The famous “galaxy far, far away” expends to the world of anime.
On Sunday, Lucasfilm and Disney+ revealed a “first look” reel of the nine short films that comprise the upcoming Star Wars: Visions, the timeless franchise’s first foray into anime.
The first peek into the anime series was presented during Anime Expo Lite, a virtual presser that stood in for the annual anime exhibition in Los Angeles. First announced last December 2020, the series celebrates Star Wars by finally coming full circle: as George Lucas originally drew inspiration from Japanese filmmaking, Star Wars: Visions takes on seven Japanese anime studios for the task of using “their signature animation and storytelling styles to realize their own visions of the galaxy far, far away.”
Watch the first look reel at the nine fantastic “visions” included in the imminent Star Wars anthology below:
Fans of both anime and the Star Wars franchise will quickly make out some memorable symbols from the Star Wars universe but with characters that are dressed and designed in the style that are signature of Japanese anime studios.
For Lucasfilm, it’s important to afford their Japanese creators this depth of freedom in their story-telling. Lucas himself has been candid about loaning certain elements from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film The Hidden Fortress, whose cast consisting of a princess with a ravaged homeland, a suave ranger, and a couple of contradictory right-hand men all resemble the classic characters of Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the duo of R2-D2 and C-3PO.
“We really wanted to give these creators a wide creative berth to explore all the imaginative potential of the Star Wars galaxy through the unique lens of anime,” James Waugh, Vice-President for Franchise Content and Strategy over at Lucasfilms, said per IGN. “We realized we wanted these to be as authentic as possible to the studios and creators who are making them, made through their unique process, in a medium they’re such experts at.
“So the idea was, this is their vision riffing off all the elements of the Star Wars galaxy that inspired them — hopefully to make a really incredible anthology series, unlike anything we’ve seen before in the Star Wars galaxy.”
According to IGN, the list of animation studios and the respective titles of their shorts 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
All nine episodes are set to premiere on the Disney+ platform on September 22.