How’s it going guys and geeks! Welcome to Geekritique. My name is Dakota, and today we’re going to dive deep into some Star Wars lore, and explore the timeline of the new anthology series, Tales of the Jedi. I love this series. As of right now it consists of 6 episodes, half on Ahsoka Tano, and the other half on Count Dooku and they deal with pivotal moments in their lives that we’ve yet to see on screen until now. Throughout this video, I’ll do my best to pinpoint when each event occurs, how I came to that conclusion, and how these timeline placements help us reevaluate the Star Wars saga as we know it from a certain point of view.
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Life and Death
The first of 6 short episodes, Life and Death takes us to the very first moments of Ahsoka Tano’s life in her small Togruta village on the planet of Shili. With her very first cries, Nak-il calls the village together to witness the birth of his daughter, whom her mother Pav-ti calls “Ahsoka.” A year passes and Pav-ti takes Ahsoka on a hunt, a right of passage for Togruta children once they reach a year of age. “Has it been more than a year already?” While it isn’t entirely clear why this tradition exists, it gives Ahsoka an intimate familiarity with death at a young age. “You must face death, Ahsoka.”
While on the hunt, Ahsoka is taken by a sabertooth cat from her mother and brought to its lair. The injured beast is angry and plans to make short work of Ahsoka, that is until Ahsoka soothes the emotional state of the sabertooth, using the Force to create a bond with the animal. This is likely the very first time Ahsoka has used the Force, and she has the beast bring her back to her village. The elder Gantika claims “Jedi. Ahsoka is Jedi.”
According to The Star Wars Book, Ahsoka was born 36 years before A New Hope, so that places her birth at 36 BBY (or before the Battle of Yavin). That also places her customary hunt and identification as a Force sensitive child at 35 BBY, some 3 years before little Annie is found to be Force sensitive in The Phantom Menace. I really love this episode. Shili and the Togruta people have been a part of the Galactic Republic for almost 200 years now, but it’s nice to see small villages like this continue to live and thrive alongside their old customs.
Master Dooku and his young apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn, head to a rundown town on an unnamed planet where the son of Senator Dagonet is being held for ransom. They soon find that the whole town is behind the kidnapping, as Senator Dagonet has neglected the people he presides over in the interest of lining his own pockets.
When the Senator comes to reclaim his son with his own personal retinue, things become messy as the Jedi realize handing over the child won’t solve the issue. “I’m afraid our investigation is not yet complete, Senator.” When Dagonet proclaims that the Jedi are servants of the Senate and that they must do his bidding, Dooku corrects him. “No, we serve the people of this Republic.” A messy blaster fight ensues, though Dooku and Qui-Gon stand their ground. This is one of the earlier instances on the timeline where we can begin to glean the seeds of doubt growing within Dooku as far as how the Jedi Order is run, and how closely tethered Jedi are to the Senate. How early, though, is difficult to say.
According to Master & Apprentice, which takes place in 40 BBY, Qui-Gon Jinn is 40 years old at the time, and the novel also says he was 12 years old when he was taken on as Dooku’s second apprentice. That means the earliest this short, Justice, can take place is 68 BBY, though Qui-Gon appears to be a bit older than 12 years old. My best guess is that Qui-Gon here is roughly between 17-20 years old, placing this circa 63-60 BBY. Either way, this is significant as it’s the earliest canon story visualized on screen to date.
One interesting detail worth noting is that Qui-Gon doesn’t wear a padawan braid in this short. Could this mean he’s already been knighted? It’s unlikely as they appear to share the master and padawan dynamic. Most likely this is an outward sign of Dooku’s growing disdain for Jedi custom. I mean, he’s already done away with the typical Jedi robes in favor of a more ostentatious getup. By the time of the High Republic, some Jedi decided not to require their padawans to wear a braid, but as we get closer to the prequel era Jedi became more conservative with their grooming and customs. Dooku appears to observe Jedi customs far more loosely than most.
