Disney Plus finally has a Star Wars show that interests me — and it’s dropping today

 An image from "Tale of the Empire" coming to Disney Plus on Star Wars Day 2024.
An image from "Tale of the Empire" coming to Disney Plus on Star Wars Day 2024.

I’m definitely not a Star Wars superfan. I’ve watched all the movies, and have played (and enjoyed) many of the video games set in the beloved sci-fi universe. But I’m totally fine with skipping Star Wars content when it doesn’t appeal to me. And, over the last few years, (almost) none of the original Disney Plus shows set in a galaxy far, far away have grabbed my attention.

“Ahsoka,” "The Book of Boba Fett," “Andor” and “The Bad Batch” all passed me by, and I even quit “The Mandalorian” in its second season as I found it pretty lackluster. So far, the only Star Wars show I have seen through to the end is “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and to be honest, I probably should have swerved that one as well. It certainly didn’t justify the several hours of my increasingly limited watching time it stole.

However, after years of ambivalence (at best) towards the many additional slices of Star Wars landing on Disney Plus, the streaming service is finally offering a show that has caught my eye. To celebrate Star Wars Day 2024 (Saturday, May 4), a new collection of animated shorts known as “Tales of the Empire” has arrived on Disney Plus, and for once I’m feeling the hype.

‘Tales of the Empire’ — what you need to know

"Tale of the Empire" is technically a successor to 2022’s “Tales of the Jedi”, but it will be set in a different time period, and follow different characters, so it can be considered more of a spiritual follow-up than a proper "Tales of the Jedi" season 2.

The animated show is split into six episodes, with each expected to run about 15 minutes in length. As the name suggests the show looks to explore the inner workings of the ruthless Galactic Empire, and it’ll do this by following the perspective of two characters.

The first is Morgan Elsbeth (voiced by Diana Lee), a force-sensitive Nightsister witch, who joins the Imperial army on a quest for vengeance. The other is a former Jedi named Barriss Offee (Meredith Salenger) who is forced to resort to desperate measures to survive in a harsh new world. Neither character is wholly new: Elsbeth features in “Ahsoka” while Offee first popped up in “The Clone Wars.” However, these new shorts will explore them both in greater depth and fill in some previous blanks.

It’s unclear if “Tales of the Empire” will dedicate three episodes to each character, or if one will have more screen time than the other. There could even be a crossover episode that sees the two leads meet. However, that seems a little unlikely as the official synopsis notes their storylines are “set during different eras.”

Here’s why I’m excited about ‘Tales of the Empire’

An image from
An image from

My excitement for “Tale of the Empire” stems from the fact it looks set to explore Star Wars from a genuinely refreshing perspective — that of the villains.

I’ve had my fill of morally righteous Jedi and so-called scoundrels who not-so-secretly possess a heart of gold. I’m eager to see the spotlight shine on the bad guys and get a new perspective on the Star Wars universe. Plus, I love morally gray, or downright dark, tales in general, so "Tales of the Empire" appears to be tailor made for me.

I also find the short nature of the “Tales of" anthology series compelling. One of my criticisms of “The Mandalorian” was its plodding pacing, with villain-of-the-week episodes that could feel like a show spinning its wheels. With just six shorter installments, the storytelling in “Tales of the Empire” will need to be concise. And at the very least, if the show is bad, it won’t take particularly long to finish!

All six episodes of “Tales of the Empire” arrive on Disney Plus on May 4, and this is just the start of the Star Wars Day celebrations there are also events, deals and more. And if you’re looking to dive into more Star Wars content over the weekend, we have a guide to the best Star Wars shows to watch, and the ones to skip.

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