Visions, an anthological Star Wars series is a collection of short and animated episodes created by the world’s best animators that blend the eclectic Japanese anime style with the larger Star Wars mythos. Announced last year during Walt Disney’s Investor Day, Visions was released on September 22 exclusively on the Disney+ streaming platform. Despite being non-canon, Visions is arguably one of the best things to have come out which perfectly captures the essence of Star Wars (yes, we are looking at you Rise of the Skywalker) and shine with its unparalleled style of animation. From paying homage to the legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa to some chuckling references to the original Star Wars trilogy, Visions should be on your watchlist. Here are all the episodes ranked in order of preference:
The final episode of the series, Akakiri is an interesting episode that unfortunately supports the absolutism of one’s fate. The episode also deals with the temptation of attachment that is believed to be the downfall of a Jedi into the Dark Side. When a Jedi suffers from a recurring nightmarish vision, he revisits a planet to rescue his old love, the princess, from her aunt who has been devoured by the Dark Side. However, his vision becomes reality forcing him to join the Dark Side for the sake of love.
8. The Village Bride
When a guilt-ridden Jedi finds herself on a unique planet after Order 66, she discovers that a village has been taken over some bandits using old Separatist droids. In a world far from the larger conflicts of Star Wars, this episode is a fresh take on the themes of conflict, guilt, and finding one’s purpose.
7. Tatooine Rhapsody
Not every conflict needs to end with violence and Tatooine Rhapsody is a shining example of that. When the legendary Boba Fett tracks down a rock band to capture Gee, a Hutt, who has been sentenced to death by Jabba the Hutt for leaving his crime syndicate, the other band members which includes a Jedi padawan must unite to save their comrade by doing what they do best: an unforgettable live-performance on stage!
6. The Elder
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This episode draws parallel from the master-padawan relationship from the original movies. A Jedi master and his excited padawan land on a planet after sensing a disturbance in the force only to find an ancient and sinister former Sith Lord who had escaped the Sith extinction. The plot perfectly drives it home with its core Jedi values of patience, wisdom, and pacifism.
Is a Jedi determined from one’s birth? T0-B1 answers that question with its unbridled idealism when an anthropomorphic droid dreams of becoming a Jedi Knight. While the episode lacks a bit on the plot, but its splendid animation and action sequences truly make this a spectacular watch.
4. The Twins
The Twins once again goes back to the concept of Force Dyad, an unique Force connection that binds two Force-sensitive individuals in a pair and make them one with the Force. Once again delving into the theme of fatalism, The Twins is a bombastic episode with over-the-top animations and fantastic voiceovers from Neil Patrick Harris/Junya Enoki and Alison Brie/Ryoko Shiraishi as the twins who battle each other when Karre (Harris/Enoki) breaks away from the Dark Side after having a vision of his sister’s death despite being created, trained, and ordered by the Dark Side to destroy the New Republic.
3. Lop and Ocho
Apart from having most of the major elements from the Star Wars lore, Lop and Ocho is inherently an episode on Eastern values against the West’s development, imperialism, and greed. When an aging clan leader’s biological daughter sides with the Empire for her planet’s urbanization and development, the adopted daughter realises she is Force-sensitive and the true heir to the family’s heirloom: a lightsaber left by a Jedi Knight many generations ago.
2. The Ninth Jedi
Set after the near extinction of the Jedi Knights, The Ninth Jedi tries to re-ignite the Jedi Order when a surviving Jedi Knight sends a message across the galaxy to any surviving Jedi Padawans to come and receive a lightsaber. But things go awry when the message is intercepted by Sith apprentices who disguise themselves as Padawans to capture the lightsabers and kill the surviving Jedis. In this episode of wits, a hero rises to the occasion to help the Jedi Knight defeat the Sith apprentices and save her kidnapped father.
1. The Duel
A homage to the late Akira Kurosawa, The Duel is inspired from the ace director’s Yojimbo, The Duel is as Japanese as it gets when a man named Ronin arrives at a small village to find it being besiged by a legion of former Stormtroopers who are led by a Sith Inquisitor. After single-handedly taking down the Stormtroopers and their leader, it is revealed that Ronin is a bounty hunter who collects Kyber Crystals from each Sith he has defeated. The episode’s striking animation is reminiscent of Japanese period drama with sleek and minimalistic action sequences which makes it an unforgettable watch.
Visions is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.