“Tales of the Jedi” splits its focus equally between Count Dooku and Ahsoka Tano. Over the course of three 15-minute episodes, the show realizes the tragedy of Dooku’s fall to the dark side to powerful effect. We watch as the seasoned Jedi (his dignified voice once again provided by Corey Burton, who is wonderful as ever) grows ever more weary of the corruption within the Galactic Senate and the Jedi High Council’s refusal to do anything about it, and we sympathize with him. When his apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn, is killed, Dooku’s pain is all too palpable.
If ever there was ever a single moment in “Star Wars” that exposed the failings of the old Jedi Order, it’s the scene where Dooku stoically ruminates on Quin-Gon’s death on Coruscant. In keeping with the Jedi code, he’s not even permitted to openly grieve the loss of the only person who fully empathized with his concerns about the duplicity of the Galactic Republic. Is it any wonder that Dooku, in his suffering, turned to someone who promised the radical change he sought, only to exploit him to serve their own purposes?
The episodes about Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein, excellent as usual) are just as emotional as those about Dooku. “Tales of the Jedi” begins with the thrilling “Life and Death,” a chapter that reveals how the infant Ahsoka’s latent Force abilities manifested after a near-death encounter. This story is juxtaposed with episodes that are just as intense yet also poignant, shedding light on how Ahsoka was really able to survive Order 66 and the events that led to her picking back up her lightsaber after the Clone Wars (a partial re-telling of E. K. Johnston’s great 2016 novel “Ahsoka”).