Tales of the Jediwas released today and brings us a series of six animated shorts centered around two Jedi leaving the Order: Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. This will be part two of two in my reviewTales of the Jedi, as it will focus on the three episodes about Ahsoka. To read my review of the three episodes of Dooku, visiton here.
Ahsoka is the focus of three episodes: "Episode 1: Life and Death", "Episode 5: Practice makes perfect" and "Episode 6: Resolution". Let's dive into our review! Full spoilers ahead.
The first episode introduces us to Ahsoka as a baby while being cared for by her mother and father on their homeworld, Shili. When she turns one year old, Ahsoka's mother takes her according to a ritual to find a kybuck. She kills the animal and procures food to feed the tribe, but only takes what they need and no more. In this, Ahsoka is made familiar with life and death at a young age. But then a large feline predator approaches, and after Ahsoka's mother tries to fight it off, the cat takes Ahsoka away. But Ahsoka uses the force to bond with the beast, which she then takes back to the village. Then the village elder says that Ahsoka is a Jedi.
The second episode jumps forward many years to Ahsoka's training in the Jedi Temple at the very beginning of the Clone Wars. As many Jedi Masters observe (and even another Padawan, Caleb Dume), Ahsoka faces training probes designed to mimic battle droids. Anakin is frustrated with this training and sets a more rigorous course by having Ahsoka take 50. This training continues throughout the Clone Wars, with Jedi becoming increasingly adept at countering attacks. The episode ends after Order 66 as Rex and Ahsoka go to confront the clones who turned against them and Rex tells her "Let's hope all the training paid off."
The third episode takes place after Revenge of the Sith and begins on Naboo where a disguised Ahsoka attends Padmé's funeral. Bail Organa talks to her and tries to recruit her to continue fighting, but Ahsoka refuses. He gives her a communicator that she can use to contact him when she's ready. He makes his way to a remote planet where he works with a group of farmers, but one day he uses the Force to save one of the others from an accident. This identifies her as a Jedi and another member of the village denounces her. An arbiter appears and destroys the entire village, killing all but two members, but Ahsoka confronts the arbiter and kills him. Knowing they cannot stay there, he contacts Bail Organa, who brings the survivors off Earth. Ahsoka is ready to get back in the fight.
Those episodes were cool and good, although they took a backseat to the Dooku episodes for me. I think that's mostly because we've already had so many Ahsoka stories in formats like this, while Dooku felt a lot fresher and more intriguing. But that certainly doesn't mean those episodes weren't funny enough and thematically connected and thought-provoking enough on their own.
We're introduced to Ahsoka's family, and while she was mostly raised on Coruscant in the Jedi Temple after Plo Koon found her, here we see her as a baby. It's great to see your homeworld and its customs, and it teaches Ahsoka and us the value of life. It's in stark contrast to the episodes about Dooku, and I wonder if that's why this episode was placed before the episodes about the Count. There is considerable loss of life in these episodes, and while Dooku's goals are noble, they are in stark contrast to the attitude of Ahsoka's mother, who says they only take what they need and no more. I loved the episode's themes and it was great to see a new side of Ahsoka's life, but overall I felt the episode was weaker.
I really enjoyed the second episode, although it was also pretty easy. It shows us Anakin training his Padawan, and that was a nice touch because we saw most of Ahsoka's trainingthe clone warsit was on the job training in combat, not in environments like this. She's training against the 501st and it's amazing how that ties in with how Ahsoka survived Order 66. In other words, Anakin was literally (unknowingly) preparing Ahsoka to survive the next clone attack. It adds depth to the Siege of Mandalore arc, and while it's not necessary, it's still pretty cool.
The last episode contains the most things to talk about. Let's start with the fact that Ahsoka was present at Padmé's funeral, which I adore. And when he explains to Bail why he wanted to be there because they were friends, it's a gut punch. It's amazing to have Ashley Eckstein back as Ahsoka and the lineage is great. It also adds even more depth to Ahsoka's line in The Book of Boba Fett of being "a family friend" as she was not only Anakin's friend but also Padmé's. It's great to see how Bail Organa is already trying to recruit her into the rebellion and how that translates to the big screen. And the fight against the Arbiter was epic (as was the Arbiter's design), thanks in large part to Kevin Kiner's fantastic score.
Of course, however, these moments create a small problem: they contradict the moments of theAhsokaNovel by E.K. Johnston. I think there are probably a few ways to resolve the Inquisitor's differences and reconcile them (though not exactly the same thing), but the part about Bail recruiting them is definitely different. But this isn't the first time the novel has been thwarted by something on screen, as has Siege of Mandalore (though moments were less there in the book than here). But for all that, he has some rabid and bitter fans online.Tales of the Jedioverall due to retcons. And it's unfortunate that such changes have been made, but at the same time I think Star Wars fans in general give too much importance to retcons than it needs to. The books should ideally go well with the shows and movies, but in this series, from the start, the movies (and then the shows) take precedence, and I think the goal should be to try and tell the best story. 🇧🇷 possible taking into account the previous history. And this is where I think Dave Filoni has more right than other storytellers with the stories he started and the characters he created. However, it's an ancient method of Star Wars storytelling to do something on screen that seems to contradict a book, and then leave it to future material to shed light on how they might actually fit together. I am sure that efforts will be made here as well.
So I totally understand why fans would be disappointed with the changes in things in the novel (and I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of the book to begin with, so I'm probably feeding my thoughts here as well). , but it's a shame to wonder how it turned out. fits into a Wookiepedia page, which discourages some fans from enjoying what we're seeing on screen. Canon matters, and as someone trying to read everything and pay attention to what comes out, it's incredibly satisfying when we see fit. I think it's fair to criticize the show for how it's changing it, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying these episodes.
Because overall I liked them! They haven't reached the same heights as Dooku, but that's probably due more to our familiarity with Ahsoka than anything else. But I think it makes sense to have Ahsoka as part of this series - she's going to be an important character in the live-action Star Wars narrative, and these short episodes give fans more opportunities to get to know her. 🇧🇷 Then there are Dooku-enhanced stories that are new and exciting, even for those already familiar with Ahsoka. And I hope that by starting with two established characters like this, they pave the way for more potential stories about different Jedi, even in different eras. I would appreciate it. However, these episodes focus on the two most prominent Jedi who left the Order and what happened to them after they left. Both became disillusioned with the Jedi, but one turned to the dark side while the other remained loyal to the light.