First, let me say that I am VERY new to the Star Wars fandom space. I know the basics: light side, dark side, patricide. The Skywalkers, Darth Vader, blowing up the Death Star.
I was really young when the prequels were released and have a vague memory of receiving a Star Wars toy with a kid’s meal, but I largely found delight elsewhere. I begrudgingly sat down to watch two movies from the original trilogy when I was 17 because the friends I made in college couldn’t BELIEVE I’d never seen them.
Years later, I thought I was ready to go all in with the introduction of Finn, the (force sensitive?) stormtrooper turned hero, but that was a false start for my fandom. Alas, I didn’t finish the latest trilogy either.
It wasn’t until I fell in love with Baby Yoda—ahem, Grogu— and the Mandalorian that I understood the appeal of the Star Wars universe: there’s so much room for storytelling and SO many characters and corners of the galaxy to explore. While each story contains references that tie them to other media, including the dozens of Star Wars books and animated series, you don’t necessarily need to know EVERYTHING to have a great time.
TL;DR: beyond the most obvious of references and carried-over story elements, I had barely any clue what was going on in Tales of the Jedi and I *loved* it anyway. I was fascinated the whole way through.
I believe that is the mark of great media.
The series has done its job: to make newer fans like me interested in tracing the storytelling threads of the characters featured while also rewarding lovers of the franchise for their longtime investment. Every episode of the series moved me, and even I felt over the moon to see the few characters I could name like Ahsoka Tano and Mace Windu.
Outside of its narrative storytelling, Tales of the Jedi is animated and scored beautifully. Its visual style is a gorgeous evolution of the original The Clone Wars animated series, which is now on my ever-growing watchlist. You can really see how far computer-generated animation has come since the early 2000s, and in a media climate where animated series and the teams responsible for them are facing widespread industry challenges, it’s refreshing that Star Wars continues to invest in animation as a unique medium of storytelling. The score, done by Kevin Kiner, is haunting and emotional and features musical themes pulled directly from the iconic Williams score as a little sonic treat.
Truly, Tales of the Jedi is wonderfully made, and it’s my hope that fandom padawans and Jedi Masters alike enjoy it.
For more Star Wars coverage check out our review of Andor here!