Ever since she was first spotted seated on the Jedi Council in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, fans have been wondering what was up with that female member of Yoda’s species named Yaddle. Sure, she had some minor appearances in Legends-continuity stories and she’s been getting more attention lately thanks to The High Republic, but she hasn’t really ever gotten a lot of screen time in a visual medium– until now, that is.
The fourth episode of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, entitled “The Sith Lord,” opens with still-not-yet-Count Dooku (Corey Burton) deleting the records of the planet Kamino and its covert cloning facility from the Jedi Archives (see Episode II – Attack of the Clones for more on this), just before learning that Qui-Gon Jinn has returned from Naboo– after a pit-stop on Tatooine– claiming to have encountered a Sith Lord.
Jedi Archivist Jocasta Nu (voiced by Flo Di Re, reprising her role from Star Wars: The Clone Wars) says that Qui-Gon has “such an active imagination,” but Dooku knows there’s more to this story. He meets in the hallway of the Jedi temple with his former Padawan (played once again by Liam Neeson, for the first time since… well, since he appeared as a Force ghost in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ earlier this year) and Master Yaddle (voiced for the first time anywhere by Bryce Dallas Howard, director of several episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett), where Qui-Gon tells him about having crossed paths with Darth Maul. “I’ve been warning them about the coming darkness for years,” replies Dooku, remarking that the Council never takes him seriously. Yaddle says the best course of action is to be cautious until they know more, and Qui-Gon reassures his old Master that his own Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi is there to help protect him should they meet the Sith Lord again. After the opening titles, we then fade in to a moment later on during the events of The Phantom Menace, with Dooku ruminating in front of the Great Tree, having just learned about Qui-Gon’s death at the hands of Maul. He opts out of attending the funeral on Naboo, telling Yaddle that he wouldn’t be pleasant company. Yaddle thinks Dooku blames the Jedi Council for Qui-Gon’s death, to which Dooku simply replies that “It’s time to let him go.” Instead of Naboo, Dooku travels elsewhere on Coruscant to meet with Darth Sidious (the legendary Ian McDiarmid, playing Palptaine once again), unaware that he is being followed by Yaddle.
Dooku confronts Sidious, angry that the Sith Lord allowed Darth Maul to kill Qui-Gon Jinn. “The galaxy will not be remade without sacrifice,” says Palpatine, adding “I will ask more of you if we are to succeed.” Yaddle listens in on the conversation as Dooku questions his own actions, then she interrupts the pair of darksiders and demands that Dooku return to the light. But with Sidious whispering in his ear, Dooku turns down the chance to bring Palpatine to justice and attacks Yaddle with his lightsaber. What follows is a hair-raising battle that brings to mind Dooku’s fight against Yoda in Attack of the Clones, but this time it ends with Yaddle seemingly being crushed by a large metal door after telling Dooku she has stepped down from the Jedi Council because he was right about “so many things.” But Yaddle uses the Force to survive this assault, only to collapse on the floor in front of Dooku and Sidious from the overexertion. This leaves Dooku with the final task of striking Master Yaddle down one final time, at which Palpatine only smiles in response. This was immediately my favorite episode of Tales of the Jedi, though I found them all to be strong in their own right. Saul Ruiz again does a wonderful job of translating Dave Filoni’s script to the small screen, with a tremendous amount of emotion and consequence packed into less than 15 minutes of content. The three Dooku episodes, taken together, give the audience plenty of previously unexplored insight into this character’s fall from grace. It makes for a fantastic companion piece to Cavan Scott’s audio drama Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost, and from what I remember I don’t believe the two contradict each other in any notable way. I think fans will be happy to hear that, as I believe that this series has only made the tale of Count Dooku that much more tragic.
All six episodes of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi are now available to stream, exclusively via Disney+.