STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI is an original six-part animated anthology series on Disney Plus. It chronicles the struggles of Ahsoka, Anakin Skywalker’s feisty Jedi apprentice, and Count Dooku, a Jedi master who transitions to the “Dark Side.” Ahsoka struggles to impress her master while forging her own destiny. Meanwhile, Count Dooku questions his allegiance to the Jedi Order and its hypocritical obedience to a corrupt Senate. Dooku betrays his Jedi superiors, but at a great personal cost. Meanwhile, Ahsoka discovers she can’t be something she’s not.
TALES OF THE JEDI: Season One is beautifully animated, with nuanced character depth and exciting action. The episodes promote perseverance, justice and questioning loyalty to a corrupt regime and government tyranny. It also takes a one-dimensional villain from the STAR WARS prequels and turns him into a relatable, tragic figure. However, the series has a mixed worldview where morally uplifting, conservative content is combined with the strong pantheistic theology of STAR WARS. TALES OF THE JEDI also has strong action violence where characters are wounded or killed. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
(Pa, BB, Fe, FRFR, O, PP, ACAC, So, L, VV, MM)
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Mixed pagan worldview with biblical/moral values with light feminist values and a strong pantheistic theology where mystical knights wield space magic and have heightened reflexes, but also have a will to protect innocent life, plus a Jedi apprentice exhibits resilience and the courage to stand up against grave injustices, a Jedi master tries to carry out an investigation but realizes his political client is stealing from his constituents, Jedi master re-examines his conscience but ultimately betrays his own allies, Jedi warriors emphasize protecting innocent life at all costs, a reference to ancestors, an unexplained reference to “spirits,” an alien mother hunts for dangerous animal flesh in the forest, mother refuses to bring any other adults on the hunt but brings her one-year-old baby to illustrate the dangerous wildlife to her, justice in the face of corruption is stressed and people oppose and fight government tyranny, and political corruption in a Republic is opposed but there’s a slightly socialist comment about the Senate only serving the rich and powerful
One “d” word and one “h” word
Contains moderate animated violence but with no blood such as laser shootouts and lightsaber duels, alien mother strikes a knife into deer’s stomach, mother skins the animal for food, a squad of clone warriors shoot “stun” beams at a Jedi-in-training, the student falls onto the floor unconscious several times, a human guard assassinates his galactic senator with a laser pistol, a Yoda-like alien is crushed under the weight of a metal airport door, a Jedi knight beheads an evil Sith robot with a lightsaber, a corrupt senator orders his army to open fire on some insurgents while two Jedi knights defend the citizens, and a Jedi knight uses a “Force choke” on a corrupt senator but ultimately spares his life
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
The son of a galactic senator is held hostage by the senator’s armed constituents, an enraged Jedi master threatens to kill a tyrannical senator in the name of justice, tiger kidnaps an infant from her mother, farmer exposes a Jedi’s secret identity to the Galactic Empire, and a Jedi master abandons his position, betrays his closest allies and becomes a pawn for the evil Darth Sidious.
STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI is an original six part 3D animated anthology series on Disney Plus. The series chronicles the struggles of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s feisty Jedi apprentice, and Count Dooku, a former Jedi master who transitions to the dark side. Ahsoka struggles to impress her master while forging her own destiny. Meanwhile, Count Dooku questions his allegiance to the Jedi Order and its weak opposition to corruption in the Senate. Dooku betrays his superiors, but at a great personal cost. TALES OF THE JEDI was created by Dave Filoni, who also worked on THE MANDALORIAN and THE CLONE WARS (2008).
TALES OF THE JEDI comprises six episodes set during the prequel era of STAR WARS. Each fifteen-minute episode is connected to the trials and tribulations of upholding the Jedi lifestyle. The series is evenly split between Ahsoka’s training and Count Dooku’s disillusionment with the amoral Jedi Order. These episodes are simple in concept and flesh out the details neglected by the prequel STAR WARS movies. [SPOILERS AHEAD.]
In the episode “Life and Death,” it follows Ahsoka as a newborn baby, her hunter-gatherer alien society, and her fearless mother. As part of their family tradition, Ahsoka and her stern mother hunt for meat inside the local forest. As the mother skins a deer, a tiger attacks her and kidnaps her baby. Can the tribe rescue Ahsoka in time?
“Life and Death” has a decent hook but contains serious logical gaps. It explores Ahsoka’s upbringing in a rural alien tribe. Somehow, a young Ahsoka convinces a tiger to drop her off at her home village. This happens because she is “in tune with the force,” but no one-year-old kid, not even an alien infant, should be able to scare a tiger so easily. It makes no sense when Ahsoka’s mother hunts for food, she has no one else to back her up. The only reason she lived was because of weak writing.
Ahsoka’s plotline continues in “Practice Makes Perfect,” which takes place between ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH. The teenage Jedi student aces a mandatory Jedi training session. Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s personal mentor, deems the test as lacking in challenge. Wanting to prepare his pupil for life and death scenarios, Anakin forces Ahsoka into an endurance test against his clone troopers. If Ahsoka can deflect the clones’ “stun” beams for more than five minutes, she is free to leave. She gets stunned and outflanked multiple times but refuses to stop.
