The Star Wars Universe is an expansive one. There are books, comics, toys, series and movies galore with Disney showing no signs of easing up on the popular franchise. For decades, Star Wars primarily consisted of the “Skywalker Saga.” The adventures of Luke, Leia and Han as they battled against the galactic evil known as “The Empire,” captured the imaginations of generations of film lovers. But after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga with 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, the franchise is able to explore new stories and characters. The ground work has been laid and there’s no better launching pad than the galaxy far far away.
With Star Wars Visions the franchise moves in the right direction by doing something completely different. Star Wars has tackled animation before, but never like this. Visions is an anime styled anthology series. Each episode is handled by a different Japanese animation studio which creates varying styles, characters, perspectives and, of course, visions. The episodes are short and concise, with the shortest episodes being thirteen minutes and the longest being twenty-two minutes.
This being an anthology series means that each episode is its own, self contained story that is not directly connected to the other episodes. As is the case with most anthologies, some episodes are better than others. Some are dark and gritty, while others are bubbly and energetic. My personal favorite story was “The Duel,” which told the story of a roaming Ronin. It’s dark illustration felt as though it had been ripped from the pages of a samurai manga and it returned the series to the roots of what inspired the original Star Wars so long ago. But each episode has something different and unique to offer. There is a strong mixture of returning characters and locations, while also venturing into brand new territory and building on new ideas.
This series is definitely not going to be for everybody. Fans looking for a linear and more direct approach to the Star Wars lore should likely stick to The Mandalorian and the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. However, Anime lovers and die hard fans will undoubtedly be pleased with Visions. No matter your thoughts on the series, its a pleasure to see the Star Wars universe branching out beyond the events of the Clone Wars and Luke Skywalker’s family problems. 7/10