The force is strong with Star Wars Visions, the anime-inspired anthology series that will transport you to a galaxy far, far away. With stunning visuals and captivating storytelling, this collection of short films is a must-watch for any Star Wars fan. So, join the rebellion and immerse yourself in the action-packed world of Star Wars Visions!

Star Wars: Visions is an animated anthology series. Generally, anthology refers to a compilation presenting many different writers and, in this context, it’s celebrating the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. It was created for the American streaming service Disney+, produced by Lucasfilm.

Its first volume was released on September 22nd, 2021 and the second volume was released May 4th, 2023, with The Star Wars franchise getting MCU levels of complex connections between its 9-television series and 12 movies. Star Wars Visions delivers all the allure of the franchise without the burden of watching any of the others. The series consists of original animated short films set in, or inspired by, the Star Wars universe, with each episode being a self-contained narrative produced by a non-American studio.

Each volume comprises of nine anime inspired original short films but for the first volume it was exclusively various Japanese animation studios that present a different cultural perspective of Star Wars. Volume 2 took a somewhat different approach by shifting focus for a showcase of animation studios from around the world.

In a galaxy far, far away, the timeless saga of Star Wars continues to captivate audiences across generations. As the Force binds us together, we embark on a journey through two distinct perspectives, each representing a different lens through which the epic series unfolds. For the seasoned fan, the latest Star Wars instalment carries the weight of decades of lore and anticipation, while for the uninitiated newcomer, the experience is akin to stepping into a vast, unknown universe, brimming with lightsabers, droids, and the age-old battle between good and evil. From the perspectives of a well-rounded veteran to the franchise Khoumie and that of an uninitiated newcomer Yande, join us as we venture into a tale that transcends time and space, for the purposes of this article, majority of focus will be on volume 2… Thus, our journey begins.

As a well-rounded anime enthusiast and someone who’s grown up watching Star Wars, I can hardly call this season an anime because it was made outside Japan in many different styles. This time only one episode (8) was worked on by a Japanese studio, however it does stray away from Western content and leans more towards the Japanese content in that its unique.

Whether this is due to artistic freedom or the fact that the franchise already borrows heavily from eastern storytelling is anyone’s guess. The series isn’t cannon and that means that studios from across the globe got a crack at Lucasfilm’s most successful IP, with full expressive freedom most Disney employees could probably only dream of.

In the decent episode range of 14 – 19 minutes the shorts lacked the overwhelming grip of other modern anthology series (for comparison, in under 6 minutes the shortest episode of “Love, Death and Robots”: “When the Yogurt took over” was more thought provoking than a lot of the series’ longer episodes).

It also seemed like most of the studios came up with the same ideas and ended up repeating themes and ideas. In at least 3 episodes, we had a scenario where a young force sensitive girl had to abruptly leave her loved one(s) to go and be trained by an older woman to become a Jedi/Sith. At least 2 of them were about a Sith violently attempting to convince a young padawan to join the dark side as they understand the dual nature of the force.


Although i somewhat grew up around the whole Star Wars banter, my knowledge of the Star Wars universe/franchise is very limited and most of things I know about it is based on pop culture references. Therefore, as a way of ushering me into the franchise as a way of tasting the waters, a veteran took it upon themselves and suggested that i should at least watch one Star Wars thing, therefore recommended Star Wars: Visions. So basically, Star Wars Visions was the stepping stone into my Padawan/Sith apprentice journey.

Compared to volume one, volume two had a more toned-down approach, in that they were less fights, most of the episodes gave a more self-discovery storyline, also the phrase “May the force be with you” was barely used and some episodes did not contain a lightsaber. This was sort of shocking to me because my initial thought of Stars Wars is the good, fighting evil, using lightsabers so it was refreshing to see the complexities and layers of the universe compared to what pop culture has taught me.



As someone who waited for almost a year for volume two to be released, I was anticipating how the season would play out based on the fact that volume one had set the bar really high. Despite some differences, volume two did not fall short of living up to my expectations. Even when I watched it, there were some episodes that stood out as favourites, so here is a breakdown of my favourite episodes.

In the 1st episode which Studio EL Guiri simply titled “Sith”, artistic visuals are used to symbolize Lola, a former Sith apprentice channelling the force into painting.

