A brand-new "special look" featurette for Disney+ series Star Wars: Visions was recently unveiled by the Lucasfilm panel at the Anime Expo Lite. The upcoming animated anthology series will be the first of its kind within the Star Wars universe – unique anime shorts featuring original stories and characters.
Star Wars Visions trailer
The trailer showcases storyboards, concept art, and clips from the episodes, and also includes the directors of the shorts who talk about the inspiration behind their "visions". Lucasfilm producer Kanako Shirasaki, co-executive producer Justin Leach, and executive producers James Waugh, Josh Rimes, and Jacqui Lopez, also appear in the featurette.
Check it out below:
Needless to say, the animation looks gorgeous, while striking visuals will likely entice non-anime fans and non-Star Wars fans alike.
Is Star Wars Visions canon?
The new show's place within Star Wars lore has already been confirmed, with Lucasfilm having taken the wise decision to allow the creators to tell their stories freely, without being held back by the burden of chronology or established characters.
James Waugh said the following: "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. 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."
Star Wars Visions episodes
The teaser confirms the name of all nine episodes, each helmed by the most prestigious anime studios in the world: "The Duel", "Lop and Ocho", "Tatooine Rhapsody", "The Twins", "The Elder", "The Village Bride", "Akakiri", "T0-B1" and "The Ninth Jedi". Each promises entirely new "visions" of self-contained stories set within the faraway galaxy.
When hearing what every director has to say about their own film, it's evident that these shorts won't just have a unique style of animation and storytelling, but will differ vastly from one another tonally.
In the featurette, when speaking about the seven anime studios Lucasfilm approached, executive producer Jacqui Lopez says they all happened to be "Hardcore Star Wars fans" who "all had a story they wanted to tell", adding that "there are so many opportunities to reflect Japanese storytelling in the Star Wars universe."
Star Wars Visions characters
So, what kind of characters can we expect from Star Wars: Visions? Without looking at each episode and spoiling the fun, the featurette does tease a few standout characters.
Talking about his own short film "Lop and Ocho", director Yuki Igarashi says, "I wanted to make a symbolic character and was looking for a non-human being". The concept art for this short indeed reveals a character named Lop, who appears to be a female Lepi (the faraway galaxy's rabbit-like humanoids). Could Lop go on to become as iconic a character as the likes of Ahsoka Tano?
Though an entirely original story, "Tatooine Rhapsody" will feature classic characters Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt (both of whom you can see in the featurette), while "T0-B1" focuses on an Astromech droid who has been designed with a "Retro, vintage feeling" according to director Abel Gongora.
Star Wars Visions Release Date
Star Wars: Visions is set to start streaming on September 22 on Disney+.
As you can see, for the first time, Star Wars and the world of anime are coming together to bring you original new tales like nothing you've ever seen before in the faraway galaxy. Will Star Wars: Visions mark the beginning of a bold new era for the franchise? It remains to be seen, but at least we don't have to wait a long time, and the new anthology series isn't too far, far away.