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Star Wars Visions 2021 Japanese English Animated Sci-Fi Series Review

Star Wars - Visions

Star Wars has always been a pastiche, an amalgamation, a mix of Japanese chanbara (Samurai films) and space operatic adventures (Flash Gordon), and even Spaghetti Westerns – those being the primary three ingredients. The secondary ingredients that have been added since the inception of Star Wars have only served to give this frankly hodgepodge of a property a legitimacy which outgrew its own existence, to the point that Star Wars itself became a genre, a benchmark. The Sequel Trilogy of films as well as the Star Wars Story spinoffs all hinged on the popularity of “Star Wars” as a brand and as a concept in American culture, which has different connotations for different individuals, thus leading to a divisive reactions to those series of films as well as division of fandom as a whole.

All that is to say, the existence of Star Wars Visions feels like the caretakers of The Star Wars brand finally taking a risk, and the risk feels distinctly more intelligent and unique than your traditional cash grab. Outsourcing the IP (intelligence property) to 8 different Japanese animation studios to craft different short stories under the Star Wars brand is a unique idea for the American audience as well as the audience only inundated with Star Wars. Star Wars Visions by remixing Star Wars with concepts of Japanese folklore somehow feels more authentic to the original vision that creator George Lucas had.

From The Ninth Jedi, to the Village Bride, to the Duel, every episode feels different, unique. Be it the differing animation studios of Production IG, Studio Trigger, Science Saru etc. every story aesthetically speaking feels different. But what makes the stories of Star Wars Visions stand out is the fact that all the stories are so strong. That even with all of the weird foibles, all of the little distinctions, the creators of all these shorts never lost sight of what Star Wars actually was about – the fight between good and evil, light and dark; the temptation of good intentions to do bad deeds, the division of family. These stories are pulpy, imaginative, almost a fairy tale, but one of the bigger reasons why Star Wars Visions feels definitively a much more cohesive show thematically than say a “What If”, because every story had a very simple through-line but also maintained the overall tone of what Star Wars is, instead of focusing solely on subverting expectations. And while a couple of them go too far off the mark, none of them are unwatchable.

Rank of the shorts – 

  1. The Ninth Jedi – 4.5/5 
  2. The Village Bride – 4/5 
  3. The duel – 4/5 
  4. The Twins – 4/5 
  5. Lop and Ocho – 4/5 
  6. The Elder – 3.5/5 
  7. T0-B1 – 3/5 
  8. Akakiri – 3/5 
  9. Tatooine Rhapsody – 3/5

External Links: IMDB | WIKIPEDIA

Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.

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