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‘Star Wars: Visions’ trailer reveals the Star Wars universe envisioned by 7 Japanese anime studios

The recently released trailer for Star Wars: Visions is giving us a sneak peek into what the Star Wars universe looks like when translated into the world of anime.

Star Wars: Visions is an anthology series that consists of nine animated short films created by seven Japanese anime studios. The anime studios and their respective films are:

  • “The Duel” by Kamikaze Douga - Kamikaze Douga has worked across all forms of media. They’ve provided sequences for video game franchises like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Fire Emblem, anime like Attack on Titan, and worked on full anime films like Batman Ninja and Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur. The story of their film for the anthology revolves around an alternate history based on Japanese lore, with a Jedi and a Sith at the very center.
  • “The Village Bride” by Kinema Citrus - Kinema Citrus has adapted several manga and light novel series into anime, including Black Bullet, .hack//Quantum, and The Rising of the Shield Hero. “The Village Bride” takes place on an unknown planet and aims to highlight the aspect of traditional Japanese culture that connects to the mountains.
  • “T0-B1” and “Akakiri” by Science SARU - This Tokyo-based studio has gained recognition not just in Japan, but also worldwide. Some of their most popular works include Devilman Crybaby, Japan Sinks: 2020, and the film Ride Your Wave, which won several international awards. “Akakiri” is meant to be a love story between a Jedi and a princess, meanwhile “T0-B1” was described by its director as having a “retro, vintage feeling” and having Astro Boy influences.
  • “Lop and Ochō” by Geno Studio - Geno Studio is one of the two contributing studios that fall under anime production company, Twin Engine. They’ve created anime adaptations for the manga of Kokkoku and Golden Kamuy. The titular characters are the daughter of a “space yakuza family” (Ochō) and Lop, a “rabbit-hybrid alien” who she meets along the way.
  • “Tatooine Rhapsody” by Studio Colorido - Studio Colorido is the other studio under Twin Engine whose work is also included in the anthology. Their film portfolio includes adaptations for Burn the Witch and Penguin Highway, and the original film, A Whisker Away. “Tatooine Rhapsody” is described as being a “rock opera style film,” and will include appearances by Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett.
  • “The Twins” and “The Elder” by Trigger - Trigger are known for their eye-catching animation style, as seen in their original anime series Kill la Kill and the recent hit film, Promare. One of their films in the anthology, “The Twins” has a striking resemblance to Promare’s style, and it tells the story of “twins of the dark side.” “The Elder,” on the other hand, is set before the events of The Phantom Menace, and has a Jedi and a padawan placed at the heart of its story. Both films lean closely to existing Star Wars canon.
  • “The Ninth Jedi” by Production I.G - Production I.G is one of the most established studios included in this list. They’ve worked on countless anime series, films, and video games, with their most recognizable creations including Haikyuu!!, Ghost in the Shell, Psycho Pass, Kuroko’s Basketball, and Guilty Crown. “The Ninth Jedi” is set after the final episode of the ‘Skywalker saga’ (2019’s The Rise of Skywalker) and fans are expected to see the studio’s interpretation of a Japanese lightsaber, amongst many other things in what’s being called a “galactic-level adventure”.

The anthology will be the first major Star Wars animation project that pays homage to Japan. It’s considered to be Lucasfilm’s love letter to the country whose culture and early cinema -- Akira Kurosawa, in particular -- influenced George Lucas’ conception of Star Wars.

Star Wars: Visions will be premiering September 22, 2021 on the streaming service, Disney+.

By - Jen Laforteza.