Star Wars: Tales of the Empire Episode 2 Recap

Opening on a beautiful shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer surrounded by Imperialised Venators flying over Coruscant, episode two of ‘Tales of the Empire’ which is titled “The Path of Anger” starts with an older Morgan Elsbeth presenting to a council of Imperial officers, introducing a new TIE line. In a twist of lore, it’s the TIE Defender, the same that Thrawn championed in ‘Star Wars: Rebels.’ It’s clear where he got the idea for it now.

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In the meeting, Elsbeth touts the advantages of the TIE Defender, the advanced shielding, better maneuverability, and fuel consumption. Imperial Moff Isdain is bothered about the cost of the fighters, along with where they’d get the resources. Elsbeth offers her world Corvus and the surrounding resource-rich planets as a solution, but after a short deliberation, Isdain says Elsbeth’s idea would never be approved. Her resource-rich worlds, however, are of interest to the Empire. 

Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

Isdain leaves. An Imperial officer compliments the sophistication of the idea and the mind that bore them. Elsbeth guesses the Empire will steal her ideas and resources, but the officer ignores her, simply asking Elsbeth why she wants to join the Empire. Elsbeth just says for the Empire’s glory and departs for Corvus. She uses the same ship from ‘Ahsoka’ a nice touch.  

On Corvus, in the city of Calodan Wing and others ask if Elsbeth was successful in gaining Imperial support. Elsbeth says no, which begins to agitate the citizens, as she promises them the work and associated prosperity. Elsbeth states the Empire just wants the resources from the planet, not its workers or ideas. This enrages the inhabitants, so Elsbeth says she was the one who brought them up from nothing, but the workers retort they’re the ones who have sacrificed for the work. 

Elsbeth attempts to say there is a cost for everything, but Wing turns it back on her, there is a cost for her failure. Elsbeth flees inside with her HK assassin droids. Later that evening, Elsbeth ruminates on the rebellion and disowns her people. A figure jumps out from a rooftop and attacks Elsbeth, a character many will know as Rukh. They duel, Elsbeth with the Beskar spear. Wing and others hear the commotion, but decide to just watch instead of calling the guards. Eventually, Elsbeth knocks Rukh to the ground. 

The same Imperial officer who complimented Elsbeth appears, dismissing Rukh. He says they wanted to make sure Elsbeth could hold her own, which confuses Elsbeth. The officer says Elsbeth and leaves as a new figure arrives. Admiral Thrawn. His organ music accompanies him too. Thrawn says Pellaeon – the Imperial officer Thrawn’s righthand man in Legends, a great tie-in – told him of the presentation and Moff Isdain rejecting the TIE Defender. He compliments Elsbeth’s heritage. 

Elsbeth calls Isdain short-sighted, and Thrawn agrees. He explains that while the Empire is magnificent, its officers only focus on the grander scale, leaving small vulnerabilities left unaddressed. Elsbeth references the growing rebellion, and Thrawn calls it a sickness, that kills both common man and king. Thrawn compliments Elsbeth’s designs, but because they’re not cost-effective, they won’t gain traction in the Empire. Men like Isdain will always trade lives for profit, which over time will disillusion the military.

Thrawn continues, saying that when Pellaeon asked her why she wanted to join the Empire, Elsbeth lied. Men like Isdain join out of greed and a lust for power, others join out of fear. All have ambition. Elsbeth explains she desires revenge for her destroyed people, and her anger gives her strength. This she offers to the Empire, which Thrawn accepts. Thrawn gifts her three Star Destroyers, and Wing realises in horror that Elsbeth has prevailed. 

While the theme of anger doesn’t come through as strongly as that of fear in episode one, this is still an enjoyable slice of animation, elevated by Thrawn’s presence and music. The fight with Rukh lasts slightly too long and it would have been a good opportunity to explain how Elsbeth got to Corvus, but seeing the citizens want to join the Empire only to realise too late what that means is excellent to watch.

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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