Maybe the best part about Star Wars is that we feel like we’re all included.
Such is the case with Star Wars: Visions, the franchise’s anthology series that allows fans the chance to participate in the Lucasfilm Legacy. Returning today with its second ‘volume’ to help Disney celebrate May the Fourth, Visions offers with 9 new shorts of different animation styles and stories set within the Star Wars universe. However, rather than last year’s episodes that focused primarily on Eastern influences, volume two opens the door to a more global voice. Featuring animators from all over the world, the second slate of animation is even more wildly varied in style. (In fact, there’s even an entry from Aardman, of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run fame.)
As one would expect, this opens the door to a very different experiences of the Star Wars universe. While the universe feels familiar in its storytelling, each episode has a different texture and form. Sith combines fiery animation and painting in a form reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. The Bandits of Golak uses CGI to give the story a gritty feel. Spy Dancer carries the look of classic French art. In the Stars and I Am Your Mother use Claymation to give the universe a tactile quality.
But what’s most exciting about this season is that it continues to show how the world of Star Wars means more than the average sci-fi franchise. Unlike other blockbuster series, there’s something about Star Wars that matters on a deeper level. (Even the fact that ‘May the 4th’ is a thing is a testament to the fact that people care about the messages of this galaxy far, far away.
And, in some ways, Visions as a series proves this theory.
In Visions, Star Wars truly gets back in the hands of the fans who grew up with it. These different takes show that the universe speaks to everyone around the world in one way or another. Whether the story is more serious in tone (The Pit, Spy Dancer) or more playful (I Am Your Mother), each narrative is a celebration of the ideas that Star Wars holds dearly. In essence, Visions is the ultimate love letter to a franchise that has inspired generations. Themes of light vs. darkness, seeking justice and coming into one’s own power pervade these stories. There’s a redemptive spirit behind even the darkest of fantasy elements that resonates with everyone.
While Star Wars may be a fictional world, there’s something about it that people care about in their daily lives. In Visions, we get to see that play out on screen by those who continue to be struck by the depth of a fictional world that seems to offer real-world hope. There’s a welcoming spirit about these shorts that brings them to life. Though we may not have been on the animation team, we’re all meant to feel included.
And that’s something worth celebrating.
Star Wars: Visions is available in on Disney+ on Thursday, May 4, 2023.