[Warning: article contains commentary that could be considered very minor spoilers.] One of the greatest things about Star Wars (despite what some gatekeeping trolls would have you believe) is that there is so much of it that one is able to appreciate the franchise as a whole, even if there are those aspects of it that you don’t like. For some, various elements are of the “either you love it or you hate it” variety. (Case in point: The Last Jedi.) After watching, I fear the Star Wars: Visions anime series is going to fall into that category.
The anime anthology consists of nine, new, original stories based on the galaxy far, far away. Coming from seven different, Japanese studios it gives us a whole new take on the Star Wars universe. It starts off strong, providing us arguably the best episode of the series right off the bat. From there, however, well…. Let’s just say that Star Wars: Visions is only SW from a certain point of view.
Star Wars: Visions – anime fan fiction
Anime itself often falls into the aforementioned love/hate category in and of itself. Regretfully, if you’re not an anime fan to begin with, I think you’re going to have trouble fully embracing Star Wars: Visions. With the exception of one story, the anthology has no ties to any existing characters in the known Star Wars universe. The story that does, however, is probably the most jarring to the SW purist’s senses. (Boba Fett fans may be especially disappointed.) Sure, there are plenty of lightsabers, Jedi, and references to the Sith (as you can see in the trailer). It’s almost because of that fact, though, that the series simply feels like a showcase of anime fan fiction.
If you are a fan of anime, generally, you may very well love the limited series. The visuals can be stunning, and the storylines are, most often, original… mostly. Those that are Star Wars fans first can also appreciate how these stories, though original, do tie in to the general lore, but even that can feel a bit much. Star Wars: Visions still relies perhaps too heavily on the master/apprentice trope so prevalent in the franchise as a whole.
Notwithstanding, the first episode, The Duel, feels the most original, and intriguing, of all. It is the only episode that makes one genuinely curious about what happens next. I suspect that the series’ producers were keenly aware of that fact, too. A tie-in novel to the episode, Ronin: A Visions Novel, arrives mid-October. No other episode receives the same, follow-up treatment.
You may love it. You may hate it. However you feel, Star Wars: Visions gives fans a new and different perspective on the franchise. With the entire series barely spanning two and a half hours in length, it’s certainly worth a look.