Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Preaches to its own Choir, and does so Beautifully


AP Images

Ashley Eckstein, voice of character Ahsoka Tano, poses on the red carpet of a “Force 4 Fashion” event.

Maddox Karnes, Arts and Entertainment editor

When talking about big media franchises, “Star Wars” is almost always one that comes up in the conversation. With over 40 years of canonical content, they’ve produced some of the most beloved and cherished pieces of cinema, and they’ve also produced films that might as well be labeled as cash-grab sensory videos.

 However, their latest animated project, “Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi,” luckily takes the route of cherished cinema and is a stand-out amid the sea of new Disney + shows.

The first season, released Oct. 26, contains six episodes. The show is an anthology series with each episode giving a 10 to 15 minute insight into a Jedi’s story throughout the prequel trilogy era of the franchise.

The show has Dave Filoni as executive producer and consists of a powerhouse voice-acting cast. Ashley Eckstein reprises her role as fan-favorite character Ahsoka and Liam Neeson returns to voice the character of Qui-Gon Jinn.

With each episode lasting a quarter of an hour, it makes sure that not a single second goes to waste. Whether it is remarkable dialogue, breathtaking animated shots or an exquisite soundtrack, the show promises to grab your attention and not let go until after the credits roll.

As a lifelong “Star Wars” watcher, and someone who is particularly fond of their animated shows, the anthology series felt like a love letter to the stories and characters that fans grew up with. It built off previous information from a plethora of sources in the “Star Wars” repertoire, and it also cleared up questions from the company’s previous installments.

The only hiccup the series encounters is the demographic of its viewers: superfans. To properly consume this series, viewers must have already completed some pretty hefty homework. For example, if you haven’t watched “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” about half of the series isn’t going to make sense.

That may not seem like a huge deal; however, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is approximately 66 hours long. Odds are the casual Disney + subscriber scrolling for a quick flick to watch hasn’t dedicated almost three straight days of their life to a “Star Wars” cartoon. Only the people who have religiously viewed “Star Wars” content fully appreciate the show – but maybe that’s not a terrible thing.

With a world as vast as Star “Wars” on a platform as gigantic as Disney, it’s easy for projects to get lost in the shuffle. So many try to fit an array of different molds that the end result is just mush. “Tales of the Jedi,” however, reaches a specific group of people. The show knows who’s watching it, and it allows it to go deep with lore and characters.

Without the concern of commercial success, the series is allowed to focus on diehard fans and what they would want to see. The show doesn’t feel like it was made with the intention of getting the most clicks or views, it just wants to build on the beloved “Star Wars” universe.

The approach is fresh, exciting and rewarding. Hopefully other media companies are paying attention to “Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi” and the wonderful piece of art they’ve put forward as their latest project.