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Anime / Star Wars: Visions

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遠い昔 はるかかなたの銀河系で・・・note 

Star Wars: Visions is a 2021 Disney+ anime series set in the Star Wars universe. The series is an anthology comprising of nine anime short films, each produced by a different renowned anime studio. Qubic Studios (Eden) is the main studio producing the show.

It released on September 22, 2021. Unlike the typical "one episode per week" release model of previous Star Wars series on Disney+, all episodes were dropped at once. A tie-in novel, Star Wars: Visions - Ronin, was released in October 2021. A second season was confirmed in May 2022, this time featuring stories from animation studios across the world — hailing from Japan, the United States (California), Chile, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, South Africa, India, and South Korea — with a release window of Spring 2023. The crew of at least one Season 1 short ("The Ninth Jedi") has expressed interest in continuing their story.

Star Wars Visions provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Lop, F, Kara and Misa are the most prominent examples, with the first three being quite good with the lightsaber, and the last one is pretty handy with a crossbow.
  • Actor Allusion: Christopher Sean voices Asu, and is also known for playing Kazuda in Star Wars Resistance.
  • Aerith and Bob: True to the franchise, there's a mix of Japanese names (Haru, Misa, Yasaburo), sci-fi names (Am, Lop, Tajin), and a few English names (Ethan, Dan).
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: One might be forgiven for assuming that the title held by the character Juro from "The Ninth Jedi" — "Margrave" — is a made-up Star Wars word not unlike "Moff". It's actually a real, though fairly obscure military rank from the medieval Holy Roman Empire, awarded to the commanders in charge of defending the Empire's borders, and later morphed into a hereditary noble title.
  • Alternate Continuity: Even before their release it was confirmed that these shorts are not necessarily canon for Disney continuity or Legends. This was done so that each animation studio had more freedom when creating their stories without being hampered by continuity. Nonetheless, the shorts do broadly adhere to existing points in the timeline:
    • "The Duel" takes place before the Rule of Two was established, revolving around conflicts in which the Sith were much greater in number. However, it does have significant anachronisms in that the bandits have armor much like the ones that the Clone Troopers and the Imperial and First Order Stormtroopers wore, and similar weaponry from those eras existing, despite them not being invented until thousands of years later. This one has been confirmed to be set in an alternate reality.
    • "The Elder" takes place in the lead-up to the events of the Prequel Trilogy, likely during the High Republic era. The title antagonist mentions that the Sith lost sight of their goals and it led to their downfall, which is consistent with what happened as the Rule of Two was established.
    • "Tatooine Rhapsody", "The Village Bride", "T0-B1", "Lop and Ochō", and "Akakiri" occur at varying points between the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy, all involving Order 66 survivors or other heirs to the Jedi.
    • "The Twins" takes place not too long after the events of the Sequel Trilogy, with a First Order splinter group attempting to begin war on the restored New Republic once again. "The Ninth Jedi" is set much further into the future, in which new adherents to the Sith Order rise generations after the death of Darth Sidious.
  • Animated Anthology: The nine shorts of Star Wars: Visions aren’t connected in any way narratively, with each one featuring a different cast in a different setting somewhere and somewhen in the Star Wars galaxy.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Karre and Am have no difficulties talking or breathing while standing on the hull of their star destroyer. The Jedi in The Ninth Jedi can also walk outside the temple located on the surface of an asteroid, though it can be assumed that the asteroid is either in low orbit, or has an artificial atmosphere.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: The Ronin catches a lightsaber blade between his hands, though using the Force to avoid touching it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While most of the shorts avoid an outright Downer Ending (save one), a third of them also lack an unambiguous happy ending.
