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A new series of Star Wars shorts premieres on Disney+ next month

Tales of the Empire is a surprise, to be sure.

Disney

Disney just pulled a fast one. Star Wars movies and shows are typically announced years before being released, but the company just revealed a new TV program that premieres next month. Tales of the Empire is an animated show produced by Dave Filoni, the man who cut his teeth on cartoons like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels before moving onto live action stuff like Ahsoka.

As the name suggests, this is something of a companion piece to 2022’s Tales of the Jedi. It’s an anthology series that spotlights different characters within the empire as they, uh, heroically try to defeat the nefarious rebels and bring order to the galaxy. You can expect appearances by many of your dark side faves, including Grand Admiral Thrawn, General Grievous and the Grand Inquisitor.

Just like how Tales of the Jedi put the spotlight on two characters, Ahsoka and Count Dooku, this new series will have its own duo to follow. There’s Morgan Elsbeth, a primary antagonist in Ahsoka and one episode of The Mandalorian, with the trailer indicating that Tales of the Empire will reveal how Thrawn and Elsbeth became besties. The show will also focus on Barriss Offee, a former Jedi Knight who fell to the dark side during the Clone Wars.

Despite being animated, the characters will be played by their live action actors. Lars Mikkelsen returns as Thrawn and Matthew Wood is once again portraying Grievous, the evil cyborg who is in dire need of some cough syrup. Diana Lee Inosanto is back as Elsbeth and Meredith Salenger is voicing Offee.

The show premieres on everyone’s favorite corporate-sponsored pseudo-holiday, May the Fourth, also known as May 4. All six episodes will be available to stream on Disney+ upon the release date. The live action Star Wars: Acolyte follows this with a premiere on June 4.