However, her paint keeps forming black marks due to her connection to the dark side. It was a good watch, filled with breath-taking saber fights and experimental animation reminiscent of Star Wars: rebels, as Lola tries to reject the dark side. The fight scenes of Lola battling her old Sith master we’re spectacular. Many aspects of the episode were artistically intended to express Lola’s duality with the force.

She unsheathes a double-bladed saber that she forged herself, with one blade glowing yellow and the other red with. I found this interesting for two reasons; the more noticeable one being, the yellow-coloured saber represents the Jedi and their peaceful, harmonic nature while the Red represents the Sith order and their anger, strength and determination. The second reason is that the Jedi have a class known as “Jedi Sentinels” who are notoriously independent and are usually the type of Jedi who forge sabers and other Jedi technology.

They are the balance between the other two schools of thought; Jedi Guardians (blue light sabers), the more combat savvy Peacemakers and Jedi Consulars (green light sabers), who are more focused on heavy force meditation and understanding the force. Jedi Sentinels learn a plethora of skills from non-force users and even channel the force to their creative side which fits perfectly with Lola’s artistic hobby.

The 5th episode is called “Journey to the Dark Head” by Studio Mir. The Korean studio behind the amazingly choreographed combat in this episode is also responsible for the Legend of Korra, some of the Boondocks, DOTA: Dragon’s blood and the Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. This episode was the most traditional in the season and it takes place during the initial war between the Jedi and the Sith. A young padawan (apprentice) overcomes the loss of his Master and rejects the dark side. While our main character, a monk turned mechanic learns about the dual nature of the force.

“Cartoon Saloon”, An Irish Studio you may know for “The Breadwinner”, coming of age story “The Secret of Kells” or “Skunk fu” made this sinister version of the call to adventure. The 2nd episode “Screecher’s Reach” starts with positive youthful visuals until the episode starts to ease into an eerie grey midpoint which gradually becomes much darker.

The main character was motivated by a mysterious necklace to make very questionable decisions and this was used as a wonderful way of depicting the subtle opportunistic and dark nature of Sith order. Even using the Sith mother, a maternal figure, to take advantage of the desperation of an orphan girl fed up with living off of a sweet shop run by her and her friends.

The range of emotional moments in the season had real weight, from witnessing a cold unjust murder on a stormy night to the breath-taking acrobatic dancing of a spy surrounded by enemies armed to the tooth. I absolutely loved the artistic direction all the studios chose to go with. There was some real love put into this project and that is evident in some episodes looking better than anything else some of these studios have ever worked on.

One example of this would be the beautifully animated “Aau’s Song”, the 9th and final episode done by Studio Triggerfish. If you don’t already know, Triggerfish is an animation studio based in Cape Town, SA and Ireland. Best known for their titles “Khumba” and “Seal Team.” They have been running for 27 years at the time of writing. In all honesty if I had encountered Aau’s Song in the wild without the Star Wars or Triggerfish brand on it, I wouldn’t have given it the time of day but I’m glad I did.

It tells a touching story of a father living with his daughter whose voice has an unusual effect on Kyber crystals bled by the Sith. The episode had a mix of cute visuals and mesmerizing singing, unlike anything I’ve seen from the studio. It’s also nice that this is the most direct involvement Africa has had in the franchise; right below it is Tunisia being used as a Location to shoot Tatooine in 4 of the early movies

I really appreciated the racial diversity in episode 7 (“The Bandits of Golak”) by Indian Studio “88 Pictures” which was rich in Indian culture and episode 8 (“The Pit”) by French Studio “D’Art Shtajio” and Lucasfilm. Don’t get me wrong I like what we currently have but, in a galaxy, far far away, there’s always a good balance of all different kinds of alien species living alongside the humans, yet you could count the number of the canonical black characters with your fingers (or tentacles).

Episode 8 in particular showed the more social aspects of life under the empire. I always love the telling of a Star Wars story without having a light saber fight or the other brand classics. The Star Wars Franchise is home to a vast number of planets, races and opportunities. It’s a shame that currently this is rarely taken advantage of.



As someone who was fresh off the high of volume one and might I say really loved, I was excited to watch volume two based on the fact that I had just started understanding what the force is and also that the whole Jedi and Sith dynamic, is not as simple as it seems. A few things stood out to me, one of which was a repetitive storyline, for the fact that this is an anthology and each episode is done by a different studio, it became kind of predictable, though I’m not really sure the reasoning behind why majority of them decided to go with that approach but all I can conclude is they must have been drawing energy from the same force.

