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Dooku & Ahsoka’s Pasts Reveal the Flaws of Jedi

Dec 9, 2022


For anyone who has been around for a while keeping up with Star Wars stories, especially shows like The Clone Wars, your mileage may vary on how effective the Jedi Council is. The well-meaning Jedi become the Senate’s lapdogs over time, often unintentionally aiding in their corruption. Despite their mastery of the force, none of them could tell that Palpatine was Darth Sidious and many of their own were turning to the dark side. Tales of the Jedi shines a light on the ignorance of the Jedi and how their unflexible nature ultimately led to their doom. Created by Dave Filoni, the anthology series fits perfectly into the existing Star Wars universe.

For those who are familiar with the prequels, Count Dooku, voiced by Corey Burton in Tales of the Jedi, is nothing more than another villain. We don’t learn much about him, and he feels like his purpose is to be the murder that sends Anakin toward a downward spiral. However, Tales of the Jedi adds to what some book readers might already know about Dooku’s past. Not only was he the master of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson/Micheál Richardson), but his belief in prophecies is what influenced Qui-Gon to go to Tatooine in search of Anakin.
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In the episodes “Justice”, “Choices”, and “The Sith Lord,” we watch as Dooku slowly loses faith in a Jedi Council that refuses to listen to the instinct of its Jedi, instead clinging to rules at the risk of life and justice. Though there are shades of Dooku’s dark side, he’s not an inherently evil character in the beginning. He sees injustice when corruption rewards Senators and punishes the regular people. As peacekeeper, he is conflicted by his duties when his desire to hunt down the truth clashes with the Jedi Council’s orders.

At one point in an episode, a character who has become disillusioned with the Jedi lays it out clearly for Dooku: “Jedi are lapdogs of the Senate. Their bidding always comes first. It’s evident throughout the galaxy. Jedi claim peace but mostly keep law and order for the rich and powerful.” This statement, while not completely true, is also not false. Many Jedi blindly follow the Council who blindly do the bidding of the Senate. It’s how Palpatine was able to manipulate the Jedi so easily.

Led by hubris and even naïveté, at one point Dooku questions Mace Windu (TC Carson) about whether their job as peacekeepers conflicts with what the Senate sometimes says is law — and Windu simply replies that they are guided by the Council, not by politics or ego. This blind acceptance without realizing that Republic politics are pulling the strings of every act the Jedi take is what eventually leads to the slaughter of all the Jedi. Dooku’s story arc not only brings in Qui-Gon, who is shown to have a strong bond with his Master, but also Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard), a female from Yoda’s species. Although we haven’t learned much about Yaddle in the past, Tales of the Jedi gives the character a strong foundation and one that makes her honestly more insightful and wise than Yoda himself.

Image via Disney+

Out of the two, Dooku’s stories pack the most emotion behind them, but Ahsoka’s (Ashley Eckstein) episodes offer us a look into not only her origins but also another glimpse into her close relationship with Anakin (Matt Lanter). We meet Ahsoka when she’s quite young, having been brought to Anakin as his padawan when she’s 14 as a way to teach the young Skywalker some responsibility. Unfortunately, Ahsoka and Anakin possess the same rebellious spirit, though it fosters a close bond between master and padawan.

The stories “Life and Death,” “Practice Makes Perfect,” and “Resolve,” illustrate her life before the Jedi, during her time with Anakin, and then after the fall. It’s exciting to see Ahsoka’s parents, Pav-ti (Janina Gavankar) and Nak-il (Sunil Malhotra), as well as the village where she might have grown up. With the Ahsoka series currently in production, I have to wonder if this will hint at us potentially returning to Ahsoka’s roots since she is no longer a Jedi.

Although “Life and Death” is a sweet story about Ahsoka’s bond with the Force even as a toddler, it’s “Practice Makes Perfect” and “Resolve” that truly depict her strength as a Force user. While the trailers seemed to emphasize a certain hardness or sinister nature to Anakin’s training Ahsoka, it becomes very clear that the Jedi is simply doing everything possible to make sure that, in the case of battle, she will come out of the other end alive. This training proves to be vital in her survival of Order 66 and once again reminds us that, at some point in his life, Anakin Skywalker was not only a good person but a thoughtful Jedi Knight. The fall of the Jedi reveals Ahsoka’s reluctance to fight, having lost everything in the rise of the Empire (at this point, not even knowing that Anakin still lives). But when she must face off against an Inquisitor, the skilled Force user does not hesitate to show just how powerful she has become.

Image via Disney+

While both stories are strong on their own, it’s combined that we see the strength in Tales of the Jedi. This is not a show just about the adventures of the illustrious Jedi; it’s a cautionary tale and a tragic one. It touches on some of the best stories to come from the animated Star Wars shows like The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. These series never flinched away from criticizing the Jedi while also revealing just how seductive the Sith can be when you are at your lowest point. Tales of the Jedi is a fitting entry into this catalog and continues to add layers of dimension to familiar and beloved characters.

Rating: A

Tales of the Jedi premieres with all six episodes on October 26, exclusively on Disney+.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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