    • "The Twins" ends on Karre having destroyed the kyber crystal, but crash-landed on a distant world. Meanwhile, his sister is still under the thrall of the dark side, though he is confident that he can save her.
    • In "The Ninth Jedi", the Margrave successfully gathers three other Jedi, but the battle has just begun. The other five are still missing, and Kara's father is imprisoned by the Sith.
    • In "Lop and Ochõ", Lop saves her father and their planet, but Ochõ is still working for the empire, and the divide between the sisters is deeper than ever.
  • Bookends: The series starts and ends with Homages to Akira Kurosawa, referencing Yojimbo and The Hidden Fortress respectively.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • The titular characters of "The Twins" are artificial humans created as twins by a Sith cult to be perfect instruments of the Dark Side. Karre proves to have more moral fiber than his sister, however, causing them to clash.
    • The same happens with Lop and Ocho, one siding with the Empire and the other choosing to fight to free their planet from imperial occupation.
  • Central Theme: Darkness rises, and light to meet it. Many of the shorts take place in the aftermath of a Jedi or Sith purge, with the survivors or those who are left with their legacy seeking out a new purpose without an order or master to answer to.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Used to great effect in "The Duel" and "The Ninth Jedi". In both, a character (or multiple characters) are presented as Jedi from the beginning, until they ignite their lightsaber to literally show their true colors. "The Ninth Jedi" takes it a step further by having kyber crystals that were specifically tempered to reflect the wielder's connection to the force, resulting in sabers that change color depending on who's holding them, or even based on the wielder's shifting allegiances. It's also used in "The Elder", though there it's only an Internal Reveal, since the audience has figured out the Elder's identity already.
  • Combat Stilettos: The Sith Bandit, F, and Am all wear these. Bonus points go to Am; her shoes are integrated into her dark armor and can emit lightsaber blades from the heels.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Concept art for the Imperial villains in "Lop and Ocho" shows through their uniforms that they're in the Imperial Advanced Weapons branch, like Director Krennic. Likewise, they also have K2 droids at their disposal.
    • Additionally, the same concept art shows that the Imperials in "Lop and Ocho" also have the DT-Series Sentry Droids from Star Wars: Rebels.
    • Am's uniform is partially mechanized and has four mechanical arms with lightsaber emitters at the ends, bringing to mind the cyborg General Grievous who could separate his two arms to wield four lightsabers.
    • Am can turn her lightsabers into lightwhips, just like Vernestra's lightsaber.
    • The Force-sensitive characters frequently use the Force to stop blaster-fire in mid-air before returning it, referencing Kylo Ren freezing a shot at the raid on Jakku in the prologue of The Force Awakens and Darth Vader catching and returning a shot during the hallway scene at the end of Rogue One.
    • Tsubaki in "Akakiri" has visions about someone dying, just like Anakin in Revenge of the Sith and ultimately turns to the Dark Side to bring someone he cares about back to life.
  • Cool Sword: It's Star Wars, so the already cool lightsabers will of course be present. Several of the episodes feature uniquely cooler lightsabers:
    • Lop's lightsaber has an engraving on the blade, which would not be possible in any Star Wars canon.
    • Zhima constructs the lightsabers for the Nine Jedi to change color and length depending on the holder. Initially, Kara's lightsaber is colorless and keeps changing length because she doubts her strength in the Force, but as she fights the Sith and becomes more confident in her abilities, it turns into a normal green lightsaber.
    • Juro's old lightsaber (that Ethan ends up keeping) has his Jedi symbol on the hilt.
    • Juro's new lightsaber (that he takes from Hanbei) has a tsuba (a hand guard, used for Japanese swords such as katanas and wakizashis) in the form of a halo-like ring. This makes it the Japanese equivalent of the crossguard lightsaber, which was inspired by European swords.
    • Once she decides to put it to good use, F's lightsaber is shown to have a yellow blade and a distinctly flat, katana-like silhouette similar to the Darksaber.