Aside from that, I generally enjoyed volume two and here is my breakdown of some of the episodes. One thing I liked about volume two was the art style, when you look at each episode you can almost tell where the animators got their inspiration, like for one of the episodes just by looking at the animation style you can get the Flashed Away reference.

In terms of episodes, I liked some more than others, if I were to rank them I would say episode 8 (The Pit) and episode 9 (Aau’s Song) equally have the first position mostly because of the execution of their stories which was beautifully done and the representation of people of colour, I don’t even know how to describe this part all I can say is it brought tears to my eyes.

In episode 8 (The Pit), you see an interpretation of different injustices and one thing that caught my attention was that the rulers, I want to believe these were the Sith, (I haven’t yet got a grasp on who’s who) knew their actions were wrong, but still took measures to ensure the society never found out. Then you see this character that doesn’t lose hope and through perseverance and ultimately his death, he is able to become a beacon of hope for his people.

I want to believe the general message of this episode is in the lines of oppression and hope. Like I earlier mentioned, I thought one of the major Star Wars traits is fights using lightsabers but this episode fought the good fight without one lightsaber, dealt with the complexities of a society and the cherry on top is that the force was awakened.

Episode 9 (Aau’s Song), firstly Aau reminded me of Toge Inumaki from an anime called Jujutsu Kaisen because of both their voices or when they speak can be deadly to others, as a result Toge Inumaki has a very limited vocabulary that he mostly speaks by stating food ingredients but Aau’s vocabulary is not limited, she can actually have normal conversations.

From my understanding the episode is more of a journey of acceptance. All in all, I liked the storyline of Aau knowing she has this great power but because she doesn’t really understand, she’s chosen to sort of oppress it, but she later realises that with great power comes great responsibility. In the end you sort of see her come full circle and decides to explore the force within her.

My least favourite was episode two (Screecher’s Reach) this was due to one of the character’s actions. Without getting into more detail, let me put it this way, I have a trashy life and one day I find an object that will supposedly lead me to a better life as long as I follow their instructions, even if it means putting innocent people who are concerned about my wellbeing in danger. I just find that problematic in many ways so it did not sit right with me. Then coming to think of it, I am an uninitiated Padawan/Sith apprentice and I might be missing the whole significance of the episode.

An honourable mention is episode 4 (I am your mother) i like how they took a different approach from the whole ‘I am your father’ storyline. Also, the animation style is similar to that of the movie “Flashed Away” and i love that movie. The episode tackled the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship, so it went from a daughter who is embarrassed of their mother, to a daughter who realises that everything her mother does is out of love. If this episode was slightly longer it would have been a really good coming of age story.


The season received a lot of positive reviews on release, but for some diehard fans they felt that it strayed too far away from what Star Wars is, plus it was very child friendly and above all, non-cannon. As a veteran and a diehard fan of the franchise i have to disagree with the others. For me, I always enjoy hearing a Star Wars story told without a lightsaber duel or other iconic scenes from the franchise.

The Star Wars universe is one that is filled with numerous opportunities, worlds and races; therefore, it’s really unfortunate that this is rarely utilized. All in all, i really enjoyed the season, and the fact that Star Wars Visions is non-canon to the Star Wars franchise but yet is still able to deliver the essence and complexities of the franchise.

Therefore, I that hope this and the fact that there are already rumours of a third season, will show the more critical fans that there is a high demand for more unconventional Star Wars stories like Andor (2022) and non-canon Stories like Visions.

Will the fans relinquish their force chokehold on the franchise? Will we see more unexpected amazing works from the GFFA?  Difficult to see; always in motion is the future.


Even though Star Wars Visions isn’t canon to the franchise I have surely learnt a few things. I generally enjoyed the season; it’s something refreshing to watch without you having to understand the dynamics of the franchise. Even in its repetitive storyline it doesn’t lose sight of the essence of the franchise which I’m assuming is awakening the force.

All in all, it delivers stories that keep you at the edge of your seat, while leaving you curious to explore what is beyond this anthology. It looks like Star Wars Visions is the jumpstart I didn’t know I needed, to get me interested in watching the Star Wars collection.


Khoumie "D4RKM47R1X" Mwashingwele

Yande Mukuka

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