Disney has just unveiled Star Wars: Visions, a new anthology show featuring takes on a galaxy far, far away from some of the most highly-regarded anime studios around. The collection will consist of seven short films in which the creators have been let off the leash when it comes to storytelling. The coolest sounding are Kamikaze Douga’s “The Duel”, Kinema Citrus’s “The Village Bride” and, (as I’m a long-time Ghost in the Shell fan), Production I.G’s “The Ninth Jedi”.
One wrinkle is that these stories won’t be canon to the wider Star Wars saga. Visions‘ executive producer James Waugh explained that they wanted to give these creators as much freedom as possible:
“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.”
Since Disney purchased Star Wars their new strategy was to pursue a “unified canon”, so everything that happens in any Star Wars universe product ‘happened,’ whether it be in a video game, TV show, or blockbuster movie, and they all have to fit together. That’s distinct from Lucasfilm’s old strategy, in which the ‘real story’ took place in the movies, with everything else a ‘maybe’ that could be overwritten by George Lucas if necessary.
Unified canon has its upsides, but often means that it’s difficult to tell a story in the very busy Original Trilogy era without contradicting an existing adventure. So right now Visions sounds like a breath of fresh air and what we’ve seen so far teases some weird and wonderful tales that are big departures from usual Star Wars fare.
Waugh concluded by saying:
“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.”
The best thing is that we don’t have too long to wait to see the fruits of their labors, as Star Wars: Visions will premiere on Disney+ on September 22, 2021.