Star Wars: Tales of The Empire Review

    Finally, we have a villain-centric story for Star Wars fans. May 4th, the official Star Wars day, has brought Star Wars: Tales of The Empire. This six-part animated anthology series is a sequel to Star Wars: Tales of The Jedi. However, this time, it focuses on Barriss Offee (Meredith Salenger) and Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto). But that’s not all! Tales of The Empire features well-known villains, such as Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and Grievous (Matthew Wood).

    The original Tales of The Jedi adventure was well received and praised by Star Wars fans. A second instalment, which we originally presumed would be season two of Jedi Adventures, was teased at Star Wars Celebration 2023. However, on April 4th 2024, Tales of The Empire was revealed. The legend that is Dave Filoni returns as Creator and supervising director once again. He’s joined by executive producers Athena Yvette Portillo and Carrie Beck. Star Wars: Tales of The Empire was released today, May 4th, via Disney+.

    Barriss Offee (center) and Clone guards in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Fallen Padawan

    Barriss Offee’s three adventures comprise the second half of Tales of The Empire. Episode One, “Devoted”, revolves around the former Jedi padawan’s recruitment into The Jedi order. The opening to this episode is a frightening reality of Order 66 on Coruscant and the purge of the Jedi temple. It’s fantastic seeing the character of Barriss continued in Star Wars. Before this, she just sorta vanished off the face of the planet, I guess? While all about Barriss, the episode does a great job of fleshing out the Inquisitors. Mainly the Fourth sister.

    Set early in the Reign of The Empire, we see elements of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mainly Fortress Inquisitorius being constructed on the planet of Nur. Yes, that is next door to Mustafar. This is something Tales of The Empire does well. It adds more information and depth to what else we have seen in the Star Wars universe before. The Grand Inquisitor testing Barriss was great. His character is someone who really sold Star Wars: Rebels for me. I still think it’s a shame Jason Isaacs did not play the character in the Kenobi series.

    Seeing Barris’s turning point was great. This was her even bigger fall to The Dark Side in murdering someone she knew. However, while it could be rewarded as getting old, Darth Vader’s appearance is always a sight for soar eyes. The episode’s closing moments remind us that The Empire is never really gone. “Long Live The Empire”.

    (L-R): Grand Inquisitor and Barriss Offee in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Truth of The Empire

    The second episode of Barriss’s adventure leads us into the thick of Inquisitor drama, mainly because this seems to be her first proper mission dealing with a Jedi. Titled “Realization“, this episode shows how Barris realized The Galactic Empire is not so good after all. Seeing how worlds are living due to what the empire is doing wakes up the character. It also shows how The Empire bismarched the name of the Jedi to other beings. The episode is actually very, very dark. The Fourth sister eliminated the civilian population for their defiance against The Empire.

    I really enjoyed how Barriss tried to grapple with what The Empire and Inquisitors were doing. Mainly when the points about creating fear came up. Fear created respect for them in the Empire’s mind, but this would eventually backfire. The episode title really comes into play when Barris fights the unknown Human Jedi and tries to convince them to surrender. While this is a great episode for Barriss, I really wanted to see more of The Fourth Sister and what drove her towards The Inquisitors.

    A scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Way Out Of Here

    Star Wars: Tales of The Empire concluded with “The Way Out.” However, we did this review the other way around because we’re cool like that. This story times jumps yet again. We find ourselves with Barriss Offee, who has rejected The Empire and The Inquisitors. Instead, she now seems to lead a peaceful life as a healer. A child is brought to her, who likely has shown signs of being Force-sensitive. It’s a good perspective on Barriss’s life as a Jedi and her fall to the dark side.

    Seeing Barriss go head-to-head with The Fourth Sister in a fight was good. Even if it was a little short. The third episode cemented how far we’ve seen Barriss’s life go. I’ve also got to take a moment to credit the musical score. The score easily kept me on edge during the cave scenes while waiting to see if the family would escape. Interestingly, Barriss mentions “an old friend” before the Fourth Sister’s arrival. I like to believe that this is Ahsoka Tano.

    The final moments of the episode connect very well with the episode title. Barriss communicated the idea of “no way out” with the Fourth Sister very well. However, while I found this story interesting and a great watch, I still wish we had seen more of The Fourth Sisters’ story overall. That would have been good, especially treading new ground. Rya Kihlstedt did a great job voicing the character; I would like to see more of her. Unfortunately, this isn’t a conclusion to Barriss’s story. We don’t know what is next.

