Spoiler-free review of Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles. Now available on Disney+.
One of the announcements that stood out the most in the last Star Wars Celebration 2022 was that of the series that concerns us, Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles. Dave Filoni leads this anthology of short films that seek to delve into the history of two of the most interesting and beloved characters by fans of the legendary franchise: Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. With three chapters for each one of them, we find a series that is easy to watch, beautiful in audiovisual terms and comfortable in handling its legacy, fully aware of its status as fanservice well understood.
Billed as an ideal accompaniment to the series The Clone Warsand making use of the animation style used by this and The Bad Shipment, Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles tells us six stories centered on different points in the lives of Ahsoka and Dooku. The first thing that catches the attention of the series, beyond the attractiveness of knowing more about these two characters, is its animation style. Although we are used to seeing the Star Wars universe represented in this way, a new level of excellence is reached hereproving once again that the language of animation is one of those that best marry the more traditional side of the galactic saga.
The facial expressions of its protagonists reflect a perfect mastery of the artistic style of The Clone Wars, molding it with slight details that reinforce the message of each of the shorts; To this end, an especially delicate use of music, perfectly integrated in the few minutes that each chapter lasts, also helps a lot. From the knowing eyes of a newborn Ahsoka to the pain and rage that hides in Count Dooku’s apparently calm expression, passing through some simply spectacular cities and settings, Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles is an audiovisual wondercapable of delighting the fan only with its most superficial facet.
“Is the Jedi Council really separate from politics and ego?”
In the first chapter, called “Life and Death”, we travel to Ahsoka’s birth; We will be able to see what his home planet and his people were like, their customs and his beliefs, in a few beautiful minutes full of light and hope. The tone that emanates from this short story is that of a legend transmitted by word of mouth. This colorful beginning of the anthology also marks the beginning of a cycle that will evolve with the passing of the chapters. As we have seen many times throughout this franchise, there can be no light without darknessand legends often overly idealize the wisdom they contain.
The next three episodes they will star a young Count Dooku. We will see how his hatred for an increasingly corrupt galactic Senate will feed the darkness within him. Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles shows us a Dooku that we did not know, with a desire for justice and to protect, although for this he must break the rules; with his characteristic hilt of his lightsaber and the same sense of danger hidden behind his omnipresent elegance, we will witness how his concept of justice is turned upside down to the ultimate consequences, giving us the best moments of this series at all levels. His story poses situations that we have seen before, but with a rawness and intensity that manage to make him surprisingly close to Dooku’s character in a very short time. It’s always interesting to visualize the evolution of a character we thought we knew, and with Count Dooku my only regret is that more minutes of footage weren’t made.
After experiencing the change from the brightest light to the deepest darkness, a new hope breaks through, resuming Ahsoka’s story. The following episode is entirely dedicated to one of the most effective and memorable dynamics of The Clone Wars, and it is theThe teacher-student relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka, as well as the support Rex and his squad of clones provided. Lovers of the most powerful togruta will find here a short totally dedicated to showing off and learning.
Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles ends with, what appears to be, a new descent into hell. Set after Padme’s funeral, we see a resigned Ahsoka, who has given up. However, as Yoda would say, an infinite mystery the Force is…
One of the main claims of this series was the numerous cameos of faces as recognizable as Qui-Gon Jinn’s. However, although it is true that there are several appearances that add a certain interest to the plots, most of them are relegated to the immediate surprise of his appearance, without going deeper into them or contributing anything at the plot level. It is undoubtedly a product of the limited duration of the shorts, all of them approximately 15 minutes long, but many of the interactions involved in these cameos called for more space and development. Fortunately, this is a format with a lot of potential to exploit, so perhaps our desire to learn more about these fascinating warriors will be satisfied in the future.
“Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles is a proposal that plays it safe, a gift for the fan of its most traditional side”
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is a proposal that plays it safe, moving away from the disruptive spirit emanating from other recent products such as Star Wars: Andor or, in the same league, Star Wars: Visions. It’s a gift for the most traditional Star Wars fanfor the archeology lover of a story that can always offer more than where everything seemed to be told.
It is inevitable to be left with the feeling that it knows little, that to a certain extent there is a lot of untapped potential or that we did not discover as much as we expected. Nevertheless, Star Wars: The Jedi Chronicles is a show that knows how to encapsulate in its ephemeral duration the greatest virtues of the franchise.