The Star Wars franchise is no stranger to Japanese culture. The Jedi and lightsaber battles were obviously inspired by samurai. Wipe transitions have their roots in old Akira Kurosawa films. Even the symbols representing the Rebels and the Empire were inspired by the emblems used by powerful Japanese families.
Japanese culture runs deep in the said space opera saga, so it’s only fitting that one of the franchise’s newest ventures delves into yet another of Japan’s contributions to the world: anime.
Star Wars: Visions is an upcoming anime anthology that sees seven Japanese animation studios’ unique takes on the franchise, both in terms of storytelling and animation.
The animation studios, followed by the episode titles they are working on, are as follows:
Kamikaze Douga – The Duel
Geno Studio (Twin Engine) – Lop and Ochō
Studio Colorido (Twin Engine) – Tatooine Rhapsody
Trigger – The Twins
Trigger – The Elder
Kinema Citrus – The Village Bride
Science Saru – Akakiri
Science Saru – T0-B1
Production IG – The Ninth Jedi
That’s quite a number of well-renowned anime studios there. Kamikaze Douga, for instance, is famous for the anime adaptation of Part 3 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, while Studio Trigger is known for animating high-octane action anime like Kill la Kill and Darling in The Franxx.
But going back to Visions…
According to Executive Producer James Waugh, the genesis for the project stemmed from people at Lucas Arts wanting Star Wars to be expressed in Japanese animation. Apparently, there are just as many people in the company who are inspired by the art form now as there were back then. They reached out to a number of Japanese studios and here’s the news: They too are big Star Wars fans! Well, who isn’t?
Having the chance to put your spin on one of the world’s biggest and most influential franchises is just something you don’t pass up. You can definitely catch glimpses of the different studios’ unique takes in the trailer, from iconic Jedi duels to more somber, heartfelt moments involving the galaxy’s less violent citizens. (There’s even an Astro Boy-like droid in one of the episodes!)
All nine episodes of Star Wars: Visions are set to come out sometime in September of 2021 on streaming service Disney+. So I guess we have no other choice but to love the platform even more, especially now that it is promising more exclusive Star Wars shows this year.