The worlds of anime and Star Wars are about to collide in a new anthology series, Star Wars: Visions, which premieres on Disney Plus later this month.
With legendary Japanese animation studios exploring worlds and iconic characters, Star Wars: Visions promises to be a major release for the Disney streamer.
So read on for everything we know about the series so far, from who’s involved to when and where to watch it, rumors and Easter eggs, and more.
If you don’t have Disney Plus yet, you can sign up by pressing the button below to watch Star Wars: Visions when it premieres.
What is Star Wars: Visions?
Star Wars: Visions is a series of animated shorts, each telling its own story with a unique animation style. What ties them together is that they take place in the Star Wars universe. And they are all Japanese anime.
Some episode descriptions have offered insight into what to expect, including familiar themes and images.
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The twins’ and teacher / Padawan motifs from the movies will appear in the shorts The Twins and The Elder, respectively. The former will feature a brother and sister born to the dark side, and the brother will seek to save his sister from their Sith ways. In T0-B1, a droid dreams of being a Jedi. And at all times, the characters fight to maintain honor and do good in the galaxy in the never-ending fight against the dark side.
You can see in the trailer that several of the shorts are heavily based on Westerns, as well as Akira Kurosawa’s films, such as Yojimbo and The Hidden Fortress.
George Lucas was inspired by Westerns and The Hidden Fortress when working on the original Star Wars, and was inspired by a large part of Japanese history while developing the familiar Star Wars iconography. So this really is a match made in heaven.
When and where can I watch Star Wars: Visions?
Star Wars: Visions will air exclusively on Disney Plus beginning September 22.
Additionally, a fourth Star Wars series, The Bobba Fett Book, will launch in December 2021 on Disney Plus.
What animation studios participate?
Unlike Disney’s previous animated anthology series What If, Star Wars: Visions will not have a single visual style in every episode.
Instead, Disney and Lucasfilm hired Japanese animation studios to create their own Star Wars stories in their signature styles. That means the stories were written in-house in each studio and the animation was designed accordingly.
The seven studies and the shorts they produced are as follows:
Kamikaze Douga: The Duel Geno Studio (Twin Engine): Lop & Ochō Studio Colorido (Twin Engine): Tatooine Rhapsody Trigger: The Twins and The Elder Kinema Citrus: The Village Bride Science Saru: Akakiri y T0-B1 Production IG: The Ninth Jedi
Who is voicing the characters in Star Wars: Visions?
Star Wars: Visions has an impressive cast of voice actors for both the Japanese and English versions.
The Japanese version will feature the following voice actors, organized by short film:
El Duelo: Masaki Terasoma (Ronin), Akeno Watanabe (Líder de los bandidos) y Yūko Sanpei (Jefe de la aldea) Tatooine Rhapsody: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Jay), Kōsuke Gotō (Geezer), Akio Kaneda (Boba Fett), Masayo Fujita (K- 344) y Anri Katsu (Lan) Los gemelos: Junya Enoki (Karre), Ryoko Shiraishi (Am) y Tokuyoshi Kawashima (B-20N) La novia del pueblo: Asami Seto (F), Megumi Han (Haru), Yūma Uchida (Asu), Takaya Kamikawa (Vaan), Yoshimitsu Shimoyama (Izuma) y Mariya Ise (Saku) El Noveno Jedi: Chinatsu Akasaki (Kara), Tetsuo Kanao (Juro), Shin-ichiro Miki (Zhima), Hiromu Mineta (Ethan) ), Kazuya Nakai (Roden), Akio Ōtsuka, (Narrador) y Daisuke Hirakawa (Hen Jin) T0-B1: Masako Nozawa (T0-B1) y Tsutomu Isobe (Mitaka) El mayor: Takaya Hashi (Tajin), Kenichi Ogata ( The Elder) y Yuichi Nakamura (Dan) Lop & Ochō: Seiran Kobayashi (Lop), Risa Shimizu (Ocho), Tadahisa Fujimura (Yasaburo) y Taisuke Nakano (Oficial imperial) Akakiri: Yū Miyazaki (Tsubaki), Lynn (Misa), Cho (Senshuu), Wataru Takagi (Kamaha) chi) y Yukari Nozawa (Masago)
The English version will feature the following voice actors, arranged by short film (watch the trailer in English here):
