Without a Yaddle

Tales of the Jedi finally gives one forgotten Jedi the story she deserves

The short film collection gives an intriguing background character her due.

Tales of the Jedi is a passion project for Dave Filoni. The collection of Star Wars animated short films focuses on two characters the Clone Wars showrunner has always had an affinity for: Sith turncoat Count Dooku, and Ahsoka Tano, the spunky padawan he created.

But in exploring these characters, Filoni found room to solve a Star Wars mystery that’s been lurking in the background for decades. Here’s what questions have been answered, and which conundrums remain.

In Tales of the Jedi Episode 4, “The Sith Lord,” The Jedi are reeling after the death of Qui-Gon Jinn. Count Dooku, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, sets up a clandestine rendezvous with Darth Sidious. Little does he know that he’s being followed. Yaddle, the female Jedi Council member of the same species as Yoda, hides and listens to the conversation before confronting Dooku. This leads to a duel that doesn’t end well for Yaddle.

Yaddle in Tales of the Jedi.Lucasfilm

This fate isn’t incredibly surprising, as Yaddle was present when Qui-Gon presented Anakin to the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace, but disappeared after that. The canon explanation, revealed in the book Ultimate Star Wars, is that she decided to take a less active role in Jedi affairs, and Tales of the Jedi confirms this.

Yaddle begs for Dooku’s help, saying it’s not too late for him to turn back to the light side of the Force. She even agrees with him about the Jedi’s morals. “I am on your side, Dooku. I stepped down from my position on the Council,” she says. “You were right about so many things. The Council should’ve listened. Qui-Gon did not have to die.”

Yaddle on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace. Lucasfilm

If you noticed something unusual about Yaddle’s dialogue, you’re right. She’s a member of Yoda’s species, but her speech (supplied by frequent Star Wars director Bryce Dallas Howard) is straightforward, rather than featuring the inverted subject/noun structure of Yoda’s dialogue. Could that just be a quirk of Yoda’s, or was Yaddle raised among the Jedi and therefore never picked up her homeworld’s dialect?

Sadly, Tales of the Jedi doesn’t delve into linguistic mysteries. It does, however, answer the question of what happened to Yaddle. While the ending is a downer, the episode reveals that her instincts about both the wandering ethics of the Jedi and Count Dooku’s true loyalties were right. It may have taken over 20 years, but she finally got what she deserved: A chance to be the hero.

Tales of the Jedi is now streaming on Disney+.

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