The HoloFiles

Easter Eggs & Hidden Details in ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Empire’

By George & Josh Bate

tales of the empire easter eggs

Tales of the Empire, the new Star Wars series streaming on Disney+, sees the long-awaited return of fan-favorite Barriss Offee. The continuation of the fallen Jedi’s story is coupled with extensive backstory on the Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth in the new animated series. In the six original shorts that comprise Tales of the Empire, there are a range of exciting and subtle easter eggs, hidden details and references. Here’s all of the ones we noticed….

The Path of Fear

The first three episodes of Tales of the Empire focus on Morgan Elsbeth. This is the character played by Diana Lee Inosanto, who first appeared in “Chapter 13: The Jedi” of The Mandalorian before serving as one of the primary antagonists in Ahsoka. In the latter series, Morgan Elsbeth meets her demise, while Tales of the Empire is set earlier in time and depicts her origins.

The three episodes focusing on Morgan Elsbeth are titled “The Path of Fear,” “The Path of Anger,” and “The Path of Hate.” These titles are a reference to the famous Yoda quote, “Fear leads to anger. Hate leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” In many ways, this is the perfect description of the arc Morgan goes through in Tales of the Empire. Morgan experiences fear toward the Separatists as they massacre her people and she loses loved ones. This fosters great anger within Morgan, who, by giving into this anger, falls further into the dark side and aligns with Thrawn for his villainous campaign. 

“The Path of Fear” begins on Dathomir, the home planet of the Nightsisters and Darth Maul. The episode depicts the massacre of the Nightsisters at the hands of General Grievous and the Separatists. This is a seminal event in the history of the Nightsisters and is depicted in The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episode 19: “Massacre.”

When overseeing the massacre of the Nightsisters, Grievous says, “Wipe them out. All of them” This is exactly what Darth Sidious says in The Phantom Menace when discussing the people of Naboo.

Morgan Elsbeth survives the massacre of her Nightsisters and is taken in by the Mountain Clan. The Mountain Clan first appeared in the Legends book The Courtship of Princess Leia and were traditionally depicted as rivals of the Nightsisters.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Morgan Elsbeth’s face markings fade away once she is introduced into the Mountain Clan. In Ahsoka, Morgan’s face markings return when she pledges her loyalty to the Great Mothers.

The Path of Anger

tales of the empire easter eggs

The second Tales of the Empire episode sees Morgan Elsbeth as ruler of Calodan. Calodan, which is a city on the forest planet of Corvus, first appeared in The Mandalorian Season 2. Visually, Tales of the Empire did a great job reconstructing Calodan from live-action to animation. Although the planet’s green hue from The Mandalorian is missing, the architecture and environments are spot on.

In the city of Calodan is Wing, who also first appeared in The Mandalorian Season 2 “Chapter 13: The Jedi.” Wing becomes the new governor of Calodan in that episode after Morgan Elsbeth is usurped. In The Mandalorian, Wing was played by Wing Tao Chao, who is a Disney Imagineer, architect, and Disney Legend.

Morgan Elsbeth is revealed to be the creator of TIE Defenders as pitches this idea to a room of Imperial higher-ups. The TIE Defender was created for the 1994 LucasArts video game Star Wars: TIE Fighter before appearing in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels. The TIE Defender’s schematics appeared in the episode “An Inside Man,” while the ship itself made its debut in “Secret Cargo.” In the novel Thrawn: Alliances, Thrawn’s admiration for TIE Defenders is depicted, which sets the stage for their inclusion in Rebels.

tales of the empire easter eggs

After Morgan Elsbeth’s TIE Defender program is rejected by Imperial superiors, she is greeted by Captain Gilad Pellaeon. Pellaeon made his debut in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire (the word ‘Pellaeon’ is actually the first word in the entire book). In that Legends novel, Pellaeon was essentially Thrawn’s right-hand man. Pellaeon made his canon debut in The Mandalorian Season 3 “Chapter 21: The Spies” in which he, again, is a proponent of Thrawn’s. In live-action and in Tales of the Empire, Pellaeon is voiced by Xander Berkeley, known for his roles in The Walking Dead, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Candyman.

tales of the empire easter eggs

When Morgan returns to Calodan, she is attacked by the Noghri assassin Rukh. In canon, Rukh previously appeared as the bodyguard of Thrawn. Rukh also made his debut in Heir to the Empire before he also appeared in the other installments of the Zahn’s initial Thrawn trilogy – Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. Rukh was voiced by Star Wars legend Warwick Davis in Rebels, and Davis reprises his role as the character for Tales of the Empire.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Morgan wields a Beskar spear in her fight with Rukh. Later in the timeline, Morgan wields this Beskar spear against Ahsoka in The Mandalorian. After defeating Morgan, Ahsoka takes the Beskar spear and gives it to Din Djarin, who uses it in battle against the darksaber-wielding Moff Gideon. In a roundtable interview we participated in with Diana Lee Inosanto, the Morgan Elsbeth actress spoke about wanting to see how how Morgan acquires the Beskar spear in a subsequent story.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Morgan is greeted by Thrawn, who is of a lower ranking than his Grand Admiral standing in Star Wars Rebels. Thrawn is once again voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, who most recently played the character in live-action in Ahsoka.

