Review: Last week Disney released a second season of the much-loved Star Wars: Visions. The first series was released back in 2021 and generally impressed us as well as a fair-sized chunk of The Star Wars fanbase with its emphasis on visual storytelling. An anthology series. Visions allow for the various creative talents involved to tell stories that otherwise might not get told. But it also allows for a great deal of experimentation. This season features nine fresh stories from various different animation studios from around the world.
The series gets off to a somewhat abstract start with ‘Sith’ which is the story of a young female Sith apprentice that has escaped the grasp of the Empire and is living a quiet and isolated life with her droid. Written and directed by Rodrigo Blaas the visuals in this opening episode are breathtaking. The opening segment in which we see Lola the former Sith apprentice awaken is gorgeous as we literally see her in what looks like a moving abstract painting that seems to interact with her and her android companion.
Of course, things take a turn for the dramatic when her former teacher shows up and tries to lure her back into the Sith.
The second story ‘Screecher’s Reach’ sees a young girl and her friends seeking a break from the everyday happenings in a rural workhouse. As the girl and her friends go for a wander they come across a legendary cave that has a darkness surrounding it. The girl is compelled to investigate and winds up getting much more than she bargained for when the cave is revealed to be a testing ground for Force-sensitive children. The animation for this was in a 2D style that felt somewhat more traditional. But the story was pretty solid.
In The Stars
The third episode titled ‘In The Stars’ follows two sisters who are the last of their kind and living on a ravaged land where they squabble about how best to survive. With the Empire encroaching on their land. The sisters must fight back and defend their home from Imperial insurgents.
I Am Your Mother
Episode Four, which is titled ‘I Am Your Mother’ focuses on a family race run by the Rebel Alliances Academy for up-and-coming pilots. However, young Anni who is embarrassed by her sweet but clingy mother has decided not to enter the race and has rushed out without her lunch to support some of the other pilots. Things take a turn when Anni’s mum flies their somewhat ramshackle ship to the academy with Anni’s lunch and arrives just as the race is about to start. Taking umbrage with what one of the other students says about Anni and their ship. Anni’s mother decides to enter the race as a late entrant. I really enjoyed this story as it sort of put a fun new twist on Podracing.
Journey To The Dark Head
Episode Five centres on an unlikely pairing as we see a young mechanic and a young Jedi team up for the difficult and unlikely task of turning the tide of the war against The Empire. This episode begins with a nice bit of foreshadowing as we see the young Jedi confronted by a Sith that hopes to convert him to the dark side. This is a solid short-form story that shows how you can tell a decent story in a short amount of time.
The Spy Dancer
A famed dancer uses her unique skills to gather intelligence for the rebels via her top-paying gig at a premier club that is frequented by the Empire. She uses her skills to plant bugs on the armor of the various Stormtroopers that attend the club. But she also has a personal agenda for doing the work. This story kind of put me in mind of a Star Wars take on the story of Mata Hari but with the sex taken out. That said the story ends on a more optimistic note than Mata Hari’s story did.
The Bandits of Golak
Escaping from their city by train while being pursued by Imperial forces. A young boy and his force-sensitive little sister seek refuge in a vibrant and dangerous dhaba. This story had a very Bhangra visual style to it as well as a wonderfully constructed soundtrack. The story was solid and the characters were likable for the relatively short time that we get to spend with them.
A fearless young Man is forced to dig for Kyber Crystals to help the Empire build a city. However, once all the Kyber needed has been mined. Their imperial slave masters up and leave and abandon the man as well as their other slaves to starve to death in the pit. In hopes of getting help. The man manages to climb out of the Pit and heads to the city in the hopes that he can get some of the city dwellers to help free his compatriots. This story was one of those stories that ends without resolving. So its left to your imagination to figure out what will happen next.
An alien child that loves to sing is raised by a stern but loving father who forbids her from singing as he worries that the sound of her voice will have a dangerous effect on the crystals that the town mines. This story is proceeded by a prologue script that reveals that this town is only able to mine Kyber that has been corrupted by the sith, but it gets mined anyway because the Jedi that purchase the Kyber have a process that reverses the effects that the Sith had on the crystals.
This final story was a really sweet one. I loved the alien girl and the various relationships we see her have with the elder people of her town. Which includes a visiting Jedi.
Once again. We see a nice selection of animation styles in this story. Ranging from your typical anime styling to a more Westernized style. From a visual point of view. My favorite stories were ‘Sith’, which looked to take place inside of a living painting, and ‘The Spy Dancer’ with its depiction of swirling capes that seemed to go on forever. You have to watch the dancer in this episode to see what am getting at. I also enjoyed ‘The Bandits of Golak’ for its Bollywood-inspired market town and a great soundtrack that is a real foot tapper. And ‘Aau’s Song’ for what was a very sweet and hopeful story with some very cute animations.
Once again Star Wars: Visions delivers with a nice mixture of stories. Some are hopeful and others such as The Pit, are not so hopeful. My favorites overall were ‘Sith’ and ‘The Spy Dancer’. Please feel free to comment below with what you considered to be your favorites and why you liked them.
- Voice Acting9.5