Tales of the Empire episode 1 recap: The Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone

Tales of the Empire literally kicks off with a BANG!
Morgan Elsbeth in a scene from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE", exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Morgan Elsbeth in a scene from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE", exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Warning: Full spoilers for the Tales of the Empire episode 1, "The Path of Fear."

Tales of the Empire episode 1, “The Path of Fear,” is the first short in the new anthology series. This one is all about Ahsoka’s Morgan Elsbeth. Let’s recap everything you might have missed in the episode.

We open on Dathomir with the clan of the Nightsisters under siege. We are firmly in the timeline of The Clone Wars Season 4 episode, “Massacre.” The forest burns as Nightsisters flee for their lives from the wave of droids from General Grievous sweeping through their home. One of the Nightsisters is a young Morgan Elsbeth. Right before a B2-series super battle droid corners Morgan and kills her, Morgan’s mother, Selena, drops from above and slices it in half with her sickles.

Selena leads a small group away only for them to run into Grievous himself. The baddie ignites his second saber as Selena whispers an incantation to make her blades burn in fiery green magick. It’s a quick, flurried, brutal brawl. But the energy of the lightsabers heat the magic sickles too much, decimating its magic.

Morgan has her own battle, facing off one-on-one with an assassin droid. The droid breaks her bow, leaving her weaponless. She’s forced to retreat into the woods more.

Selena is kicked to the ground, her weapons weakened. She’s not done yet, screaming a battle cry and springing to her feet. She blocks Grievous’ attack and readies for round two—

But just as Morgan comes around to help her mother, Grievous’ extra arm surprises Selena, stabbing her with a third lightsaber. With her last breath, she tells Morgan to run. Morgan flees into the woods while Grievous mockingly yells, “Run!” and gives the order to his droid army to wipe out the rest of the Nightsisters.

Morgan hides on a wide branch of a tree. An assassin droid finds her and shoots around her to get her to drop to the ground. They have a short skirmish, which ends with Morgan’s knife in the droid’s face. Wounded, she stumbles through the battlefield and passes out.

At daybreak, a group of mysterious figures finds Morgan on the ground and takes her with them. She later awakens in a hut under the protection of the Mountain Clan of Nightsisters. Morgan’s facial tattoos fade from her skin, as they were created by Nightsister magick. Without magick, there are no tattoos, which is why she doesn’t have any in Ahsoka.

The two women lead her outside, where she sees the Mountain Clan’s village. They lead her to a cliffside where, in the valley below, the forest of her home burns. Their leader, the Matron, welcomes her to join their clan, but Morgan shrugs off her touch and drops to her knees.

Sometime later, Morgan sits by a fire alone, overhearing some of the other clan members worried that Grievous’ droid army would come for them. The Matron tells them not to give into fear. Besides, they have a hunt that day, and she welcomes Morgan to join one of their members, Nali, who is the daughter of the Matron. Morgan accepts, and the two women head out into the wilderness.

While hunting for food, they’re not the only hunters. The droid ships are still searching for runaway Nightsisters. Nali thinks they’re safe in the mountains, but Morgan calls out that thinking. She felt her way of life would have kept her and her people safe, but she says that is not enough. Her friends have a right to be scared. Morgan offers to help train Nali.

Later, Nali goes to the Matron, wondering if the droids will leave them alone. The Matron answers that they will be fine if they leave the droids alone. Nali wants to know how to defend their village, but the Matron cuts her off. She can tell Morgan has gotten to Nali and tells her to trust their path.

Nali doesn’t agree but doesn’t argue it either.

Outside, she sees two other women leaving with Morgan and asks them what they’re doing. The women want to join Morgan as a precaution. Morgan has weapons hidden away outside of the village to help. Nali gives into the Matron’s words, telling them to trust their way. However, they convince Nali to join them.

Morgan leads them into the woods in an old bunker from her clan. But in the distance, a droid ship hovers ominously. It’s a weapons bunker, and the women arm themselves.

Back in the Mountain Clan village, the Matron sees the women are missing. More droid ships swoop in towards the forest in the distance.

With Morgan’s team, the ground starts to shake. The women rush outside to be met with a platoon of droids. Morgan is ready for revenge, battling the metal beasts. The Mountain clan Nightsisters are not the fighters that Morgan’s clan was. They’re getting picked off fast! Even Morgan takes a shot to the shoulder. The group is pinned down by droid blaster fire.

Suddenly, a white portal of power swirls open. Out walks the Matron and sets off the equivalent of a magical electromagnetic pulse, taking out all the droids in the area. The Matron chastises Morgan, saying that just because the Matron does not want to fight does not mean she can’t. The Matron wants to know where her daughter is.

Nali is gravely wounded, dying her mother’s arms.

The Matron has accepted that Morgan has chosen a path of revenge, war, and violence. She takes pity on Morgan and sends her on her way.

This is where Tales of the Empire episode 1, "The Path of Fear," ends.

Next. What to expect from Star Wars: Tales of the Empire. What to expect from Star Wars: Tales of the Empire. dark