Tales of the Empire episode 2 review: The Path of Anger

A vital episode connecting the dots for Morgan Elsbeth from The Clone Wars to The Mandalorian and beyond.
(L-R): Thrawn and Morgan Elsbeth in a scene from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE", exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Thrawn and Morgan Elsbeth in a scene from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE EMPIRE", exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

In the second episode of Tales of the Empire, "The Path of Anger," fans of the Star Wars universe are treated to a deeper exploration of Morgan Elsbeth. Set many years after the haunting events of the Nightsisters massacre, the episode opens with a familiar Star Wars trope—a pan down to Imperial ships against the backdrop of a distant planet. It's always fun to see and is a classic setup that immediately drew me in. I was amped to see the next part of Morgan's story.

We find Morgan as no longer just a survivor of tragedy. She now serves the Empire as a magistrate on the planet Corvus. We see her in the same role we know her from in her first appearance in The Mandalorian. I was excited to see a time skip, although I was expecting it because we also saw those in Tales of the Jedi. But going right to the role I recognize her in as the magistrate is cool. I'm hoping she has moved on from the tragedy of her origin, but realistically, I know she has not.

As Morgan pitches her ambitious plans for redesigning TIE Fighters with the TIE Defenders from Star Wars Rebels to the Imperial committee. We're given a glimpse into her vision and determination and how she sees herself as superior to everyone else. Of things I might've expected Morgan to contribute to the Empire, I didn't think of ship design. But when the deal falls through, and she returns to Corvus, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her ideals.

When Morgan returns, she is greeted by angry civilians. The dissatisfaction of the locals with her leadership hints at the darker undercurrents at play and how she only cares about herself. This sets the stage for an inevitable confrontation.

A confrontation finally comes, and it's nothing short of electrifying especially since it's not the one I expected. The fight scene versus the Nohgri assassin Ruhk that ensues is a testament to Morgan's skills in combat. Watching her wield the iconic beskar staff from The Mandalorian adds an extra layer of excitement to an already thrilling sequence. But perhaps the most thrilling moment of all comes with the plot twist of Morgan's attacker being a test from none other than Admiral Thrawn himself.

I was ecstatic seeing him onscreen as a high-key Thrawn fan. For fans of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, seeing Thrawn animated again after so long is a nostalgic treat. His interactions with Morgan crackle with tension and intrigue, hinting at shared goals and motivations that have yet to be fully revealed.

Ultimately, "The Path of Anger" is a thrilling ride from start to finish. It fills in the gaps between Morgan's origin and her appearance in The Mandalorian, giving fans a deeper understanding of her character and motivations. Seeing Morgan kick butt in battle and seeing Thrawn make an appearance definitely puts this episode in an A tier. With the promise of more twists and turns to come, viewers, myself included, are left eagerly anticipating the next installment in what promises to be an epic saga.