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Friday, October 22, 2021

Star Wars Visions first impression: The anime series breathes new life into the franchise

Star Wars Visions is often wonderful, and that is mainly because of the distinct visual styles and freshness on display here. This is Star Wars, unlike you have never seen before.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi |
September 23, 2021 2:30:49 pm
Star Wars VisionsStar Wars Visions is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Star Wars Visions is an anthology animated series set in the galaxy far, far away. It is a series of anime shorts produced by six powerhouse Japanese animated studios – Kamikaze Douga, Twin Engine, Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Production I.G, and Science SARU.

Featuring all-new stories in the Star Wars universe, ‘Visions’ marries the franchise with storytelling techniques inspired by anime cartoons and classic Japanese cinema, particularly Akira Kurosawa’s films.

Lucasfilm and Disney have certainly taken a creative risk here as Star Wars fans can be quite protective of the franchise and its tropes. And I think the risk has paid rich dividends. Star Wars has not felt this fresh since Rogue One.

The result is often wonderful, and that is mainly because of the distinct visual styles and freshness on display here. This is Star Wars, unlike you have never seen before.

Visions finally lets Star Wars get out of the shadow of the Skywalkers it has been in ever since the first movie came out in 1977. The shorts, despite coming under the overarching ‘anime’ umbrella, are unique in terms of imagery and tone.

The first short, titled The Duel, features a lone Samurai-like warrior called Ronan who sees the forces of the Empire, who are calling themselves Bandits, attacking a small village. He decides to help the villagers and takes on the Bandit Leader, who is revealed to be a Sith with a lightsaber.

As the name of the short suggests, there is a duel, and a few surprises too. The short lets the visuals do the talking, and spare use of colour and minimal dialogue works wonders.

Star Wars Visions is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.

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