Disney has been making a lot of changes lately with its bold and enterprising programming. From the quirky masterpiece that is WandaVision to the anthology series What If…? Disney has been taking risks and Star Wars: Visions is, without question, their biggest risk yet. When this show was first announced in December 2020, my expectations were low and remained that way even after two trailers. Being a die-hard Star Wars fan, when I got the opportunity to preview it, I couldn’t pass it up and I’m glad I didn’t. After watching the first episode, it was clear this show was special, and Disney’s risk had paid off big time. After watching the entire season, I can truly say that this is one of Disney’s best shows in years. Star Wars: Visions is a mind-blowing masterpiece and will debut on Disney+ on September 22nd.
First off, the most impressive thing about this show is the stunning animation. Lucasfilm partnered with seven of the best production studios in Japan to create these nine animated shorts and each of them made their own episode. Well-known and respected studios like Geno Studio, Kinema Citrus, Trigger, Kamikaze Douga and more, produced incredible anime-inspired visuals that are unique to each episode. The lightsabers are more like light-katanas, and there are plenty of new aliens, spacecraft, heroes, and villains to please Star Wars fans. Going with different studios was a big risk but the animation is edgy and a refreshing new take on the iconic world of Star Wars.
Another thing I loved about this series is that the stories are not connected to each other and because they were self-contained, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge to follow them. I think it makes for an easier viewing experience, especially for people who are new to the franchise. My favourite episodes were The Duel, The Twins, and The Ninth Jedi and each of them allowed their characters to have their own arcs. Notable standouts in terms of character arcs include Jay’s in Tatooine Rhapsody, Karre in The Twins, Zhima in The Ninth Jedi, and Ronin in The Duel.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the outstanding voice cast. The series will be released in both English and Japanese versions. The English voice cast is stacked to the brim with big names like Joseph Gordon Levitt, Simu Liu, Neil Patrick Harris, George Takei, Allison Brie, Lucy Liu, David Harbour, and more. The Japanese cast is extremely talented as well. Both dubs are excellent, and the voice acting is full of heart and emotion that allows the viewers to truly connect with the characters.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars: Visions and I think people, like myself, who couldn’t conceive of an anime version of Star Wars, will be pleasantly surprised. Each story is special and while not connected to the bigger mythos of Star Wars, they are a fresh new take on an old and beloved franchise. Lucasfilm and Disney were right to take a chance with this series because while the anime, voicing, and anthology-style are different, this was the time for this change, and, in this case, different is good and for that reason, i’m giving this show an perfect 10/10.