This Star Wars article contains spoilers for Tales of the Jedi.
While The Clone Wars made great strides in redeeming George Lucas’ divisive Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, some fans still consider the animated adventures to have been too bogged down in their own lore and too focused on kids. That’s all changed with Tales of the Jedi, the new animated anthology series which puts the “dark” in the dark side of the force. Among all the tragedy depicted on the show, one episode sticks out more than most by tying back to an underrated gem from the Prequels.
Although 2002’s Attack of the Clones wasn’t The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy, things massively improved with Revenge of the Sith in 2005. There are plenty of devastating moments in the Prequels, but it’s Episode III that packs the most. Alongside those doomed younglings turning to Anakin for help, there’s the immortal “You were the chosen one” line, and Padmé dying just after giving birth to Luke and Leia. Now, Tales of the Jedi adds another tragic twist to that story.
Tales of the Jedi arguably saves the best for last, with the sixth episode being titled “Resolve” and once again turning the story back to Ahsoka Tano. As the animated anthology opened with her origin story and the adorable Babysoka, “Resolve” is an emotional bookend to round off the first part of the season with more of the fan-favorite Togruta. Episode 6 has us reaching for the tissues with an animated version of Queen Padmé Amidala’s funeral on Naboo from Revenge of the Sith. We get a shot-for-shot recreation, but with the heartbreaking revelation that Ahsoka was secretly watching the procession from the crowd.
As the somber music plays, Bail Organa looks up to see a hooded Ahsoka standing with a candle. With the funeral coming after the devastation of Order 66, it shows how much Ahsoka was willing to risk to say her goodbye. Before she slopes off, Organa himself reminds Ahsoka of this and says there was nothing she could’ve done to save either of them. It’s a poignant nod to Anakin’s fall to the dark side. The runaway Jedi refers to Padmé and simply says, “She was my friend,” without referencing her former master. There isn’t much of a reunion before Ahsoka runs off to her new life — left with Bail’s parting words of everyone having a “duty.”
It’s a moment that brilliantly retcons Ahsoka directly into one of the key events of the Prequel Trilogy closer, solidifying her place in that part of the saga. At last, one of the Prequel era’s greatest characters plays a part in the movies, and it’s been a long time coming. Although in real life, Ahsoka was created by George Lucas and Dave Filoni after the release of the Prequel Trilogy, for many fans who grow up watching The Clone Wars, it has long felt like Anakin Skywalker’s padawan was missing from the big screen.
Tales of the Jedi isn’t the first series to retroactively place Ahsoka back into the continuity of Revenge of the Sith, of course. Although she left the Jedi Order just before the events of the movie — as a way to explain why Ahsoka wasn’t in Revenge at all — the final season of The Clone Wars explored what she was up to during Anakin’s fall to the dark side and how Order 66 affected her personally. We even get a scene where Ahsoka can hear Anakin’s anguish after killing Mace Windu, as a way to form connective tissue between her final Clone Wars adventure and what’s happening in Revenge of the Sith at the same time. It’s powerful stuff.
Tales of the Jedi strengthens this connection further. Because of Ahsoka’s relationship with Padmé, there were always questions about why she wasn’t at the latter’s funeral. But since she wasn’t introduced until 2008, Ahsoka would only ever be able to appear in the live-action scene if Lucas had gone full Star Wars Special Edition and added her in with CGI like he did with Jabba the Hutt in his remastered A New Hope. It would be odd to go back and edit a movie that’s already 17 years old for the sake of just one moment (unless you’re Lucas), so thankfully, Tales of the Jedi does it for us and canonizes Ahsoka’s presence at Padmé’s funeral.
Interestingly, “Resolve” takes a lot of its cues from E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka novel from 2016. Earlier this year, Johnston posted a (now-deleted) tweet about fans “gleefully” declaring her book non-canon because we’d explore Ahsoka’s backstory in Tales of the Jedi, but that’s not entirely true. Both stories have Ahsoka finding a quiet farming life under the name Ashla and include a climactic fight with an Inquisitor. In fact, Ahsoka’s duel with the unnamed Inquisitor in the second half of the episode has thrown up more questions, and according to Johnston, it’s not the Sixth Brother who she defeated similarly in the book. Still, the episode ends just as Organa recruits her to get back into the fight… like in Ahsoka.
Even though the continuity is a little bit of a mess, the Ahsoka novel could have more ties to Tales of the Jedi and explain Ahsoka’s coldness toward Anakin in the episode. In Johnston’s story, she reaches out to Anakin through the Force but assumes he’s died because she can’t find him. We know it’s true in the sense that Anakin has “died” and only Vader is left, as emphasized in Obi-Wan Kenobi and mainline canon. And we also know Ahsoka won’t actually find out about what Anakin has become until Rebels. Either way, we see Revenge of the Sith and its aftermath from “a different point of view” thanks to Tales of the Jedi.
“Resolve” isn’t a perfect retelling of Ahsoka, as moments like Tano taking the Inquisitor’s kyber crystals to create her white lightsabers from Rebels (and presumably the Rosario Dawson-led Ahsoka) are missing. It also skips over Ahsoka adopting her Fulcrum moniker, which seems like a missed opportunity for Filoni, especially given how big a Rebels reveal it was. Thankfully, Tales of the Jedi adapts the best bits of Ahsoka and mixes them with new reveals like Padmé’s funeral, just like we’ve seen with Boba Fett’s survival, Andor’s Imperial Security Bureau, and even Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is streaming now on Disney+.