Tales of the Jedi Episode 5 review: Anakin & Ahsoka can’t save weak short

Ahsoka in Tales of the Jedi Episode 5Disney+

Tales of the Jedi Episode 5, titled ‘Practice Makes Perfect’, features Anakin Skywalker by way of Herb Brooks, but it lacks the intensity or heart to make it connect in 10 minutes, ending just as soon as it begins.

The galaxy far, far away is bigger than ever: we’ve had three trilogies of movies, spinoffs, and several TV shows, including The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, and currently, Andor.

Tales of the Jedi is a new Star Wars anthology series set during the prequel era, spotlighting important moments in the lives of Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku as they embark on their respective paths toward heroism and villainy. Each episode is around 15 minutes long.

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After the fall of Dooku in the previous episodes, we’re back with Ahsoka, now a teenager learning to be a Jedi under the tutelage of Anakin Skywalker – Whiplash this ain’t.

Spoilers for Tales of the Jedi Episode 5 to follow…

Tales of the Jedi Episode 5 review: Practice Makes Perfect

Episode 5 has a tight runtime of 10 minutes, but it squeezes in major appearances: Anakin (Matt Lanter), Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), and Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein). Yoda also hangs around but never speaks.

The plot of this short is simple: Anakin is Ahsoka’s Jedi Master, and while everyone seems impressed with her performance in the training modules, slicing and dicing the battle droids zipping around her with ease, he’s frustrated. “Any thoughts?” she asks him. “You don’t wanna know,” he coldly replies.

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Anakin believes it’s a “lousy test” that’ll leave new Jedis ill-equipped for battle. Ahsoka says it’s what every Jedi does, which only serves Anakin’s point: if you want to survive, you need to be prepared for anything. Like any cocky student, she agrees to whatever test he comes up with, while Obi-Wan and Yoda cautiously observe in the background.

Anakin asks Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and his troopers to encircle Ahsoka, and shoot their blasters until she fails to deflect their shots. Obviously, they set their weapons to stun, but one shot has the power to knock her out for an hour – and it happens, time and time again.

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It evokes Herb Brooks shouting “Again!” in Miracle, and JK Simmons screaming “Keep playing!” in Whiplash, but it also wants to have its cake and eat it; the scene teases Anakin’s darkness without ever fully committing to it, framing his regime through his devotion to Ahsoka’s safety.

She overcomes her struggles, and the episode closes with her and Rex approaching a room full of enemy troops, cutting to black before we can see her put her training to good use.

Tales of the Jedi Episode 5 review score: 5/10

Episode 5 is the weakest installment as a result of one choice: its exceedingly brief runtime. A few more minutes could have added more depth to Anakin and Ahsoka’s relationship, and ramped up the ferocious tenacity of her training. Even for a short, this feels like a snippet of something stronger.

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Tales of the Jedi is available to stream now. You can sign up for Disney+ here.