In the conversation with Thrawn, Morgan reveals why she has aligned with the Empire. This was our main narrative issue with the Morgan episodes of Tales of the Empire. Morgan is loyal to the Empire, which is overseen by Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine was the one who commissioned the massacre of Nightsisters though, making Morgan’s alignment to Palpatine’s Empire questionable to say the least.

The Path of Hate

This final episode of Morgan’s arc in Tales of the Empire is a direct prequel to “Chapter 13: The Jedi” of The Mandalorian Season 2.

Senator Nadura brings news that the Empire has been defeated. The fact that Wing was unaware of this fact highlights how insulated Calodan has been kept under Morgan’s rule.

tales of the empire easter eggs

In Ahsoka, Morgan Elsbeth makes her way to the planet Peredia in another galaxy. When welcomed by the Great Mothers, Morgan tells them, “Your visions guided me across the stars.” In Tales of the Empire, Morgan mentions having visions. These visions are likely the same visions Morgan was referring to and experiencing in Ahsoka.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Nadura sends a distress signal to Bo-Katan Kryze in this episode. Katee Sackhoff returns to voice the character. The blinking white light on the distress beacon could also be a hint of Ahsoka’s incoming involvement in the conflict. Ahsoka wields white lightsabers and, in The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan must’ve been in recent contact with Ahsoka as she knows that she is on Calodan.

Devotion

Barriss Offee wears the same kind of prisoner uniform as her master Luminara Unduli does in Star Wars Rebels.

Barriss looks out the window and sees the burning of the Jedi Temple, which is depicted in Revenge of the Sith following the commissioning of Order 66 by Palpatine.

tales of the empire easter eggs

As Barriss looks outside her cell, there is similar rainy weather to when Palpatine brings an injured Anakin / Vader back to Coruscant following the duel on Mustafar. Given that we know these two events are happening around the same time, it’s possible that, as Barriss looks out that window, Darth Vader is being suited in his iconic costume.

Clone Shock Troopers guard Barriss’ prison cell. This type of trooper first appeared in Revenge of the Sith.

tales of the empire easter eggs

The Fourth Sister comes to free Barriss Offee and integrate her into the Inquisitors. The Fourth Sister first appeared in Obi-Wan Kenobi. In both Tales of the Empire and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Fourth Sister is played by Rya Kihlstedt.

Barriss is taken to the planet Nur, home to Fortress Inquisitorius, which serves as home to the Inquisitors. Fortress Inquisitorius appears in both Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but, in Tales of the Empire, is seen to still be in the early stages of its development.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Leading the Inquisitors is the Grand Inquisitor, who first appeared in Star Wars Rebels. While played by Rupert Friend in live-action in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lucius Malfoy himself Jason Isaacs returns to voice the character in Tales of the Empire.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Two other notable Inquisitors appear in this episode. One is the unnamed Inquisitor who Ahsoka killed in Tales of the Jedi. The other is Marrok, who fought alongside Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati in Ahsoka, where he was also killed by Ahsoka.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Darth Vader appears before the Inquisitors, which makes sense given that Rebels and the Darth Vader comics establish him as the leader of these dark-side Jedi hunters. The last time Vader and Barriss Offee met was depicted in The Clone Wars, when Anakin discovered Barriss was behind the Jedi Temple attack and proceeded to arrest her and bring her to trial.

Realization

tales of the empire easter eggs

Barriss is now an Inquisitor and, like many Inquisitors, wears a helmet covering her face. When Barriss eventually turns to the light side in this episode, she takes the mask off. This symbolism is similar to the sequel trilogy in which Kylo Ren’s mask was often used as a tool to depersonalize him from the crimes he committed. 

The Way Out

tales of the empire easter eggs

Barriss Offee becomes a healer figure in the last episode of Tales of the Empire. In the Legends novel, MedStar I: Battle Surgeons – A Clone Wars Novel, Barriss undertakes a similar role as a healer.

The Fourth Sister chases Barriss Offee into a cave. Since The Empire Strikes Back, caves have represented important symbols in Star Wars stories. Notably, Luke faces off against a vision of Darth Vader in a cave on Dagobah. Here, the Fourth Sister undergoes a change of heart and turns to the light. This also explains why the Fourth Sister is present in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but not in Star Wars Rebels, which is set later in the timeline.

tales of the empire easter eggs

Barriss Offee is stabbed in the stomach with a lightsaber. This same move is what killed Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace and what nearly killed Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars: Tales of the Empire is now streaming on Disney+.

The HoloFiles

The HoloFiles is a website and series of social media accounts, including Star Wars Holocron, Marvel Tesseract, DC Motherbox, Film Codex, and Horror Necronomicon. We love cinema and television, and aim to spread positivity across different fandoms. Come to us for news, reviews, interviews, trivia facts, quotes, behind the scenes photos, analytic features, and more!