The third short, Choices, catches up with Dooku presumably over a decade after the last short, Justice. He’s no longer working with Qui-Gon as his apprentice, and is off on a mission from the Council with Mace Windu. The Jedi are trying to uncover what really happened to the late Master Katri on Raxus Secundus and their methods in doing so showcase the wild extremes within their devotion to the Jedi Order. “Since we are not members of the Council, we cannot involve ourselves in local political skirmishes.” Windu is nauseatingly by the books. What the Jedi Council says is the end-all-be-all of the Jedi’s role in this investigation, and he goes for the hands off approach. Dooku is the exact opposite, having little respect for the Jedi code of conduct, so long as he gets his way. And ultimately Dooku’s brash nature and hands on approach uncover that it was the guards who had staged the coup and killed Master Katri.
Bringing her body back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, a brief funeral is held. Afterward we learn that Mace Windu was offered Master Katri’s seat on the Council, over the older Dooku. “I am told you will be presented with Master Katri’s Council seat.” “I will.” This tells us that the Council ultimately wanted to seat members who played by the book. Even though Dooku’s radical methods found the truth of Katri’s murder, it led to the death of Senator Larik. Meanwhile, Windu’s conservative methods may not have immediately found the culprit, but likely would have kept the Senator alive. And with the Council offering Windu a seat instead of Dooku, they chose wisely, as Dooku was already beginning his apostasy at this point in time, not only from the Jedi teachings, but with the principles of the Senate. “Your ideology, while faulty, does have its points.”
This short is really awkward to place because of Mace Windu’s age. According to the Star Wars Encyclopedia entry ‘Mace Windu and Other Force Users’, Windu was born in 72 BBY. In Legends we learn that he was the youngest known Jedi to become a member of the Jedi Council at 28 years old, meaning this short might take place in 44 BBY. But 4 years earlier, in a canon flashback dated to 48 BBY, Master & Apprentice tells us he was already on the Council by that point, making him at least 24 years old when he joined the council. That’s super young. But it’s all we have to work with. Unless that flashback is a continuity error, the short story Choices is at the latest 48 BBY, some 16 years before The Phantom Menace.
The Sith Lord
The fourth short, The Sith Lord, is easily my favorite of the bunch for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it’s the easiest story to place on the timeline. It runs concurrent to the events outlined in The Phantom Menace in 32 BBY. We see Dooku’s point of view as he meanders the halls of the Jedi Archives shortly after Qui-Gon returns to Coruscant following his fight with Darth Maul on Tatooine. Dooku at this point had already left the Order a decade prior to become the Count of Serenno. ‘The Lost,’ or those that chose to leave the Jedi Order willingly, were still welcome on Temple property, in the hopes that they might return one day, so Dooku’s presence in the Archives here wouldn’t have turned any heads.
After Jocasta Nu tells Dooku about the Sith Lord, she says “Qui-Gon Jinn always had such an active imagination, as did you, Dooku.” This is a wonderfully succinct line that says so much about the hubris of the Jedi at this time. Qui-Gon was one of very few Jedi who still put any faith in the old prophecies of the Force by the start of the prequels. “A quality valued less and less in these great halls.” And Dooku, along with Sifo-Dyas and his Master Lene Kostana, had been fascinated and worried by the increasing number of Sith artifacts being unearthed in the years leading up to the prequels, according to Dooku: Jedi Lost, though nobody ever listened to them. “I’ve been warning them of the coming Darkness for years, never to be taken seriously.”
Speaking of the coming darkness, I absolutely adore the symbolism that light and dark play in this episode. After Qui-Gon tells the Order that the Sith have returned we see dark clouds on the horizon. But after Qui-Gon’s death, the Jedi Temple is only partially lit with light, as darkness engulfs the surrounding cityscape.
