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Tales of the Jedi: Episode 1: Life and Death

What is it ? : In a forest village on the world of Shili, a young Togruta mother gives birth, and introducing their new child to the village wise woman, they name her Ahsoka.
A year later, the mother, with Ahsoka in a harness, goes hunting, shooting a Kybuck, as she slaughters it and prepares it for taking home, a Sabertooth cat drawn by the fresh kill attacks, and the mother attempts to fight it off. The sounds of combat draw the other villagers to help, and their blaster fire drives the creature off, but not before it grabs Ahsoka and takes her to its lair. As it prepares to eat her, the infant child reaches out and touches the creature on the nose, calming it.
That evening, the Villagers tired out from searching for the lost child are shocked when the Sabertooth walks into the village with the infant sat on its back, the village wise woman gets them to lower their weapons and takes the child, allowing the creature to leave in peace. . .

High Points : A short tale, as are all of these Tales of the Jedi stories, but it packs in quite a lot in the short run time. We get to see Ahsoka's birth, where she's from, and how they discovered that she is force sensitive.
The animation looks absolutely gorgeous. Throughout it's run, Clone Wars looked better and better, starting off as a fairly crude animation style, and getting rather pretty by the time that the final episodes were broadcast. But this is another step beyond even that, while keeping the same style as Clone Wars and Bad Batch. And tonally it's similar to Clone Wars, keeping it light, but packed with action.

Low Points : There are a couple of points where things happen for plot reasons, for example when the Sabertooth attacks, Ahsoka's mother gets to fire off three shots at it as it pounces at Ahsoka, and we see the shots attract the attention of other villagers. But when we return to the scene, the Sabertooth seems undamaged by being shot, and Ahsoka's mother is now disarmed. Likewise, infant Ahsoka can barely toddle around, being only age one, but manages to climb atop the massive Sabertooth for the ride back to her village.
But these are really minor elements in what is otherwise an excellent episode.

So what do you really think ? : I enjoyed this, not as much as what followed, but it's a solid and enjoyable start to the series.

Final Words : On review, after watching the entire series, this is the least important episode. It's not the worst (in my opinion that is episode 3, but we'll come to that when we review it), but it is the one least connected to the others, and the one which shows events we really didn't need to see. Okay, so Ahsoka showed talents at a young age, but we kind of assumed that anyway since she is a Padawan at age 14 at the start of the Clone Wars series. And while episodes 2-4 tell parts of a story about Count Dooku, and episodes 5-6 tell a connective story between the Clone Wars and Rebels series, this really serves no narrative purpose in this series, or in Star Wars overall.
It's still darn good though.

Score : 8.5/10

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