“Practice Makes Perfect” stresses Ahsoka’s determination and perseverance to keep going. The story is effective at forging Ahsoka and Anakin’s bond as Jedi. It is simple in nature but offers a great extension of Ahsoka’s character. It offers more substance than the “baby Ahsoka” story.
The last Ahsoka-themed episode lies in “Resolve.” After escaping the Imperial persecution of the Jedi in REVENGE OF THE SITH, Ahsoka goes into permanent hiding. Fast forward a few years, where she works as an anonymous farm hand on a rural planet. Ahsoka uses her force powers to save a female farmhand from a deadly accident. Unfortunately, the farmhand and her brother deduce that she is a Jedi fugitive. Will Ahsoka flee the scene or stand her ground?
“Resolve” reinforces Ahsoka’s growth from an inexperienced padawan to a more mature Jedi master. It is well-paced and features a sudden beheading of a Sith Lord robot. It is also a good way of capping off Ahsoka’s story before she meets Baby Yoda and Mando in THE MANDALORIAN.
However, TALES OF THE JEDI truly excels with its other main character, Count Dooku.
In “Justice,” Count Dooku and his apprentice, a young Qui Gon Jinn, are sent on a mission to diffuse a dicey hostage situation. The two Jedi question the local citizens, who reveal that they are suffering under their senator’s tyrannical regime. Count Dooku discovers the citizens kidnapped the senator’s son in retaliation. The senator demands that his citizens release the hostage or else his army will shoot them. Count Dooku tries to diffuse the situation, but the senator opens fire on the citizens. Enraged by this uncivilized act, Dooku defeats the army and Force-chokes the senator. Qui Gon Jinn convinces Dooku to not give into anger, prompting Dooku to spare the senator’s life. The citizens call for a truce. Dooku thanks the young padawan for his quick thinking.
“Justice” and the other Dooku-centric episodes rectify a key issue of the prequel trilogy: Count Dooku’s lack of character development. In ATTACK OF THE CLONES, Count Dooku (played by the late Christopher Lee) had practically zero character development other than being an evil pawn. In REVENGE OF THE SITH, the character appears for an impressive lightsaber duel and dies five minutes later. TALES OF THE JEDI offers a relatable backstory to the former Jedi master.
In “Choices,” Count Dooku and Mace Windu investigate the crime scene of an assassinated Jedi master. The two Jedi masters question a senator over his testimony of the murder, but the skeptical Dooku points out the holes in the story. The senator crumbles under pressure and orders an attack on the Jedi. Dooku and Windu defeat the senator’s guards and learn the truth. The senator was draining his planet of valuable resources to pay off his colleagues in the Galactic Senate. At the Jedi Council, Dooku presents his political case to his superiors. However, the Council refuses to look into the senator’s financial activities. Windu assures Dooku that there’s nothing else the Jedi can do. However, Dooku feels “sour” over the Jedi Council turning a blind eye to the corrupt Senate shenanigans.
“Choices” unveils Count Dooku’s disillusionment with the institution he serves. TALES OF THE JEDI explains that Dooku values “justice” and “duty” for galactic citizens. The episode does a great job showing he’s more than being a two-dimensional Sith Lord. It raises the moral quandary of following orders, even if it violates one’s conscience.
Dooku’s journey concludes in “The Sith Lord.” After hearing about the murder of his protege Qui Gon Jinn by the hands of Darth Maul, Count Dooku tampers with the digital archives at the Jedi temple. Master Yaddle, one of Dooku’s accomplices, is alerted to Dooku’s suspicious behavior. Yaddle follows Dooku to a secret hangar bay, where he convenes with Darth Sidious, aka Senator Palpatine. Dooku reveals he’s trying to restore peace and order to the Republic, but he’s hesitant to betray his friends. Yaddle and Dooku engage in a lightsaber duel, but Dooku gets the upper hand. Darth Sidious assures Dooku that by doing these heinous acts, the former Jedi master is restoring “order to the galaxy.”
“The Sith Lord” bookends the tragic fall of Count Dooku. It features massive fight choreography, great cinematography, and expands on Dooku’s backstory. Dooku is a Jedi who fights for justice but becomes frustrated with the Jedi Council, because it’s hesitant to oppose the corruption. He tries doing what’s right but loses his moral compass to his anger and to the sinister Darth Sidious, the villain who turns Anakin Skywalker to the “Dark Side.” When he confronts his Jedi friend, Dooku feels trapped behind his well-intentioned, yet monstrous, actions.
TALES OF THE JEDI; Season One is beautifully animated, with nuanced character depth and fast paced action. The series explores the moral parameters of perseverance, seeking justice and questioning one’s loyalty to a corrupt regime. It also expresses opposition to political corruption and government tyranny led by an autocratic dictator. Moreover, the series takes a one-dimensional villain from the movies and transforms him into a relatable, tragic figure. However, the moral elements in TALES OF THE JEDI are mixed with the strong pantheistic theology of STAR WARS. TALES OF THE JEDI also has some strong action violence where characters are killed, as in other animated STAR WARS series such as THE CLONE WARS and THE BAD BATCH. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
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