'Star Wars: Tales of the Empire' sets surprise May the 4th debut on Disney Plus (video)

With the end of "The Bad Batch's" three-season run right around the corner, the Star Wars galaxy is about to get much darker. Before "The Acolyte" arrives on June 4, we're getting an extra TV series in the shape of Tales of the Empire, another set of animated shorts.

In late 2022, Lucasfilm and Disney Plus released "Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi," a mini-series consisting of six animated shorts that further explored the past of Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku before he became a Sith lord. Now, Tales of the Empire promises a better look at Morgan Elsbeth's (a witch in cahoots with Grand Admiral Thrawn) past and the next chapter in Barriss Offee's troubled story after leaving the Jedi Order. You can watch the official trailer below:

"Star Wars: Tales of the Empire" will launch on Disney Plus on May 4, 2024. (Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

"Tales of the Empire's" six shorts arrive on May 4, just in time for the yearly Star Wars celebration and exactly one month before we learn more about the dark side's rise to power in "The Acolyte," which is set in the High Republic era, well before the prequels.

This first trailer, however, packs a bigger punch than Star Wars fans would expect at first, as it appears the anthology won't be strictly limited to the Reign of the Empire. It will also explore Morgan Elsbeth's Dathomirian origins as well as what comes after the fall of the Galactic Empire and before her appearances in "The Mandalorian" Season 2 and "Ahsoka" Season 1.

As for Barriss Offee, who had quite the dramatic exit from the Clone Wars after doing some murdering and betraying Jedi pal Ahsoka Tano, it appears her dark path eventually led to the Inquisitorius, an organization run by the Empire that specializes in hunting down the remaining Jedi under Darth Vader’s iron-fisted supervision. We highly doubt her story has a happier ending than Morgan Elsbeth's.

On top of the striking trailer, Lucasfilm also dropped an equally attractive poster for the series that, of course, is all about the bad guys, most of whom you'll recognize. Check it out below:

A promo poster for "Star Wars: Tales of the Empire." (Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

The Star Wars machine is revving up once again, and we couldn't be more excited. On top of "Tales of the Empire" and "The Acolyte," we're getting the first-ever open-world Star Wars game in Ubisoft Massive’s "Star Wars Outlaws" this summer. Moreover, we'll have a new movie in cinemas by summer 2026: "The Mandalorian & Grogu."

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Fran Ruiz

Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.