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Tales of the Jedi: Episode 2: Justice

What is it ? : Jedi Master Dooku and Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn arrive on their starship on a planet, the landscape is scorched and devastated, and they walk into a village which is run down and dilapidated.
The villagers avoid them, so they enter the local tavern, asking for the location of the senators kidnapped son, and all the villagers go silent. One of them does speak to the Jedi, explaining that they are trying to get the senator to help them, as he profits from running the planet into the ground, then leading the two Jedi to a barn where the boy is being held. He has been looked after, and empathises with his kidnappers, as he sees the ruin his fathers policies have caused.
Dooku is effected by the story, seeing the Jedi as servants and protectors of the people of the Republic, even if the villagers just see them as puppets of the Senate.
The Senator arrives with troops, and declares that everyone in the village will be killed and the village turned to ashes for the kidnap, demanding that the Jedi stand down. But the two ignite their lightsabers in defence of the village.
A fight breaks out, and some of the villagers are wounded despite the Jedi's best actions, and seeing the carnage unleashed angers Dooku, who begins force choking the Senator while dispatching the soldiers with his lightsaber.
As he witnesses what is occurring, Qui-Gon rushes to free the senators son, who throws himself in front of Dooku pleading for his fathers life, and the rage leaves Dooku and he stands down, the Senator defeated.
The son promises that things will change, and he leaves with his father, and Dooku tells Qui-Gon that he is a wiser man than he, and will be a great Jedi. . . .

High Points : Again it's a short tale, but so packed with story and relevance it's incredible it's so short. We get to see the start of why Dooku falls to the dark side, we see the truth of what he tells Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones.
Dooku is seeing the corruption of the Republic, he is seeing how the Jedi, which he believes should be noble protectors of the weak, are being seen due to their actions on behalf of corrupt senators. We also see how easy to anger he is, and how easily the Dark Side could take hold of this man despite his lofty ideals (more of that next episode).

Low Points : My only real complaint about this episode is that I want a series of Dooku and Qui-Gon stories, putting on display the free spirit and willingness to disobey rules which becomes so much part of Qui-Gon's personality, and how much of that comes from his teacher (but once again, more of that as we see future episodes).

So what do you really think ? : Wow, this one took my breath away. It's so deep into the lore, rebuilding Dooku as a complex and flawed individual, to reveal the nobility at the core of the character and the truth of what he says in Attack of the Clones. He's not evil, out for personal power, he really did witness the corruption of the Republic and wants to tear it down to help the average citizen.

Final Words : A fantastic episode, and along with the next two it really builds Dooku's backstory and fills in an untold gap in the mythos, revealing how Dooku could have been Qui-Gon's master. The willingness to break and twist the rules are something that both characters share, even if their temperament is very different, which is why those rules exist, to protect those who are tempted by the Dark Side.

Score : 9.25/10

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