The Duel: Brian Tee (Ronin), Lucy Liu (Bandit Leader) and Jaden Waldman (Village Chief) Tatooine Rhapsody: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jay), Bobby Moynihan (Geezer), Temuera Morrison (Boba Fett), Shelby Young (K-344) and Marc Thompson (Lan) The twins: Neil Patrick Harris (Karre), Alison Brie (Am) and Jonathan Lipow (B-20N) The bride of the people: Karen Fukuhara (F), Nichole Sakura (Haru) , Christopher Sean (Asu), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Valco), Andrew Kishino (Izuma) and Stephanie Sheh (Saku) The Ninth Jedi: Kimiko Glenn (Kara), Andrew Kishino (Juro), Simu Liu (Zhima), Masi Oka (Ethan), Greg Chun (Roden), Neil Kaplan (Narrator) and Michael Sinterniklaas (Hen Jin) T0-B1: Jaden Waldman (T0-B1) and Kyle Chandler (Mitaka) The Elder: David Harbor (Tajin), Jordan Fisher (Dan) and James Hong (The Elder) Lop & Ochō: Anna Cathcart (Lop), Hiromi Dames (Eight), Paul Nakauchi (Yasaburo) and Kyle McCarley (Imperial Officer) Akakiri: Henry Golding (Tsubaki), Jamie Chung (Mass ), George Takei (Senshuu), Keo ne Young ( Kamahachi) and Lorraine Toussaint (Masago)
Where does it fit in the Star Wars canon?
The “Expanded Universe” of Star Wars is huge. Includes the original movie trilogy, prequel and sequel trilogies, novels and comics, and video games.
And the canon was further complicated when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012. In 2014, the company formed a “history group” to oversee the development of the Star Wars films and other properties and to maintain a degree of consistency between the titles. That meant that many parts of the Expanded Universe were removed from the broader continuity, relabelled as “Legends of Star Wars.”
The official canon approved by Disney now consists of the nine major feature films, some of The Clone Wars movies and series, and books and games produced primarily after the Disney acquisition.
So where does Star Wars: Visions fit in?
Star Wars canon can be tricky, and Disney doesn’t give us any clear answers about Star Wars: Visions.
According to executive producer James Waugh, the studios involved did not have to operate within the established Star Wars timeline or timeline. “We really wanted to give these creators ample creative space to explore the full imaginative potential of the Star Wars galaxy through the unique lens of anime,” he said at Anime Expo 2021.
But does that mean these shorts are not canon? Well maybe. Disney has not clarified this and it is probably intentional. It is very possible that we will see elements of these stories appear in other parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Or maybe we won’t. The good news is that the main goal here seems to have been telling great stories above all else.
What to expect from Star Wars: Visions
Other than a few short synopses, Disney hasn’t revealed much about individual episodes.
But the trailer gives us some glimpses of iconic Star Wars content. Here’s a short list of the ones that stand out, along with bits of information gleaned from statements and interviews:
It looks like a Jedi or Force-sensitive character will stop a laser beam in midair, as Kylo Ren did in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This was a dramatic use of the Force that expanded into the blaster deflection from the previous Star Wars movies. That may indicate a general commitment to the newer movies. Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt will make appearances in one of the shorts. Fett and his famous ship Slave I can be seen briefly in the trailer. We see what the pod racing stadium looks like on the planet Tatooine from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This is likely the location of the rock concert or rock opera that will be featured on Tatooine Rhapsody.
But aside from the familiar Star Wars characters and settings, the series trailer shows us what completely new characters and stories look like. But even with wildly different animation styles from the various studios, all of these stories seem to fit neatly into the Star Wars myths.
That’s what we know about Star Wars: Visions so far.
You can see it in September on Disney Plus.
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Visions heads to Disney Plus – EzAnime.net