You’d be forgiven for forgetting about Star Wars: Visions; it was one of a huge slate of Star Wars-based shows that Disney announced at its Investor Day event last December, alongside far flashier projects like Ahsoka and Andor. As with most of those shows, fans of the franchise got little more than a logline for the project: An anthology of shorts produced by some of Japan’s most prominent animation studios. Intriguing, admittedly—what would “anime Star Wars” even end up looking like?
Like this, as it turns out:
We’re not going to lie: We’re now officially feeling pretty excited about Visions, which will feature work from Kamikaze Douga, Twin Engine, Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production IG. Disney released the above Special Look presentation online today after showing it off at Anime Expo Lite, giving peeks at all 9 short films making up the anthology.
The most exciting thing—besides the obvious exciting thing of lightsabers that look like samurai swords—is what a wide set of genres the project seems to be covering. Sure, we have more traditional Star Wars Jedi stuff like “The Elder,” “The Twins,” and “The Duel.” But there’s also material like Studio Colorido’s “Tatooine Rhapsody,” which is being described as a “rock opera,” and yeah, now that we think about it, we would like to see an anime rock opera set on Tatooine. Or Kinema Citrus’ “The Village Bride,” which has a painting-esque look to it, and far gentler color work. Or “T0-B1,” from Science Saru, which imports Astro Boy designs into a universe with no surfeit of charming robots.
That’s the coolest part of all this: Seeing tons of new artists get to try their hand at what “Star Wars” is supposed to look like. It’s a big galaxy, and it’s always been at its best when it pushes out into its strangest, most diverse corners. (Also, is it just us, or does anime Jabba The Hutt look upsettingly adorable?)
All episodes of Star Wars: Visions release on September 22, on Disney+.