Y’know, I have a feeling that part of the reason Trigger got to make two episodes in this series was that they were contractually obliged to make the most “Trigger” thing possible when the made The Twins. The payoff being that they would be able to make this episode as a result. Because this one… this one really did something for me.
Again, The Elder is an episode produced by Studio Trigger. However, this one is much more subtle compared to their previous episode. For one, it plays itself incredibly straight, so much so that you could tell me that this one fits into the real Star Wars continuity and I wouldn’t question for for a second.
Set in the Old Republic, a few hundred years after Darth Bane wiped out the Sith and established the Rule of Two, Jedi Master Tajin Crosser and his Padawan Dan G’Vash are on patrol in the outer rim. Crosser is explorer in the same vein as Qui-Gon Jin, knowing more about the outer rim than any other Jedi.
He and his impulsive, adventure hungry Padawan descend to a planet when Tajin feels a disturbance in the force, there they discover a sinister and twisted old man, a relic of the Sith in his final days of life. The old man cuts down Dan, before Tajin finishes him off with the calm and composure of the very best Jedi.
The plot it super simple and feels very grounded within the Star Wars universe. It shows both Tajin and Dan being warm and approachable to the villagers on the planet, while also being badass and heroic in their defeat of the old man.
Despite all the episodes I’ve seen so far that have been twisting and changing the Star Wars lore to fit their own devices, it’s this one, the one that has probably deviated from the established canon the least that has spoken to me the most as a Star Wars nerd. I loved it.
The message of the episode also ties into the beliefs and personal missions of the Sith we’ve seen in the movies. Tajin tells his Padawan that the old man had been twisted, reduced by age and that in his prime he might have been more than a match for the Jedi Master. It wasn’t Tajin’s superior skill that defeated the old man, but time and its ravages.
Which ties into Darth Sidious’s ultimate plans from so many versions of canon and his desperate desire to become immortal. “Power isn’t everlasting” after all. I get the feeling that with this episode, Trigger really wanted to prove that they got Star Wars. That while they went and did what they’re known for in The Twins, this second episode was a statement of intent that they were all just big Star Wars nerd themselves.
In all of the Lightsaber duels we’ve seen throughout this series, this one might be one of my favourite. As brief as they might have ended up being. Trigger does a great job of making this old man deceptively quick and equally scary when you realise what he’s capable of. It also does a great job of placing the camera in such a way that we’re almost following the eye of the Jedi duelling him.
The old man uses two Lightsabers, and like the Jedi he is fighting, the camera doesn’t spot the location of the second blade until its too late. It’s great choreography, even though it might not be as big and dramatic as some of the other fights we’ve seen so far.
I really liked this one, even though it might be the most understated, by the book episode we’ve had this entire series so far. It’s between this one and The Village Princess. If anything, this also kind of feels like the only episode in which the studio making it were almost using it as pitch, like Trigger were presenting it to Disney and just daring them to use it as the basis of a full on Star Wars series of their very own.
And honestly, of everything I’ve seen so far. I would 100% back this one to be the basis to give the Studio their own Star Wars animated series. Loved it.