I loved most of the anime shorts that were part of Star Wars: Visions Volume 1. Some fans didn’t seem to really understand what this series was trying to do, but I was a huge fan of it and the awesome stories and art styles it showcased.
The shorts in Star Wars Visions are beautifully crafted and tell wonderfully unique stories that draw inspiration from the universe that george lucas established. Seven Japanese anime studios were invited to bring their unique talent and perspective to the universe.
Each Star Wars: Visions short” carries a uniquely Japanese sensibility, which aligns in many ways with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling. From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the movies from Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore this cultural heritage through each anime studio’s unique animation style and perspective.
Executive Productsr James Waugh recently sat down for an interview with Deadline. He talked about the series, how it was made, and teases what’s to come for Volume 2. Talking about what inspired the series, he said:
“We’ve always been big anime fans at Lucasfilm. We all watched a lot of anime and it kind of became like a lingua franca of sorts, like a shortcut between people in the animation department with the way that we referenced it since we love the medium. We always talked about how we could do that and how we could honor the creative development processes, which are very different in Japan. I was looking for ways to find a point sale that could allow some truly amazing creators to come in and celebrate star wars in their own way. There was a book George [Lucas] did where he hired all these amazing artists to do their own unique paintings using star wars as an influence. The range of cool and interesting looks from star wars that came out of it was truly inspiring. None of this would fit in a typical setting star wars story, but without this framework, you wouldn’t have gotten this great art. So those ideas kind of clicked together at that point and the emergence of Disney+ really allowed us to experiment in a way. I think a lot about the power of star wars storytelling is this built-in timeline, but we asked if there was a way to try out different expressions of star wars. So that’s where it ultimately comes from.
Waugh then teased the sequel for Star Wars: Visionssay :
“We announced that we were going to do Visions volume two. The first anthology is animated because we all loved its style, but personally my intention for Visions was to always leave a wider palette, because there are so many great animation works going on in the world. There are so many great voices in all kinds of other mediums that are really into animation right now. And we really wanted it to be, in a way, a “sub-brand” that allows different creators to come and celebrate star wars from their own unique cultural perspective. And so Visions volume two is kind of a world tour of some of the most interesting animation studios globally. We have studios from South Africa, Chile, England, Ireland, France, India… and the common thread was that we wanted their storytelling to reflect what star wars meant in their culture, but also a reflection of myths and stories that could only come out of their cultural context. Spring of next year is currently what we’re aiming for and I think it’s an absolutely beautiful anthology.
I can’t wait to see what kind of novelties star wars stories that this next volume brings us! If you haven’t watched Star Wars: Visions yet, you should check it out!