    (L-R): Grand Inquisitor and Barriss Offee in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Story of a Survivor

    Ever since her appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2, I’ve been interested in the character of Morgan Elsbeth. Thankfully, the Star Wars: Ahsoka series developed her character more than we could have ever asked for. Actress Diana Lee Inosanto also brought so much life and depth to Morgan. Here in Star Wars: Tales of The Empire, we find more backstory to the character of Morgan. It directly links with previous Star Wars: The Clone Wars content. For example, we see General Grievious’s attack on Dathomir.

    Episode One, “The Path of Fear”, is our starting point for Morgans’s story. Revisiting this battle allowed the Lucasfilm animation department to showcase Grievous in a new light. It just makes me want more animation like this. Hopefully, we might get that with the recent conclusion of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. What I really like about this episode is that it adds depth to the original Clone Wars episode. Especially when it comes to seeing how the Droids hunted the people of Dathomir to near extinction.

    It seems that Morgan’s turning point is the destruction of her homeworld. Her attempts to fight back against those who destroyed her homeworld cost her more friends. However, this episode also allowed us to see more of life on Dathomir. Not everyone is a Witch, it seems! Some of the people living on the planet seem rather normal in comparison.

    General Grievous in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    In The Shadow of The Empire

    The opening shot to Episode 2, “The Path of Anger”, was fantastic. However, what was even better was Morgan presenting the Tie-Defender project. I’m a big fan of this episode, mainly as it gives us more of Gilad Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley) and Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). The second episode also establishes more of the planet of Corvus. The planet first appeared in Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2, Chapter 13, “The Jedi”. Additionally, this was also the episode that introduced Morgan Elsbeth as a character.

    It seems Thrawn wanted to test Elsbeth to ensure she was the right fit for his projects. This episode does a fantastic job of setting up the events to come. Both are what we see in The Mandalorian and Star Wars: Ahsoka, but also what we might see in the upcoming movie that will involve Thrawn’s return. Thrawn’s conversation with Morgan also gets more out of her character, especially when we see her motivation for revenge towards those who destroyed The Nightsisters. Thrawn’s fleet appears above Calodan, the city on Corvus.

    (L-R): Morgan Elsbeth and Thrawn in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Path of Hatred

    Episode 3: The Path of Hate takes us into New Republic times. This is just before we see The Mandalorian Din Djarin turn up and cause havoc. The New Republic arrives and seemingly tries to force Morgans’s hand. This episode gives us extra perspective on where we find Elsbeth in the New Republic’s time. Unfortunately, we don’t see many of Corvus’s factories that construct the Imperial assets. Sure, we see a glimpse of the background, but I feel like that is what we should be seeing.

    Morgan mentions her vision. This links with the Ahsoka series and where we find the character. I don’t think the first episode adds depth to Morgan’s character. Still, it shows her conviction in The Empire and doing what she thinks is right. This episode, and the one before it, does a lot for establishing Wing. This man is the one we see in The Mandalorian episode and becomes The Magistrate of Corvus once Elsbeth is defeated by Ahsoka. There is a nice cameo here, which worms well!

    Morgan Elsbeth in a scene from “STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

    The Tales of The Empire

    Overall, Star Wars: Tales of The Empire is a fantastic adventure on May 4th. As a big fan of The Empire and the many characters it has produced for Star Wars, I am very overjoyed we have this adventure. The ability to shed light on two characters while including many others to add depth to is fantastic. I hope projects like this continue for some time in the Star Wars Universe. We’ve just got to think of what could be done next. Perhaps a “Tales of the New Jedi Order” or “Tales of the Sith“. Seriously, a short series covering new Sith Lords would be fantastic.

    If Star Wars: The Acolyte does not give us Darth Plagueis content, then perhaps a short series like this should! Thinking about this series, it’s a big improvement from Tales of the Jedi. While I liked the original short stories, this “second season” greatly improved story pacing and design. I’d love to see more adventures from these characters. My only large complaint would be the back of completing Barriss Offee’s storyline. We know where Morgan Elsbeth’s story goes. But perhaps this means we’ll get future adventures with Barriss down the line. That would be fantastic.

    Tales of The Empire is a solid set of adventures that helps expand and add depth to those it showcases. While yes, these characters are established, adding more to them only helps the stories they are already a part of. This is the best part about media like this. It expands the content we have already watched and adds to it in a beatitude way. Once again, the Lucasfilm animation department has outdone themselves on this.

    Star Wars: Tales of The Empire is streaming on Disney+ worldwide! You can watch all 6 episodes right now, on demand!

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    Jack Trestrail
    Jack Trestrail
    Pop-Culture nerd and uber Sci-Fi fan! Jack is frequently found telling everyone about the latest Star Wars developments or nerding out on the newest Star Trek starships! ?

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