The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


Star Wars celebrates May 4th with “Tales of the Empire” shorts

Tales of the Empire is a well-told story in the Star Wars universe that continues the trends that Tales of the Jedi set up. Still, its first arc can be relatively uninteresting at times, and you need to care about the short’s main characters to get the full impact.

On May 4, 2023, Disney celebrated Star Wars Day (May 4) with a new series,”Tales of the Jedi”, a series of 6 shorts following 2 characters, 3 shorts each. This year, May 4 sees the release of “Tales of the Empire,” a sequel series taking place during the reign of the Empire.

Tales of the Jedi’s two stories followed Count Dooku, who saw appearances in various prequel-era media, and Ahsoka Tano, from 2008’s “The Clone Wars” series, two Jedi who became disillusioned with the order but took drastically different paths. Tales of the Empire follows Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) of “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka” , as well as Barriss Offee (Meredith Salenger) of The Clone Wars, who see both their life and home destroyed, also taking many different paths

The first three shorts, titled “The Path of Fear,” “The Path of Anger,” and “The Path of Hate.” follow Morgan Elsbeth. These shorts… exist. They’re not bad. They do a good job of staying with the arc’s themes about how the dark side corrupts, naming the episodes after the path toward the dark side (fear, anger, hate). 

The opening of episode 1, which retells the massacre of the Nightsisters, a clan of force-using witches, from the perspective of Elsbeth is pretty great; it’s one of the best portrayals of prequel-era villain General Grevious, and the music hits well. Everything after, isn’t particularly interesting. 

Episode 2 is definitely the highlight of this arc and the most memorable. It gives a perspective into the bureaucratic, shortsighted hellhole that is the Empire, as well as some cameos from multiple characters which are cool and make sense given the context of the Ahsoka series. 

The third episode is better than the first since it shows how ineffective the New Republic, the post-empire government is, as it jumps to a few years after “Return of the Jedi,” but it feels like it’s just trying to get to the point in the timeline where The Mandalorian takes place. 

The second half of the series is far more interesting. It brings back former Jedi Barriss Offee of The Clone Wars after nearly ten years of having not appeared in any media. It follows her training to be an inquisitor, a Jedi hunter trained in the dark side, following the events of “Revenge of the Sith.” These episodes are far better and feel more important and unpredictable. 

A surprise star of these episodes is the Fourth Sister, Lyn (Rya Kihlstedt), another inquisitor who trains Barriss. The Fourth Sister first appeared in 2022’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series, which wasn’t particularly well-received. Her being one of the highlights of these episodes is a welcome surprise. 

One of the series’ strong suits is its visuals. This is the best Star Wars animation has ever looked, and some of the shorts even use physical models, something Star Wars hasn’t used as much recently in favor of CGI. Some shots really look like they could be actual footage, not animation, and the animations and character models are gorgeous. 

Most of the short’s problems arise in Morgan Elsbeth’s arc, but there are a few small ones in Barriss’s, nothing major, though. The biggest problem with Elsbeth’s arc is that she simply isn’t that interesting of a character. Despite being called “Tales of the Empire,” the show doesn’t put that much focus on it besides the second episode, as well as the fourth. Something related to the dark side would’ve made more sense given the series’ content. 

My recommendation for Tales of the Empire is… mixed. If you don’t care about Morgan Elsbeth’s character in The Mandalorian or Ahsoka, you won’t care much about this arc besides the first episode’s opening. The second half is far better, but knowing about Barriss’s story from The Clone Wars helps a lot, and her story won’t be as impactful if you don’t. I give Tales of the Empire an 8/10, but my recommendation is per arc, and I would only recommend this if you know or care about these characters’ stories.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Goldman
I'm Jacob. I'm a freshman student and new to the newspaper. When not at school, I enjoy playing video games, working with technology, playing with my dog, and spending time with family. I joined the newspaper to write about the school and what's happening, as well as being able to share my creativity and opinions.

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