FeaturesReviewsSeries & Specials Reviews

Barriss Offee and Morgan Elsbeth Feature in ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Empire’

Share this:

Star Wars: Tales of the Empire delves into the mystery of the Galactic Empire with characters we’re familiar with. By exploring the lives of compelling characters against the backdrop of tyranny and rebellion, Tales of the Empire does what its predecessor Tales of the Jedi did best by giving us a quality story in a short amount of time.

[Warning: Spoilers from Tales of the Empire and other Star Wars projects are below!]

Tales of the Empire stacks up well as a companion series to Tales of the Jedi

Tales of the Empire embarks on a narrative journey that unfolds across six captivating episodes, each a masterclass in visual storytelling and emotional depth. From the ominous corridors of power to the remote reaches of the galaxy, Tales of the Empire gives Star Wars fans a real and sad portrait of life under Imperial rule, exploring themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the enduring spirit of resistance.

Just like in Tales of the Jedi, here we have 2-story arcs, split into three, around 15 minutes episodes. Each one tells the story in each own way, acting as a short look that lets you experience extraordinary tales, without the need to spend too much time. It really works, especially when you think about learning the stories of beloved characters like Count Dooku (Christopher Lee/Corey Burton) or Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein/Rosario Dawson) in Tales of the Jedi.

We were able to watch Dooku’s fall to the dark side of the Force with each episode, and learn what caused him to fully commit himself to helping in destroying the Republic. Previously unrevealed scenes between Dooku and his padawan Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), as well as Master Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard) were also featured in the Jedi series. With Ahsoka’s story, we’ve got the episode about her mother and how Ahsoka’s people found out she’s Force sensitive. We’ve seen Ahsoka’s training which then paid off in the final episodes of Clone Wars season 7, as well as what happened to her after the events of that finale.

Another addition to the series is the return of the talented composer Kevin Kiner, whose music is a huge part of Star Wars universe since the Clone Wars series. His music infuses each scene with a sense of gravitas and emotion. My favorite parts of his soundtrack from Tales of the Jedi were with Count Dooku. He gave us such an amazing and deep theme for each scene, that you could feel the seriousness of that moment. Like in the fight in defending the village or when Dooku learned Qui-Gon died, and he refused to go to a funeral on Naboo and fully committed to the dark side.

Tales of the Jedi was amazing in showing the fans small portions of the past of the certain characters to even further explore their complicated personas. Now, the same happens in Tales of the Empire, and oh boy, it gets even more exciting with each episode.

Morgan Elsbeth is full of fear, anger and hate

Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) was introduced for the first time in The Mandalorian season 2 episode “The Jedi” where she was shown to be a magistrate of the city Calodan on planet Corvus. When Mando (Pedro Pascal) arrived there to find Ahsoka Tano, he realized that this city was occupied by Elsbeth, the one of Imperial remnants. He helped Ahsoka in apprehending her. But in Ahsoka series, we learned Elsbeth escaped to help bring back Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).

In the Ahsoka series, we learn that Morgan Elsbeth is one of the few remaining people from Nightsisters of Dathomir. And in the first episode of Tales of the Empire we see that she was just a kid when the extinction of her people took place. Grievous (Matthew Wood) killed her people and his decision to not follow and kill her, made her who she is.

Morgan Elsbeth in 'Tales of the Empire'
Morgan Elsbeth in ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Empire’ (Disney+)

When she joins the Empire, we learn that she did it to get revenge and use her skills and potential to not only help the Empire, but mostly herself. Thrawn notices that she has huge potential, so he decides to help her and be a kind of mentor. Yet, in the end, we can see Elsbeth was totally corrupted by the power. She killed the New Republic’s emissary who was meant to take control of the planet, which proved that as of then she cared more about keeping the power, and bringing back Thrawn.

Morgan Elsbeth’s journey shown in Tales of the Empire is a very curious example of exploration of power and its corrupting influence. We thought that Elsbeth was Thrawn’s fanatic, but as we learned her story with each episode, we realized her story is more tragic and pitiful. Furthermore, we need to see more characters like Elsbeth, who are broken and can easily get consumed by revenge and get lost in having a lot of power. It should remind us that we all have our ups and downs, but we are just people, and we don’t have to become evil to seek help, or think we don’t deserve it, just because we’re lost.

Barriss Offee realizes there is a way out of the Empire

In the second story arc of Tales of the Empire, the series follows the path of former Jedi Barriss Offee (Meredith Salenger), who had been in a Republic custody ever since the story arc in Clone Wars that was meant to make Ahsoka a villain and a traitor. Through Offee’s eyes, we witness the struggle of one torn between duty and conscience, grappling with the legacy of betrayal and redemption.

In the first episode, Barriss is released from jail by Lyn aka Fourth Sister (Rya Kihlstedt), whom she knew from back in the day when they were both Jedi. She tells Barriss that the Republic was betrayed by Jedi, and she can have a purpose once again. Barriss accepts her offer and joins the Inquistors. Prior, we never learned what happened to Barriss after the events of The Clone Wars series.

Barriss Offee in 'Star Wars: Tales of the Empire'
Barriss Offee in ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Empire’ (Disney+)

But there was still conflict inside her, and she wasn’t fully certain whether to commit herself to an unknown group of Force users, who are meant to help in bringing back the peace and order in the galaxy. We can see her inner struggle (as she is not showing her true emotions to the others). She finally becomes the part of the Inquisitors and goes on a mission with Lyn to find a Jedi, but that’s where everything becomes complicated.

Barriss soon realizes that Inquisitors don’t care about other people, and no matter how, and why they lied to them, or did something against them, death is the only lesson to teach them. That’s what happened during their mission, and Barriss comes to understand that even though Jedi are being hunted, they’re not the ones who are evil. She fights Lyn and escapes to help others.

In the end, we can see that Barriss’ final fight with Lyn, leads her to realizing that Barriss could have been right, but we don’t get to see of that conflict inside her. I can assume that it may be one of the story arcs resolved in the future comics or maybe even shows.

Also, I’m very surprised how Barriss’ story arc was so perfectly well-written after all these years of her absence. I’m glad we were able to see her once more, and I can’t wait to learn that maybe she met Ahsoka again, and after everything that happened, they became friends once again.

Final thoughts on Star Wars: Tales of the Empire season 1

In the end, Star Wars: Tales of the Empire is a triumph of storytelling, a series that honors the legacy of the Star Wars saga while carving out its own place in the galaxy. With its compelling characters, rich visuals, and beautiful score, it stands as a shining example of the power of animation to transport audiences to a galaxy far, far away. 

Star Wars: Tales of the Empire is now streaming on Disney+. Have you watched it? Did you like it? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or The Cosmic Circus Discord, and may the Force be with you!

Free Comic Book Day & A Star Wars Day Celebration

Free Comic Book Day May The 4th Be With You Star Wars Day banner

Star Wars: The Bad Batch: A Worthy Successor to ‘The Clone Wars’

SW The Bad Batch series

Review: Star Wars: Visions Vol. 2 (Studios from Spain, England, So. Korea)

Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 banner

Share this:

Wiktor Reinfuss

Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.

Wiktor Reinfuss has 122 posts and counting. See all posts by Wiktor Reinfuss