Star Wars: Visions may not seem like it, but the show is one of the franchise’s most anticipated to date. At last, the massive world of Star Wars enters the world of anime as a slew of the industry’s greatest studios came together for the project. The anthology promises to appease fans of all interests by blending high-flung art with unique tales set in a galaxy far, far away. And to the delight of many, Star Wars: Visions delivers on its promise to liven up the iconic series.
To start, Star Wars: Visions is split into nine original shorts. Each of the stories is nestled within the Disney franchise with episodes running no more than 25 minutes. From star-flung siblings to samurai tales, Star Wars: Visions is packed with unique tales that challenge George Lucas’ story in new ways.
Each short offers something unique for fans, and for those who watch anime regularly, they will not be disappointed by any animation here. Science SARU brings a beautifully muted palette to life in “T0-B1” while Studio Trigger indulges in smeared colors with “The Twins”. But in the same series, shorts like “The Village Bride” push elsewhere by leaning into Ghibli-approved artwork. “The Duel” goes even further by laying its story out in black-and-white and borrows imagery from several of Akira Kurosawa’s beloved films.
As for the shorts themselves, Disney let each studio push forward with original tales with some pioneering new paths for the franchise. “Tattooine Rhapsody” is one such as the short follows an aspiring musician in a glorious rock opera. For stories like “Lop and Ocho”, audiences will fall in love with a new sort of bunny alien whose way tougher than she looks. While some stories like “The Twins” do follow predictable plot beats, shorts like “Akakiri” subvert expectations by taking rote cliches and breathing new life into them.
There is no doubt that Star Wars: Visions was conceived as a passion project, and it shows in each short. The stories weave together to form a greater narrative that Star Wars fans are hungry for. The animation even allows these stories to delve into wild worlds and weapons that could never be replicated in live-action. And by the show’s end, fans will be left wondering where this Star Wars anime was their entire lives.
After dabbling with medium filled with possibilities, Star Wars: Visions proves the franchise is moving in the perfect direction with Disney+. This original anthology broadens the fandom’s understanding of Lucasfilm’s franchise without relying on famous faces. From the animation to the dubbing, Star Wars: Visions shines brightly against its star-lit sky, and audiences will leave the series wanting even more.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Star Wars: Visions will be available exclusively on Disney+ starting September 22. Will you be checking out Star Wars: Visions when it debuts on Disney+ this fall? Let me know over on Twitter @MeganPetersCB!