  • Dark Action Girl: The Sith Bandit, Am, Ocho, and Masago are female antagonists and just as skilled in fighting as the heroes.
    • The concept art for "The Duel" has a group of bandits in First Order Stormtrooper armor with a dark-cloaked, masked figure at the center.
    • Am wears an Inquisitor-like uniform with a rather sculpted Kylo Ren-esque mask. Additionally, she fights against her twin brother, who has turned to the light, which is evocative of the feuds between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan (the latter saw their relationship as a brotherhood), Darth Vader and Luke (two opposing family members who want the other to join them), and Rey and Kylo Ren (a female/male pair who represent opposite sides of the Force). Not to mention her brother also bears a resemblance to Luke.
    • The Inquisitor T0-B1 battles is a black-armored figure who flies a TIE Advanced starfighter and wields a red lightsaber.
  • Downer Ending: "Akakiri" is the only short that ends on an outright downer. The Jedi has fallen to the dark side, and joins his new master in conquering the galaxy, leaving his lover behind to be imprisoned.
  • Dual Wielding: Happens several times through the season. The old Sith in “The Elder” uses dual lightsabers, Am in “The Twins" has two handheld lightsabers alongside the four grafted into her suit, and Lop grabs her father's sai alongside her lightsaber.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ocho in the concept art for "Lop and Ocho" is shown to be wearing a kanzashi, a Japanese hair clip/stick. Many of the towns and villages in other shorts also look heavily Japanese-inspired. Many of the lightsabers are shaped and styled like traditional samurai swords, and many of the shorts take thematic and musical elements from various Japanese movies.
  • Flock of Wolves: Any savvy viewer will probably expect at least one Sith mole to be among the seven Jedi summoned in The Ninth Jedi, which makes for a very effective Wham Shot when six of the seven's lightsabers light up red.
  • Genocide Survivor: Jay, F and Mitaka are survivors of Order 66, while the Jedi in "The Ninth Jedi" are refugees from a future Jedi purge. Their stories are mostly about how they deal with it; Jay leaves his Jedi past behind entirely, focusing on a new life as a musician. F is initially reluctant due to her trauma, but comes into her own as a Jedi. Mitaka has left the Jedi life behind to focus on his research, but still passes the order's teachings on to T0-B1. Finally, the Jedi in "The Ninth Jedi" have come together to carry on their order's legacy. Some of them, at least. The others are Sith assassins.
  • Genre Throwback: After years of the franchise being inspired by Japanese media, most notably the art style of the cartoons being anime-inspired, Visions leans fully into it by being made by the anime industry.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: As always, Jedi use blue, green, yellow, and purple lightsabers while Sith use red. Both the Ronin in "The Duel" and the six false Jedi in "The Ninth Jedi" reveal themselves to be Sith when their lightsabers ignite red.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While the young and learning Jedi often show a reluctance to kill, usually only killing when they have no other choice to survive, the old and experienced Jedi, and even younger Jedi who have experienced circumstances like surviving Order 66, are very quick to go for the kill when faced with the Sith and other evil characters like Empire officers, as they understand that compassion and mercy is wasted on those who do not care for and will never return it.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Befitting the Japanese influences on each story, F, the Elder, Lop, Tsubaki, and Masago all wield lightsabers that are stylized to resemble katanas.
  • Loose Canon: Visions does not strictly adhere to established canon. Internal anachronisms abound, and "The Duel" outright takes place in an alternate timeline.
  • No Name Given: The Rōnin and the Elder are left completely unnamed. The Jedi in "The Village Bride" goes only by F, which isn't even said in the episode.
  • Oddball in the Series: A Star Wars series composing of original stories made by Japanese studios in the anime industry is a wholly novel approach to the franchise.
  • Power Crystal: The Kyber Crystals that generate the blades of lightsabers are a recurring element within the shorts:
    • In “The Duel”, the Ronin stops to retrieve the crystal from his defeated foe's lightsaber, and is shown to have a collection of similar crystals stored inside his coat.
