Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars: Visions

A stunning tribute to how animation can enhance even the most archetypal science fantasy stories

7.8

TV Show

Chile, France
English, French, Japanese
Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
2021

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TLDR

This is genuinely all I needed to become interested in Star Wars again: nonsensical anime fights and cute stop motion aliens.

What it's about

An anthology of short tales of good versus evil and resistance against an oppressive empire, as interpreted by animation studios from all around the world.

The take

More a showcase of various styles of animation than an expansion of Star Wars lore (and all the better for it), Visions finds some of the freshest expression for these tired tropes—rendered in what are easily the best visuals this franchise has ever seen. Across the 18 episodes of its first two seasons, the series communicates the mystical nature of this universe with much more ease than the live-action films do. And even as Visions begins to repeat some of the exact same ideas and story structures in multiple episodes, the repetition also begins to feel like the reinforcement of a universal narrative throughout time and space: there will always be light that will counter the darkness, often coming from the bonds between family and friends.

What stands out

Visions' first season—which consists entirely of Japanese anime, in homage to the original Star Wars' Japanese inspirations—has its best episode right out the gate. Animated by the studio Kamikaze Douga in gorgeous, 2D-inspired, mostly black-and-white CGI, "The Duel" tells the classic story of a wandering samurai (or ronin) helping a small village being attacked by bandits. While in season two, one of the seemingly family-oriented episodes reveals itself to be the darkest of the entire series. Animated by Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, "Screecher's Reach" follows a band of young laborers yearning for freedom, and encountering a terrifying entity inside a haunted cave.

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