Get Ready for a Bunch of ‘Star Wars’ Anime
Star Wars would not exist without Japanese cinema. Starting with the original trilogy, which took more than a few cues from The Hidden Fortress and Throne of Blood, you then have J.J. Abrams openly admitting he took inspiration from Kurosawa’s High and Low when making The Force Awakens. The Mandalorian got in on it, too, basically being Lone Wolf and Cub in Space. And while not directly related, even the prequel trilogy can trace its roots to Japan, being the spiritual equivalent of one of those Japanese pornos where a live squid ends up inside someone’s anus.
So with Disney commissioning a bunch of Star Wars anime, the circle is now complete.
Coming to Disney+ in September, Star Wars: Visions will be an anthology of nine shorts set in the SW universe and directed by seven different Japanese studios putting their own spin on a franchise that has been ripping off their culture for nearly 50 years now. It’s a little like someone stealing your stuff and then commissioning you to paint a portrait of it. But, hey, despite The Rise of Skywalker’s best efforts, Star Wars is still relevant and mega-popular, so this will be a chance for Japanese artists to create something that literally gets to the very soul of the franchise.
Each of the Visions stories will be different in terms of both tone and style. Some will have a more retro feel like “T0-B1,” which will apparently be inspired by the classic manga Astro Boy. Then you have the “Tatooine Rhapsody” short, which has been described as a “rock opera” despite the fact that the last time someone tried to make a space opera inspired by Star Wars, we got Flash Gordon.
Other stories will include classic jidaigeki-style samurai dramas, only with lightsabers instead of katanas. It even looks like one of the shorts will feature a Black character, bumping the total number in all of Star Wars by like 10%. Of course, if you don’t want to wait until September to see a Black sci-fi samurai fighting robots, you can check out the awesome anime Yasuke.
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Top Image: Lucasfilm