Animation has proven to be an excellent vehicle for Star Wars to explore its universe, as well as those previously much-maligned prequel years, and Tales of the Jedi is another strong entry into that legacy. Tales of the Jedi’s bite-sized entries, all of which range between 15 and 20 minutes, split their focus between Ahsoka and Dooku evenly; interestingly, if you’re watching them in the order in which Disney+ lists them, it starts with Ahsoka as a baby, then shifts to three episodes about Dooku, and then moves back to Ahsoka. Though there isn’t a straightforward throughline among the stories told – they’re all anthology-style standalones taking place at various pivotal moments in each character’s life – you can make some parallels between the two central characters if you dig deeper and there’s a not-so-subtle feeling that that’s the point.
In particular, Dooku’s episodes provide some intriguing insight into how he became the Sith Lord that we know today, but they don’t veer too far into unrealistic sympathy for the guy. As far as Ahsoka goes, the first episode, “Life and Death,” gives us some background about her home planet and her early showings of Jedi ways, but otherwise, they’re mostly more time spent with the Togruta that we know and love at different points in her life.
And while the stories are quick little morsels, they don’t feel like they’re for newcomers. Tales of the Jedi is definitely made for those who’ve already been won over by Star Wars’ animated stories, but that’s not necessarily a point against it. Fan service isn’t, in and of itself, a bad thing, especially when it’s this slickly done. Plus, if you haven’t already watched The Clone Wars, you should probably get on that.