Review: “Star Wars: Visions”

Arts & Entertainment

Greg Shannon, Staff

Last Wednesday, Disney decided they were tired of all the Marvel content and dropped their highly anticipated “Star Wars: Visions” series. What was thought to be a one episode per week series turned out to just be an entire season as they put out all nine episodes on Wednesday, Sept. 22. These episodes were relatively short, with the longest episode only being 22 minutes and the shortest being 13 minutes. There are some people who think there’s no possible way Disney could make compelling episodes that demand your attention in that short amount of time. I would just like to say, you’re wrong, stupid and should learn how storytelling works. Now, with that out the way, here are my thoughts on “Star Wars: Visions.” 

“Star Wars: Visions” was announced back in Dec.of 2020 and ever since then, I’ve been excited for it to come out. After the success of “The Mandalorian”, Disney and Lucasfilm could make something great here. I was correct and was extremely impressed by what was given to us. “Star Wars: Visions” is made by some of the best anime studios in Japan. The series is nine episodes long and only a few episodes are animated by the same studio twice. None of the episodes in this show are connected, so there’s no need to watch the series in any specific order. This format gives us the chance to explore a lot of different kinds of artwork and a variety of different stories that can be told.  

Every episode of“Visions” is its own story and offers a lot in its own unique way. One of those ways is through the animation style, including episodes that resemble anime like K-on, Kill la Kill and even Astro Boy. Each one is different from the other and it makes every episode stand out through the fight scenes or just the way lightsabers look in general. It also reminds me that Star Wars isn’t always family-friendly, with some of the most violent and coolest deaths from a lightsaber I’ve ever seen.

While pretty much all of the episodes were great, if there was one that I didn’t like it would probably be episode two, Tatooine Rhapsody, made by Studio Colorido. The story follows a padawan who ends up joining a band and their adventure to become the greatest rock band in the galaxy. Don’t get me wrong, this episode wasn’t bad. I loved that it wasn’t exactly Jedi-focused and I loved the additions of Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt to the episode. My problem came with the music in the episode. I understand that it’s supposed to be fun pop-punk music, but it just didn’t click with me. I thought it was a bit corny and it threw me off from the whole episode. All in all, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but that’s the only thing I hold against it. 

Slash Gear

Now for the episodes that managed to stand out to me: the first one would have to be episode one, “The Duel,” made by Kamikaze Douga. In this episode, we follow a ronin-type with his droid as they come upon a small town. When they reach the town, trouble soon breaks out when a band of stormtroopers and a Sith lord, voiced by Lucy Liu, come into town to collect rent. It’s then up to the main character, aptly named Ronin, voiced by Brian Tee, to help save the town. The art style was one of the most impressive parts of this episode. It gave off the feeling of an old samurai movie with the only color coming from the lasers fired by blasters or the blade on lightsabers. It also features the coolest lightsaber I think I’ve ever seen in my life with the umbrella saber. The fighting in this episode is smooth and fluent and honestly just extremely enjoyable to watch. 

The next episode that stood out to me was the fifth episode, “The Ninth Jedi,” made by Production IG. This episode is about a girl who is trying to deliver custom-made lightsabers to nine Jedi who are waiting inside a temple. This episode to me has some of the best fighting sequences in the entire series. The fights that the Jedi have at the temple are fluid and extremely smoothly animated.  In addition to this, there is a  chase scene that the protagonist becomes involved in. This gives us an amazing moment when they get to some icy terrain, not to mention the main character basically gets an invisible lightsaber for a majority of the episode and that concept alone is just mind blowing . Everything in this episode felt right with the villains, the choreography and the design; it was just fun and refreshing. It’s one of my favorites and left me excited for the last four episodes of the series.

 For me, it was honestly everything I wanted from a “Star Wars” product and a little bit more. It has elements that will make returning fans of the franchise, anime fans or even just casual watchers like it. There’s an episode for everyone in this series and it’s hard to find something that is unlikable.If you are looking for something new, exciting and fun that you could binge in about a day or two, check out “Star Wars: Visions.” I would rate it a solid 8.5 out of 10. 

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