be absolutely formative for Ahsoka in years to come.
3. “Ahsoka is Jedi.”
When Ahsoka is carried off by a fearsome, sabertoothed creature further into the forest, she gently places her small hand on the nose of the enormous beast. She calms the animal and escapes unharmed.
While the village is shocked to discover Ahsoka safely on the back of the creature, it’s simply the first example of the immense strength that this gifted youngster will display. However, this first example is also rather bittersweet: her life will be forever changed by this very strength, and she will soon have to leave this village to train as a Jedi.
4. Master and apprentice.
In the second short, “Justice,” Count Dooku, a Jedi Knight, and his young Padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn, are on a mission to save Senator Dagonet’s son, who has been kidnapped by locals. This mission turns into something much more than a simple search-and-rescue, when the kidnappers reveal themselves to be starving, desperate locals.
Not only is it thrilling to see this duo on screen for the first time together, but it’s also a great glimpse into their distinctive differences with the rest of the Jedi Order. After discovering that the senator’s son is unharmed, Dooku and Qui-Gon both quickly take the side of the villagers, displaying the Jedi’s resolve to help those around them.
We learn where Qui-Gon might have gotten some of his steadfastness and compassion (and some of his stubbornness, as well). These are traits that are passed down from master to apprentice, through many more generations.
5. Wise beyond his years.
When face-to-face with Senator Dagonet, Dooku lets his anger and frustration get the best of him. He begins to Force choke the Senator and pushes his Padawan away with the Force when he tries to stop him. The cracks in the polished visage of Dooku are beginning to show.
Unphased, Qui-Gon quickly goes into the barn to unbind the Senator’s son, encouraging him to go save his father. It’s a joy to see, even at a young age, that Qui-Gon’s brave, measured actions remain integral to his character.
6. Jedi business.
Many years later in the next short, “Choices,” Count Dooku is on another mission, this time alongside fellow Jedi Knight, Mace Windu. Tasked with returning the fallen Master Katri’s body to the Jedi Temple so that she may have a proper burial, the two Jedi showcase their different styles of problem-solving and work together.
When they travel to Raxus Secundus and head into the forest to view the scene of the crime, they’re ambushed by traitorous guards and a swarm of droids. With their blue and purple lightsabers magnificently blazing, they use the trees of the forest for cover and protection, in order to turn the situation around. This entire short adds layered meaning to these two’s next on-screen encounter in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, when a purple lightsaber disrupts Dooku’s carefully laid plans in the Geonosis arena.
“This party’s over,” indeed.
7. The rank of master.
Never has the phrase “Master Jedi” been said with such an ominous tone and delivery.
After Dooku and Windu return to Coruscant to attend Master Katri’s funeral, their relationship is strained. Windu has been invited to join the Jedi Council, taking Katri’s seat. Dooku views this as a betrayal in multiple ways, while Windu continues on, seemingly unfazed by their discoveries on Raxus Secundus. It’s fascinating to see the dichotomy between the two Jedi, one now content in the set ways of the Order, while the other faces serious doubts about his chosen path.
"The Sith Lord"
8. “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist!”
As seen in the short “The Sith Lord,” Count Dooku carefully makes his way through the Jedi Archives, going through a sequestered door and past many rows of glowing tomes. There, he deftly inputs Master Sifo-Dyas’ security code and quickly deletes the location and date for the planet Kamino. This is an instance that fans have been curious about since the premiere of Attack of the Clones, and it’s rather thrilling to see it finally play out on screen, over 20 years later.
That simple moment proves to become one of the most important decisions made by any Jedi. The mystery of this missing planet will only deepen as the years go on, leading the Jedi to discover the clone army on that planet, steering the galaxy further into war.
9. Yaddle's journey.
As a character, the Jedi Master Yaddle has always been a mystery: where did she go after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace? Does she talk like Yoda? We finally get some of these answers in “The Sith Lord.”
After hearing about the loss of Dooku’s former apprentice, Yaddle begins to have significant doubts about Dooku’s allegiances. Following him to the outskirts of Coruscant, her instincts are proven correct.
