Closeup of General Grievous as he crosses lightsabers with Morgan Elsbeth's mother in Tales of the Empire | Agents of Fandom

‘Tales of the Empire’ Episode 1 Recap & Review: Morgan Elsbeth’s Nightsister Origins Revealed

Before she crossed swords with Ahsoka, Morgan Elsbeth fought Separatist battle droids on Dathomir.

Warning: The below contains spoilers for Star Wars: Tales of the Empire Episode 1.

In 2022, Star Wars and Lucasfilm surprised fans by releasing an animated miniseries, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, detailing backstories for fan-favorite Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) as well as pre-Sith Count Dooku (Corey Burton).

This year, the franchise surprised audiences again with the inverse of this idea, Star Wars: Tales of the Empire, which follows Bariss Offee (Meredith Salenger) after her Star Wars: The Clone Wars treachery, and outlines Morgan Elsbeth’s (Diana Lee Inosanto) Nightsister history before meeting up with Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) for the events of Ahsoka.

Episode 1, “Path of Fear,” goes back to the days of the Clone Wars and sees General Grievous’ (Matthew Wood) assault on Dathomir, the mysterious home of the Nightsisters. Make sure you didn’t miss anything with our Tales of the Empire Episode 1 recap below.

General Grievous Leads an Attack on Dathomir in ‘Tales of the Empire’ Episode 1

“Path of Fear” opens with the Separatist droid army decimating the Nightsisters on Dathomir. A young Morgan Elsbeth (Cathy Ang) looks around at the destruction while her mother, Selena (Diana Lee Inosanto), imbues her handheld sickles with Nightsister magick to take on General Grievous.

The two duel while Morgan watches from a distance in the chaos of war. Selena fights valiantly, better than some Jedi fared against Grievous in The Clone Wars. Still, the droid General ultimately finishes her off, instructing his army of battle droids to wipe out the rest of the Nightsisters.

Morgan hides out in a tree while the droids scour the forest for survivors. A BX-series droid commando walking underway spots her, however, and she’s forced into combat. After a quick, fierce battle, she manages to get the upper hand by stabbing the commando up through his head. Completely drained and exhausted, she closes her eyes as the war rages around her.

The Nighstsisters Aren’t the Only Clan on Dathomir

Selena Elsbeth locked in a lightsaber battle with General Grievous in Tales of  the Empire | Agents of Fandom
It often takes multiple Jedi to engage General Grievous; Selena Elsbeth does so singlehandedly to protect her daughter. Image Credit: Disney+/Lucasfilm.

When Morgan awakes, she’s in the presence of strange women. She quickly learns this is Dathomir’s mountain clan, more peaceful residents of the planet. They explain to her that the Nightsisters’ magick is fading away, which is evident in the young Elsbeth’s facial markings disappearing.

The Matron (Lydia Look) takes Elsbeth to the edge of the mountain cliff, where she can see the decimation of her clan’s land. Since she has nowhere left to go, she’s invited to stay as a guest of the mountain clan. She accepts, but she hears the whispers from the young clan members who worry the same fate will befall them.

After, the young women of the mountain clan are gathered for a hunting excursion. Morgan is paired with the Matron’s daughter, Nali (Daisy Lightfoot) who she attempts to sway in her favor. After a droid ship flies over them, Morgan gives her the details of the Separatist attack on her sisters and how she watched her mother die, telling her they are right to be scared.

Morgan Elsbeth pleads with Nali that they should learn to protect themselves should the droids find them, rather than live as pacifists. Back at their home, Nali brings her concerns up to her mother, who ensures her their way of pacifism will work and to not heed the words of Morgan.

The Separatists Return To Finish the Job in “Path of Fear”

A closeup of Morgan Elsbeth crouching on Dathomir | Agents of Fandom
Fueled by only revenge, Morgan Elsbeth leads her new friends into danger. Image Credit: Disney+/Lucasfilm.

After convincing a few mountain clan members that she knows where to get some weapons to defend them, Morgan and the girls recruit Nali to their cause. The group heads out toward the jungle where they enter a Nighsister armory, but they are spotted by a probe droid on their way in.

At the same time, the Matron looks for Nali in her room but is unable to find her. Back at the armory, the group is ambushed when they exit and the inexperienced mountain clan fighters are quickly overwhelmed. Morgan Elsbeth fights valiantly but is eventually overrun.

Before the droids can finish them off, the Matron appears out of a portal of bright light. With a large, concentrated blast of white energy, she dispels the hoard of droids that had descended upon the group.

After reminding Morgan that just because someone doesn’t want to fight doesn’t mean they can’t, she looks around for her daughter. Nali, badly injured, finally admits to seeing the mountain clan pacifism as the correct path before dying in her mother’s arms. As the episode ends, the Matron tells Morgan that she pities her, for she can see that her dark path is set.

‘Tales of the Empire’ Episode 1 Starts the Star Wars Series Off on a Hot Note

Logo for the Disney+ series Star Wars: Tales of the Empire | Agents of Fandom
Star Wars celebrates May the 4th this year with a look at two of the Empire’s most misunderstood servants. Image Credit: Disney+/Lucasfilm.

Morgan Elsbeth was first introduced in The Mandalorian Season 2 episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” as an adversary to Rosario Dawson‘s Ahsoka. After being questioned on the whereabouts of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Mikkelsen) in The Mandalorian, Elsbeth reappeared alongside him in Ahsoka, where it was revealed that she was a Nightsister.

Tales of the Empire aims to contextualize this character further, and to do so, Dave Filoni and co. return to a dark time in Dathomirian history. For fans of The Clone Wars series, this episode will hit closer to home, and it serves as a nice springboard into Morgan Elsbeth’s story that is balanced in its action and emotional beats. Hopefully, the series keeps its foot on the gas pedal as it unveils more steps on her path into the stewardship of the Chiss General.

All six episodes of Star Wars: Tales of the Empire are now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest entertainment news and reviews.

'Star Wars: Tales of the Empire' Episode 1 "Path of Fear" Review

'Star Wars: Tales of the Empire' Episode 1 "Path of Fear" Review
4 5 0 1
4.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Fast-paced action highlights the quick runtime of the episode.
  • Strong animation, typical of the Lucasfilm series.
  • The understandably emotional origin story sets the stage for an exciting conclusion.

The Bad

  • There are too many questions surrounding the mountain clan and their abilities.
  • The fast-paced nature of the episodes leads to missing expostion.
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