Review: Last week saw Disney Plus released Star Wars: Visions. An anthology series that was developed by some of the world’s finest Anime creatives. The series was very much an experiment. So as such, we have no idea about whether this is a one-off or not. But based on what I saw. I’d be very much in favor of another series of stories. If such a thing were in the realm of possibility.
Star Wars: Visions brings us 9 new stories from the various planets and worlds within the Star Wars Universe. The show gets off to a fantastic start with ‘The Duel’ which was created by the much loved Studio Kamikaze Douga. With much of the animation is done in black and white, but in a very stylized way. This story is a homage to Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. Which was one of the many films that George Lucas borrowed from to create his original Star Wars Trilogy. The story has a Magnificent Seven quality to it and also channels the classic spaghetti western trope of the mysterious stranger coming to help some villagers get out from under an oppressive regime.
Another favorite story from the series was ‘T0-B1’ which sounds like “To Obi-Wan” when it is said out loud. This was a really cute story about an android who wishes to become a Jedi. I loved how this particular story and how it ends on a hopeful note.
I don’t want to wax on about every single story in this series as that would spoil the experience of you discovering them for yourself. But a thematic link throughout all nine stories is how the Jedi and the Force are connected to nature. And how the Jedi and Sith affect the worlds that they exist in. This is a perspective that we do not get to see too much in the movies as usually the protagonists and the villains are too busy blowing stuff up.
I was very impressed with the different animation styles that were on show here. We got to see some outstanding work from the different Anime Studios that were involved. I particularly liked the simple 2D animation that was used on ‘The Village Bride’. As it is a 2D hand-drawn style of animation that we don’t see much of and it should really be used a little more than it is. Additionally, I also really enjoyed the black and white monochromatic style that we see in the opening story.
Star Wars: Visions is well worth a look for both the hardcore and more casual Star Wars fans. If anything this series paints a rather hopeful vision for Star Wars’ future as it shows us that The Mandalorian is not a fluke. But it also highlights the weaknesses that were in the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy from the storytelling perspective.
Overall. I really enjoyed every one of these stories. The animation was brilliantly done and the English Speaking voice cast included some much-loved names from the worlds of genre entertainment. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has lots of fun in his role of Jay in the episode titled Tatooine Rhapsody which focuses on a Rock Band looking to make it big. The episode also features Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett.
In conclusion. This series features some great storytelling and fantastic animation. And I’d personally love to see another series made of these one-shot stories.
- Voice Acting9.6