    • A particularly large and powerful crystal is a major point of focus in "The Twins", originally used to power a planet-killing superweapon before being stolen by Karre. In their subsequent fight over possession of it, he and Am accidentally crack it in two; Am then rams her half into her chest to supercharge her armor, while Karre uses his to power his lightsaber to similar effect.
    • In "T0-B1", the titular droid is instructed to find a Kyber Crystal if he truly wishes to become a Jedi, as locating such a crystal and using it to construct a lightsaber is a trial all Jedi Padawans must undergo.
  • Recurring Element: Lightsabers and kyber crystals are given a lot of focus throughout the anthology.
    • In "The Duel", lightsabers serve both as the weapon used for the titular duel, and as a way to reveal that the Ronin is not a Jedi. At the end of the episode, the Ronin also takes the kyber from his opponents' lightsaber, revealing that he has collected multiple, before giving it to the village leader as a good luck charm.
    • In "Tatooine Rhapsody", the main character's lightsaber is broken, and he eventually repurposes it as a microphone to show that he has moved on from his past.
    • In "The Twins", the conflict is over a giant kyber crystal initially used to power a Wave-Motion Gun. It's later broken, and the pieces used to power Am's armor and Karre's saber respectively.
    • In "The Ninth Jedi", the art of constructing lightsabers is lost, and one of the things the Margrave offers as an incentive for Jedi to seek him out is to give them lightsabers. The kybers are also tempered in a way that causes them to change color depending on the wielder. The titular character's saber is initially colorless, before turning green in battle. Six of the "Jedi" also ignite their sabers to reveal that they are the red of the Sith.
    • In "T0-B1", professor Mitaka tells the titular droid to find a kyber crystal, and gives him the broken pieces of a lightsaber. T0-B1's crystal was literally inside of him all along, and he uses it to rebuild the saber and avenge his creator
    • In "Lop and Ochõ", the family's Ancestral Weapon is a lightsaber entrusted to them by a dying Jedi centuries ago. Ochõ resents Lop for having inherited the weapon despite being an adopted child of the family.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Given that the Star Wars franchise was originally heavily inspired in Japanese films (specifically from Akira Kurosawa), Eastern mythology, and themes. This collection of anime shorts that draw a lot of elements from Japanese culture is certainly a return to that form.
  • Return to Shooter:
    • In "The Village Bride", F freezes a blaster shot in midair before returning it at the attacker.
    • In "The Twins", Karre stops multiple stun bolts from a squad of Stormtroopers before returning them.
  • Robot Buddy: Most of the protagonists have a droid companion.
  • Sequel Hook: Several episodes end with the promise of further adventures:
    • "The Twins" ends with Karre shattering the kyber crystal powering Am's armor (which would've eventually killed her) and jumping to hyperspace before crash-landing on an unknown planet. Karre senses that his sister is still alive and hopes to rescue her one day.
    • "The Village Bride" ends with F reclaiming her Jedi heritage and flying off into the galaxy.
    • "The Ninth Jedi" ends with Kara departing with the other Jedi to find and rescue her father.
    • "The Elder" ends with Tajin and Dan surviving their encounter with the mysterious Elder, but it is still unknown just who the Elder really was and what his true allegiances were or whether or not the Sith have returned, since the Elder's last act was destroying his own spacecraft before his body crumbled into dust, elliminating anything that could be used as evidence.
    • "Lop and Ochō" ends with Ochō leaving her family and joining the Empire, shattering the bond she has with Lop and their father. Lop takes up the ancestral lightsaber and leadership of the Yasaburo clan and resolves to reconcile with her sister one day.
    • "Akakiri" ends with Tsubaki falling to the dark side after reviving Princess Misa with the Sith Lord Masago's help, and they depart the planet to conquer the rest of the galaxy.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • Remember Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber? And the Inquisitor double-bladed lightsabers that spin and can fly? Okay, now consider the Sith bandit lady's lightsaber-spoked parasol that also spins and flies!
