Star Wars: Visions expands the galaxy into anime

In a galaxy far, far away, the start of a new era in Star Wars begins. 

Star Wars: Visions, a 9-episode production of anime-style short films, was released on Sept. 22 on Disney+, aiming to showcase the interpretations of 7 different  Japanese animation studios. Unsurprisingly, Star Wars and anime were always destined to meet. Japanese mythology and renowned filmmaker Akira Kurosawa were key influences on Star Wars, according to creator George Lucas. He had stated before that the famous Japanese cinematographer Akira Kurosawa and his 1958 film The Hidden Fortress sparked inspiration in creating his franchise.

As a result, Star Wars: Visions did what it was supposed to and more by immersing fans of the widely regarded franchise with different views of the galaxy and introducing characters that are just as lovable as the originals.

The show opened up with a mind-blowing first episode named “The Duel,” changing the way fans interpret lightsabers and the meaning behind their colors. The anime studio, Kamikaze Douga, that produced the episode showed the story of a traveler who helped save a village from the sith, the main antagonists of many works in the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise, but the episode later revealed that he was also a sith by the color of his red lightsaber, the very symbol of a member of the Dark side. But, he was not hurting the innocent; instead, he was hunting down siths who were. 

Kamikaze Douga did a great  job interpreting different meanings to things, like the color of lightsabers, which changed the way fans thought of such things. The Traveler wheeled a Red Lightsaber, but it was not all that turned to the Dark side; instead, the color could reflect his hatred towards the Dark side users. This would explain why he hunts and collects the lightsabers of the sith he destroys.

Undoubtedly, Star Wars does a great job of introducing characters that fans fall in love with immediately. All nine of the episodes brought something amazing to the table, but there was one in particular that struck the hearts of fans: “To-B1.”

“To-B1” is not only the name of the episode but also the name of the most wholesome character in Star Wars: Visions. He is a robot who dreams of becoming a jedi. Unfortunately, he causes the death of his mentor by bringing an Inquisitor, a Force-sensitive dark side agent who served the Sith-ruled Galactic Empire, to him, causing his impending doom. To-B1 then sets off and builds a lightsaber that he uses to take revenge.

Fans fell in love with this character because of the way he heads off, full of hope and resilience, to liberate the rest of the galaxy. This gives fans a reference to Luke Skywalker, adding immense humanity to his binary mainframe.

Star Wars: Visions vary with each following episode. One episode could take a more cartoonish and comical look like “Tatooine Rhapsody,” a story of a musical band hoping for their big break. At the same time, it also showcases the darkness and cruel world of Star Wars, like in the episode “Akakiri,” a story of a Jedi who returns to his forbidden love to help defend her kingdom from sith-like shogun but instead ends up losing himself to the darkness. 

Ultimately, this show really opened up endless possibilities for different storytelling methods within the Star Wars universe. While younger fans might not be able to understand the purpose of these stories, having been used to the movies, older fans can easily fall in love with the different perspectives of animation style.

Although these characters are not canon yet, and we will not be seeing them in any other Star Wars shows or movies, you can still very much expect a season 2 based on all the positive reviews of the 1st season. So, for now, fans of the Star Wars franchise can look forward to the release of The Book of Boba Fett, which starts streaming on Dec. 29.


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