Basically: Six short stories about characters we know well from The Clone Wars era.
I don’t know if I’ve written this before so bear with me: I prefer Star Wars in cartoon form. I think the concepts, themes, and universe work better. And with the slow evolution in entertainment technology with shows like The Mandalorian, even the live-action Star Wars stories are getting closer to my preference. Not to mention, as time goes on, the story and themes of the much-maligned prequel trilogy have actually aged well.
Another thing that really recontextualizes those films is the wonderful animated series The Clone Wars. Taking place between Episode II and Episode III, the series shows the war in more detail and the slow fall of Anakin Skywalker. It gives us the great Ashoka Tano, Anakin’s padawan, and sets up The Mandalorian. It also shows how the Jedi failed and the muddiness of the conflict between the Trade Federation and the Republic.
Tales of the Jedi follows along in The Clone Wars’ vein, basically split between two characters, Count Dooku (Corey Burton) and Ashoka (Ashley Eckstein). The most interesting chapters in Tales of the Jedi are about Dooku, as they deal with his time before joining the Dark Side. Getting more of Dooku’s background makes me want to see more from before The Phantom Menace. Ashoka’s chapters aren’t as fleshed out—since there’s more story with her overall in the franchise—but they fold in nicely to what we do know, seeming to set the way for her own series.
The chapters are fulfilling and add a great deal to the lore. I like the use of politics and how it shows other sides of the galaxy we haven’t really seen, which matches well with Andor. The chapters also do an excellent job of playing with genre tropes. There’s an episode with a great feel of a sheriff and deputy investigating crimes in a small town. Another episode feels like a Jedi version of Law & Order. Both are quite delightful and use their short timeframe well.
The look and style of the series are the same as the other recent animations, from The Clone Wars through to The Bad Batch. It’s very consistent so if that’s not your bag look-wise, you might not rock with this. But if none of that bothers you, Tales of the Jedi is another Star Wars TV show that continues the trend of telling great stories in this universe.
In the End: Tales of the Jedi is one of my favorite slices of the Star Wars. I hope they explore many other characters in the mythos.