TV review: ‘Star Wars: Visions’

By Quade Evans, Opinion Columnist

Disney has taken its long awaited foray into the already saturated anime scene with their new anthology series, “Star Wars: Visions.” Disney takes a more experimental route when it comes to its stories, themes and even animation styles as each studio adds its own unique Japanese take on the Star Wars universe.

When “Star Wars” is mentioned, images of massive galaxy-spanning conflicts and epic struggles across time and space come to mind, but instead, ”Star Wars: Visions” takes a smaller scale approach akin to “The Mandalorian.” The series focuses on giving each of the locations its own identity and culture, making them feel like places people could actually live in. This is all enhanced by the vastly different animation styles used by each episode.

For example, the aptly titled episode “The Duel” uses black and white visuals and 3D animation that harkens back to old Akira Kurosawa films for a traditional samurai showdown.

In contrast, the second episode, “Tatooine Rhapsody,” is a more lighthearted episode focused on the relationships between an ex Jedi and his ragtag rock band trying to avoid execution.

The voice actors in both the English dub and the original Japanese are fantastic, with special regards to Brian Tee and Lucy Liu for their outstanding voice work. The original Japanese dub is the best bet for watching this show.

Overall, the stories that are told in “Star Wars: Visions” range from epic to intimate. Whether an episode may hit or miss, these set of episodes represent important matters throughout the “Star Wars” universe. For so long, “Star Wars” has been filled with stories that revolve around special people within a limited scope. In the process, newer properties have lost sight of what made “Star Wars” so special in the first place. “Star Wars: Visions” reminds the audience that the world of “Star Wars” is one where anything is possible. If this series is any indication of how “Star Wars” might direct its stories, maybe the future of the franchise looks hopeful.