‘Star Wars: Visions’ Season 1 Review: Anime Uniquely Taps Into the Force

Star Wars: Visions Season 1 delivers quite the adventure across the galaxy. It’s an anime anthology that truly emulates a wide variety of styles over the course of the season. The Star Wars franchise is no stranger to animated television shows, but Star Wars: Visions gives anime content creators the opportunity to explore this universe. It’s an inventive way of giving long-time fans more content, but also meeting the intersection between Star Wars and anime fans.

Stories across the galaxy

“The Duel” follows an unnamed man, who’s simply referred to as Ronan. When the village he’s in is under attack, he’s forced to face a duel of life and death. Kamikaze Douga animated the episode.

“Tatooine Rhapsody” follows a music band looking to expand their reach. However, they must work together to save one of their bandmates from Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett. The episode is animated by Geno Studio (Twin Engine).

“The Twins” follows a pair of twins born into the Dark Side who fight over a powerful weapon. The outcome of their battle will change everything. It’s animated by Studio Colorido (Twin Engine).

“The Village Bride” explores the journey of a Jedi on the run. The Jedi encounters a beautiful wedding but soon discovers that their peace is temporary. Studio Trigger animated the episode.

“The Ninth Jedi” tells the story of a lightsaber-smith’s daughter. She must deliver lightsabers to a group of warriors in need of weaponry. Studio Trigger animated “The Ninth Jedi”.

“T0-B1” is about a cybernetic boy who has the dream of becoming a Jedi one day. However, the creator’s past dangers are now his problem. Kinema Citrus animated the episode.

“The Elder” follows a pacifist Jedi and his eager Padawan. They’re sent to a small village on an outer rim planet to investigate a dark presence. They encounter an old man who has power far greater than they expected. Science SARU animated “The Elder”.

“Lop & Ocho” is a tale about a dysfunctional family that crumbles when the eldest daughter makes a decision that could destroy the family and their home. It’s animated by Science SARU.

Finally, “Akakiri” tells the story of a Jedi who helps defend his forbidden love’s kingdom from a Sith-like threat. Production I.G animated the episode.

‘Star Wars: Visions’ isn’t canon

'Star Wars: Visions' The Twins episode
“The Twins” | Lucasfilm

If you aren’t a Star Wars expert, there’s no reason for concern. Star Wars: Visions doesn’t fit into any continuity and isn’t restricted by any franchise rules. This allows newcomers to be able to enjoy what the series has to offer. Of course, long-time fans will get more out of the show’s nuances.

Star Wars: Visions episodes keep true to their short-form format. This keeps the stories fast-paced but doesn’t allow the audience to truly become immersed in any single narrative. However, each animator gets the opportunity to show their perspective on the Star Wars universe. They get to display their animation style, but more importantly, how they craft a narrative. Some of them explore similar themes, but they also have a healthy dose of big action set pieces.

‘Star Wars: Visions’ is unique, but inconsistent

'Star Wars: Visions' The Elder episode
“The Elder” | Lucasfilm

Star Wars: Visions has some significant highs. “The Duel” brings a samurai tale to the galaxy with thrilling action sequences and exceptional animation. “The Ninth Jedi” incorporates a fun twist to the Star Wars universe. Meanwhile, “The Elder” does a wonderful job building its compelling narrative within its short runtime. Any single one of these episodes could easily be given a series order of its own.

However, Star Wars: Visions also has its lows. “Tatooine Rhapsody” brings a type of anime storytelling that doesn’t really work in the Star Wars universe. “The Twins” focuses on the over-the-top action and has strange uses of lightsabers. If you enjoyed the studio’s Kill la Kill, this might be a bit more up your alley. However, it doesn’t match the level of storytelling offered in stronger episodes.

Star Wars: Visions is a fun anthology television series. It isn’t a big commitment to get through nine shorts, which makes it an easy watch. Disney’s decision to give anime creators the creative freedom to explore the Star Wars universe through their lens is exciting. This franchise has proven its ability to be effective over a wide variety of mediums. However, Star Wars: Visions suffers from the common anthology issue of consistency.

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