In Dooku’s grief at the death of his former padawan, he isn’t careful when he confronts Sidious, and is followed by Master Yaddle. “Sifo-Dyas, Kamino, the Clones. I have betrayed everyone and everything I know.” At this point, despite the fact that he has conspired with a Sith Lord, helped create a Clone Army on Kamino, and orchestrated the death of his childhood friend Sifo-Dyas at the hands of the Pykes, there’s still the draw towards the light within Dooku, and he grapples with his resolve of serving under Sidious. I love that Yaddle here believed he could still come to the light, though he does eventually best her by dropping the door on top of her. But notice how this scene also plays with light and dark. When Yaddle raises the door with the Force the light is blinding. Palpatine can’t look into the light at all. He’s too far gone to the dark. But Dooku is not only capable of looking at the Light, he yearns for it. There’s still good in him. That is until the door is shut, and he kills Yaddle. “You have to kill the past, yes, but you have to kill the Light too to fully claim the Darkness.” It’s brilliantly done.
This of course explains why Yaddle shows up in The Phantom Menace but not in either Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith. It’s also interesting to note that Dooku has yet to meet Qui-Gon’s padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, which explains their unfamiliarity during Episode 2. Overall there’s a lot of really great nuggets to glean timeline-wise about The Sith Lord but it’s worth pointing out that it begins after The Phantom Menace starts and ends before the funeral of Qui-Gon Jinn.
Practice Makes Perfect
This is simultaneously one of the most difficult of the shorts to watch, and one of the best of the batch. It starts off simple enough. Anakin is late for Ahsoka’s training remote test performed by Master Sinube. Though she performs admirably, and presumably passes with flying colors, he’s not impressed. “It’s a lousy test.” “But, it’s what every Jedi does.” “Exactly.” He orchestrates a new trial that has her tested by Clone Troopers, which she fails, and continues to fail again and again and again. It’s at this point that I feel it’s hard to watch because we see someone we’ve grown to care for pushed to their absolute limit, and then literally pushed beyond it again and again, at the behest of someone who’s supposed to protect them.
But we soon learn why it’s so important for her to know this. “I want it to be difficult; this is about life and death.” Notice the through-line to the very first short there, with the title Life and Death. Ahsoka knows how thin a line it is between life and death because it’s one of the first things she learned as a child. And this will help her survive. We get a time jump and an outfit change and see she’s gotten noticeably better and then another time jump to events that line up with Order 66 and the last few episodes of The Clone Wars, Season 7. “Let’s hope all that training pays off.” The training indeed pays off.
At first I decided to use Ahsoka’s outfits to date this short. Her first outfit, during the test with Sinube is a blend of her outfits from the first couple seasons and the 3rd season onward. We see she bares some midriff, though far less revealing than her debut outfit, and she sports the upper arm bands of her later getup. So this may happen circa 21 BBY, between those two seasons. The only issue with this is that we see Jedi Master Ima Gun Di who dies early during the Clone Wars, so this needs to be circa 22 BBY, a whole year earlier. Later we do get her second outfit plus a second lightsaber as some time has passed, and that brings us to somewhere between 21 BBY and 20 BBY. Finally the last scene occurs at the close of the Clone Wars, which places us in 19 BBY.
Resolve is particularly frustrating to place on the timeline. Not only is it intentionally vague on its placement, it also possibly retcons a rather large chapter in Star Wars history. But before we get into all that, it begins on Naboo, some days after Order 66 kills off most of the Jedi, as we see Mon Mothma and Bail Organa in attendance at Padmé Amidala’s funeral. We know this scene very clearly occurs in 19 BBY, the same year as Revenge of the Sith and the end of the Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano is also in attendance, and it’s nice to know that even in such a trying time for her she’s still there for those she loves. “She was my friend.” Bail tries to keep in touch, and gives her a way to communicate with him directly. “If you need anything you can contact me with this.” Ahsoka brushes it off as she’s done fighting.