Once she is discovered, a duel between Dooku and Yaddle ensues, leading to a final stand by the small but mighty Jedi Master. Using the Force, she opens the jaws of the blast door in a final attempt to bring Dooku back to the light, and to survive the fight. Unfortunately, her death seems to only cement Dooku’s descent into darkness.
The fact that Yaddle is such a strong, pivotal character made the wait worth it. (And we now also know that she speaks “normally” and sounds like Bryce Dallas Howard.)
10. The phantom menace.
During Yaddle and Dooku’s showdown, the shadowed Darth Sidious looks on in quiet contentment. He is the puppet master, the man behind the hood, who has successfully seduced Dooku to the dark side. The final shots of the episode focus on Sidious’ haunting smile. It’s a truly chilling way to end this pivotal moment.
Everything is proceeding as he has foreseen.
“Practice Makes Perfect”
Anakin is determined to ensure that Ahsoka will be able to protect herself on the battlefields of the Clone Wars. Not satisfied with the caliber of the new training remotes in the Jedi Temple, the young Jedi takes it upon himself to train his Padawan in the ways of self-defense against a trained blaster. Enlisting the help of Clone Captain Rex and his clone battalion, Anakin puts Ahsoka through a very rigorous exercise.
She continues to fail and to fall, but her master is there to push her forward, and pick her back up. Returning to the era of The Clone Wars (with Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka and Matt Lanter as Anakin, once again) is such a welcome addition to this series, adding even more depth to this eventually heartbreaking relationship between master and apprentice.
12. Practice makes perfect.
As the years go on, Ahsoka continues to train with her clone troopers at every opportunity. As hoped for by her master, she has become adept at defending herself against formidable opponents.
At the end of the Clone Wars, however, there is one final trial. As the alarms of a Republic cruiser blare (which fans will immediately recognize), Ahsoka’s training against the skilled shots of the clone troopers is put to the ultimate test: the fearsome aftermath of Order 66. Placing us right back into the “Siege of Mandalore” arc from Season 7 of The Clone Wars, we are reminded of the incredible struggles ahead of Ahsoka and Rex, and the importance of loyalty, determination, and resilience.
13. “She was my friend.”
The somber scene of Padmé Amidala’s funeral, which begins the final short of the anthology, “Resolve,” is overflowing with mourners, including fellow senators Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. It’s rather haunting to see this scene, previously glimpsed at the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, rendered beautifully in animation. But there is also a mysterious, hooded figure among the crowd on Naboo: a certain Togruta Force-user, who disappears as quickly as she’s sighted.
Ahsoka’s appearance is luckily only noticed by an ally in Senator Organa, who cannot believe that she would risk her life to come to Naboo to pay her respects. But Ahsoka demonstrates that loyalty and friendship is the most important thing to her, even at the end.
14. Inquisitive minds want to know.
After the Empire is contacted and a fearsome Inquisitor comes to look for Ahsoka, burning down the village in his wake, all seems lost. The Inquisitor is frustrated that seemingly no Jedi is present, contrary to reports, but soon finds himself face-to-face with a weaponless Ahsoka.
Immediately recognizing her, and ferociously wielding a double-bladed saber, the Inquisitor is nevertheless quickly defeated by Ahsoka, who uses the enemy’s weapon against him. The tension is nearly unbearable, but this new enemy (voiced by the incomparable Clancy Brown) is no match for the former Jedi…no matter how awesome and frightening he looks.
15. Ready to get back into the fight.
Unable to ignore the plight of the remaining villagers, Ahsoka calls in a favor from Bail Organa, who arrives at the remnants of the town to rescue the survivors. This experience, and the showdown with the Inquistor, has reignited the flame within Ahsoka, who is ready to finally help with the burgeoning rebellion, and to be a hero once again.
As we learn more and more about Ahsoka’s journey, it’s inspiring to see her overcome the crushing defeat and hopelessness, and it adds significant weight to the choices she makes in these early days of the Galactic Civil War and beyond.