Coming to Disney+ this September, Star Wars: Visions is a anthology of anime shorts produced by some of the most preeminent animation studios in Japan like Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production IG.
"As a first formal venture into anime, each Star Wars: Visions short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling," reads the official synopsis. "From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio."
Watch the sneak peek below:
Jacqui Lopez, James Waugh, and Josh Rimes serve as executive producers for Visions, while Justin Leach of and Kanako Shirasaki are co-executive producer and producer, respectively.
As the press release plainly states, the Visions initiative represents a full circle moment for the long-running franchise, as George Lucas was partly inspired by Japanese culture — mainly Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress — when writing A New Hope back in the 1970s.
"As I was beginning to write the screenplay and put it together, I remembered Hidden Fortress," Lucas remarked in a 2015 interview. "The one thing that really struck me about Hidden Fortress ... was the fact that the story was told from the two lowest characters. I decided that would be a nice way to tell the Star Wars story, which is take the two lowliest characters as Kurosawa did and tell the story from their point-of-view. Which in the Star Wars case is the two droids. And that was the strongest influence, actually."
Years later, Jon Favreau would draw on samurai culture and the Lone Wolf and Cub manga when it came time to make The Mandalorian. "I like the image of the Mandalorian because it really harkened back to the Westerns and samurai films that had originally influenced Lucas," he said in 2019.
The lineup of shorts and studios is as follows:
- Kamikaze Douga - The Duel
- Geno Studio (Twin Engine) - Lop and Ochō
- Studio Colorido (Twin Engine) - Tatooine Rhapsody
- Trigger - The Twins
- Trigger - The Elder
- Kinema Citrus - The Village Bride
- Science Saru - Akakiri
- Science Saru - T0-B1
- Production IG - The Ninth Jedi
All episodes of Star Wars: Visions arrive on Disney+ Wednesday, Sep. 22.