At some undefined time later, we find Ahsoka in a farming village on some remote world, and she uses the Force to save the life of someone who was about to be crushed. Her being found out as a Force user eventually leads an Inquisitor to their village and he kills everyone in it save for anyone with a speaking role. Ahsoka quickly disarms him of his lightsaber and kills him, another possible reference to that first short, Life and Death. She stares death right in the face here, and it’s incredible to watch. She calls Bail at the end and gets them safe passage somewhere else, and he again offers her the opportunity to join the Rebellion.
“Things have only gotten worse. Are you sure you’re ready to get back into the fight?” This line here makes it seem like the Rebellion is really kicking into high gear, and this isn’t the only line that makes it seem like some significant time has passed. “No one can keep up with the Imperial quotas. It gets more difficult every season.” The use of ‘season’ here, in regards to farming, strikes me as a synonym for year. As in, it gets more difficult each and every year. This is further emphasized when the village brother says “In the beginning, you all welcomed the Empire.” In their eyes, it’s no longer the beginning of the Empire, so some time has likely passed since 19 BBY. I believe this section of Resolve likely occurs between maybe 12 BBY and 5 BBY.
But here’s where things get particularly tricky. This story, one where Ahsoka’s on the run, saving others with the Force, being tracked down by an Inquisitor, and eventually joining Bail’s Rebellion, has already been told before. According to Dave Filoni “It’s based on the same outline I gave publishing for the novel. It was always the same story.” For a long time I tried my best to reconcile these two events. If you really want to stretch the possibility that the novel ‘Ahsoka,’ and the short ‘Resolve’ are separate stories I guess its possible that you could suggest Bail met with Ahsoka at Padmé’s funeral, then the events of Ahsoka happened where she met Bail again, and then met Bail once more under very similar circumstances, this time with the comm device he gave her on Naboo. It’s a tenuous possibility at best, but I’ve just spent the past couple days rereading ‘Ahsoka,’ and I’m now fully in the camp that Tales of the Jedi retcons this novel from canon altogether.
Let’s break it down. In E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka, both are surprised the other is still alive when they meet up around 18 BBY, which isn’t the case in this short as they meet much earlier. While Ahsoka does save some children from falling crates in the book and not hay bales, nobody notices, and she meets the Inquisitor on another world altogether because she engaged in an act of Rebellion and showed her Force powers to the Empire, several events that are just totally different than what are showcased in the show. Though she calls herself Ashla in the book, like this short, nobody rats her out to the Empire. The inquisitor in the book is the Sixth Brother, not whoever this guy is in the short. And most damningly, the novel ends with Ahsoka not only agreeing to join and help organize Bail’s Rebellion, but offering to do so, making this scene of Bail asking for her aid once again, presumably at a later date, super redundant. This is on top of the fact that the novel was already heavily retconned in its flashbacks to Order 66 and the Siege of Mandalore because of what was showcased in the final episodes of Clone Wars season 7. I hate to say this, because I really enjoy the book more than the short, but the novel ‘Ahsoka’ suddenly feels as though it’s a parallel universe story, so I can no longer conclude that it’s still canon. As an avid reader of the canon, this is very upsetting because I truly get attached to these events that were originally promised to all be treated with the same level of respect that the films and shows were. And we’re starting to see that this is no longer the case.
Anyway, enough with my rant, if you want to watch these short episodes in chronological order, the best way to do so is to watch in this way: Justice, Choices, Life and Death, The Sith Lord, Practice Makes Perfect, and Resolve. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this video, as I hope to make more Star Wars timeline videos in the future. But that entirely depends on you all, so please click that like button if you want to see more, subscribe if you like my content, and comment any thoughts you have on my timeline breakdown below! Thank you to all of our patrons who got to see this video a bit earlier than the rest, you guys help keep the lights on for us here at Geekritique, and hopefully someday soon I can get a big canon Star Wars Timeline out to you guys like we do with our MCU Timeline videos. For the time being, please visit our Timeline Journal on Geekritique.com for more Star Wars timeline notes on Tales of the Jedi, Ahsoka, and more. Thanks guys. Be sure to check out more content like this right now! Have a good one.