    • Give General Grievous six arms instead of four, and also give him lightsabers that can turn into lightwhips, and you'll have Am.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: In "The Village Bride", this is how F defeats the head Raider.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Animatrix and Halo Legends, as this is another instance of anime shorts based on a popular Western sci-fi franchise.
  • Spoiler Cover: The poster for the anthology (shown above) spoils the fact that the Ronin in "The Duel" has a red lightsaber, which is a Wham Shot in the short.
  • Super-Deformed:
    • "Tatooine Rhapsody" uses a chibi art style, with both the original characters as well Boba and the Hutts drawn using small and cute proportions, rather than their original realistic appearances.
    • "T0-B1" is animated using a similarly cutesy art style, in this case resembling a mixture of Astro Boy and Mega Man (Classic).
  • Technicolor Blade: In traditional Star Wars fashion, Jedi characters typically use blue or green lightsabers while Sith use red. However, there are also a number of color combinations that are very non-traditional:
    • Kara in "The Ninth Jedi" initially has a lightsaber that's colorless, before gaining a green tint and ultimately turning fully green. In the same short, one character's lightsaber is purple. It's explained as the kyber crystals within each lightsaber having their color depend on the wielder's connection to the Force.
    • In "The Twins", Karre's lightsaber glows with a two-toned cyan / pink gradient after being socketed with his half of the immensely-powerful Kyber Crystal he stole.
  • Tuckerization: Karre and Am from "The Twins" are named after Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, respectively, keeping in line with the concept of Karre and Am being a re-imagining of Luke and Leia as twins born in the Dark Side.
  • Vicious Cycle: As The Last Jedi puts it, there is no dark without light and there is no light without dark. Like in both the history of Star Wars canon and Legends, the Jedi and Sith in the various Visions shorts are going through a cycle of one side quietly building up their numbers so they can eventually dominate their enemies and purge them, then the enemy does the same, and so on. Some of the shorts portray the aftermath of Order 66, while "The Duel" shows the aftermath of a Sith loss and Jedi victory in early history and "The Ninth Jedi" shows a Jedi loss and Sith victory in the distant future.
  • Wham Shot:
    • "The Duel" has the moment when the Ronin finally draws his lightsaber to reveal it's a red blade - the Ronin doesn't seem to be a Sith, but he is decidedly no Jedi.
    • "The Ninth Jedi" has a collection of Force users being gathered in an old temple and given lightsabers. However, upon activating these lightsabers, which change color based on the user's connection with the Force, all of them, except for two, display red blades, revealing them as Sith.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: T0-B1 is essentially a Star Wars' version of Astro Boy. A scientist who creates a cute robot boy who has Pinocchio Syndrome and wants to be a hero? Yep.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility:
    • Said nearly verbatim by Yasaburo when he entrusts the village’s lightsaber to Lop.
      "Long ago, a great warrior came to our village and entrusted our ancestors with this. Its power and responsibility now lie with you."
    • Tajin believes this in "The Elder", telling his apprentice that power is transient and fleeting, but while you have it, you should use it to help those without.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The short films make an effort to not use established characters from the Star Wars franchise in order to tell their own stories, with the exception of "Tatooine Rhapsody", which — naturally — features the fan-favorite Boba Fett in a prominent role.
  • You Killed My Father: T0-B1 clashes with the imperial inquisitor who killed his creator, the order 66 survivor Mitaka.


Video Example(s):


The Masterless Jedi

Having been sent a message by Margrave Juro about rebuilding the Jedi Order and that he had rediscovered the creation of Lightsabers, many Jedi arrive at his Temple with the goal of receiving his Lightsabers. However when it turned out that the young girl sent with the blades knew who the Margrave was; they ignite their blades and proclaim themselves as Sith Acolytes.

The only one not a part of this was the young eager Neophyte named Ethan who really IS a Jedi.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilAllAlong

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