What to Consume After Star Wars: Visions™
Star Wars: Visions™ explores a variety of different stories from the Star Wars™ universe, all through the wonderful medium of anime. The anthology series explores relationships, political intrigue, the acquisition of power through the Force, and so much more. The variety of art and creativity of the stories let us fall in love with Star Wars all over again. Not just Star Wars, though, but space itself! We love stories that take place in the vast expanse that surrounds us. There’s something endlessly fascinating, alluring, enticing even, about the call of the stars.
So listen to the call of those distant fiery twinkles, and allow us to light up your eyes with even more beautiful space stories. Whether they’re novels, comics, anime, or something completely different, this is a ship you don’t want to miss. Grab on to your blasters, and let’s venture into some of the best space stories ever told!
Dune is one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time. The novel, published in 1965, kicked off an innovative series that explored the intricate complexities of a future where it seems that almost anything is possible. With technology so powerful and unpredictable, you would imagine that society as a whole would progress. Surely, the rulers over a cluster of planets would be fair and kind, ruling in such a way to create peace? After all, in a world that has moved beyond the borders of countries into the borders of planetary systems, they must be advanced. And yet, we enter a world whose planetary systems are kept “peaceful” through tremendously sinister policing, militarization, and oppression.
So if you love the political explorations of the intergalactic senate, the religious explorations of the Jedi and the Sith, the technology of droids and ships, and the tightly woven emotions of the main characters that we experience in Star Wars, then you would absolutely love Dune. The novel is massive, and it’s only the beginning of the series. It’s an excellent audiobook for roadtrips, though if you prefer films to novels, there is already one adaptation of the book, directed by David Lynch. A brand new adaptation, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is set to premiere on October 22, 2021, starring Timothée Chalamet as the lead, Paul Atreides. The film will follow House Atreides to the planet of Arrakis, where they will fight to protect their source of melange, AKA spice, and the planet that produces it.
Saga is a space opera of epic proportions. The comic, written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, explores forbidden romance, warring species, empathy, love, death, and destruction. Grounded in Vaughan’s own experience of becoming a father, Saga tells a story of parenthood in a complicated and dangerous world. This story is clearly inspired by many other powerful yet familiar stories, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Star Wars itself. The way it explores intergalactic relationships and tensions really shines through, especially due to the very premise of the story. In Saga, we follow Alana and Marko, partners from different worlds — one from a world of science and technology, and one from a world of magic. Those worlds have been at war with each other for ages. Together, they have a child, named Hazel, and it seems that their worlds refuse to accept their love.
Alana and Marko are on the run, and so we experience the story through them, or even sometimes their daughter Hazel narrating from many years in the future. The series has been planned out in its entirety, and Vaughan already promised that the whole of the series would span 108 issues. As it stands, there are 54 single issues, or 9 trade paperbacks, or 1 giant omnibus. Saga isn’t over, of course, it is simply on a hiatus. The series is exactly halfway through, and it was left in a perfect place. If you love the relationships and mysteries of Star Wars, you’ll certainly love reading the first half of Saga.
Far Sector is a 12-issue limited series published by DC’s Young Animal Imprint, a part of DC Comics that is much more pointedly for a mature audience. That doesn’t necessarily mean gruesome, that simply means that the themes told in the story are meaningful and often more complex. Far Sector is absolutely no exception to the rule, because diving into the interstellar murder mystery, you know from the start that you’re diving into political intrigue, intricate relationships, and an exploration of the true abilities granted by willpower. We follow the Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein into a sector of the universe so distant, it hasn’t even been labeled. But its distance from Earth and Oa doesn’t mean that it’s primitive; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Lantern Mullein is stationed in The City Enduring, a city that spans two planets and three alien species. In order to keep the peace of their planets, everyone in The City Enduring has an emotional inhibitor chip implanted in their brain. When the first “murder of passion” takes place, The City Enduring is forced to rely on an emotional expert: a Green Lantern.
The series is written by N. K. Jemisin, a Hugo award winning sci-fi author, known for writing the Broken Earth trilogy, and many other award-winning novels. All of the visuals are done by one single artist, Jamal Campbell, whose breakout work was the limited series Naomi. Two of the greatest in their fields come together to tell a story that has never been told before in DC Comics. This exploration of beautiful alien species and their complex, highly technological society dives deeper into the responsibility and capability of Green Lanterns than any other series so far. Nominated for the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, this comic is a compelling story mixed with spectacular art, and if you love the high stakes of Star Wars, you’ll love the intensity in Far Sector.
One of the most critically acclaimed anime shows of all time just so happens to be an incredible space opera, pulling inspiration from some of the same exact storytelling as Star Wars. Both Star Wars and Cowboy Bebop have a direct dialogue with classic Western films, which of course, draw from samurai films as well. The story begins in 2071, fifty years after a cosmic catastrophe. A hyperspace gateway accident leaves Earth in a horrible state, making life practically impossible on our little blue planet. Instead, humanity colonizes rocky planets and moons throughout the solar system. But with the world in chaos, the Inter Solar System Police decides to use bounty hunters called Cowboys to wrangle in criminals. We follow a crew of bounty hunters aboard a ship called Bebop.
The story delves deep into the background of each character, exploring how the mistakes and misfortunes of the past never truly leave you. Your decisions are permanent, and the past never wants to let you go. Just like the Sith in Star Wars, all of Cowboy Bebop‘s characters have complicated histories, including the main character Spike Spiegel, who used to be a hitman from a criminal organization called the Red Dragon Syndicate. If you love rich backstories, intricate worlds, friendship, and yes, even corgis, you’ll absolutely love Cowboy Bebop. With 26 episodes and a movie, it’s a perfect series to start at any time. There’s enough content to enjoy, but not so much for it to become daunting.
It’s one thing to have intergalactic travel between disparate star systems, and it’s another to travel through both space and time as agents for the Spatio-Temporal Service. It’s the service that protects the planets of the Terran Empire, preventing temporal paradoxes and allowing all beings their peace, comfort, and freedom. In a world where Earth has become a virtual utopia, ruled by the Technocrats of the First Circle, two agents explore the complicated dynamics of countless alien civilizations in order to celebrate diversity, and explore the tensions of reality. This mind-bending series develops from the classic tale of good versus evil into something much more profound and powerful. We explore the galaxy through the eyes of Valérian and Laureline. They’re the best at what they do — at first because of their efficiency, but eventually because of their compassion.
This series was written in 1967 by Pierre Christin, and was a clear inspiration for the majority of space operas that were released after it. Designs from artist Jean-Claude Mézières sparked the imaginations of many sci-fi artists to come and in his work, there are clear connections to the designs in Star Wars. In 2017, there was a film adaptation of the series called Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets that scratched the surface of the complicated relationships between alien species throughout time and space. The film is constantly praised for its stunning visuals.
The Gundam franchise is one of the largest space-themed anime worlds ever. There are over 50 TV series, films, manga, novels, video games, and more. It’s been unbelievably influential. If you love how massive the Star Wars universe really is, and how many stories are told within it, look no further than Gundam. This sci-fi space opera is closely tied to the concept of a Gundam suit, a massive human-like robot controlled by human pilots. The pilots of these technological wonders are specially trained, and often even genetically altered to be able to survive better in space. These genetically advanced humans are called Newtypes, and their psychic abilities give them a telepathic connection that spans solar systems.
Gundam stories usually follow intergalactic wars, and they celebrate sci-fi in all of its forms. The robots suits have a certain cool factor that have drawn fans to the Gundam universe for years. It’s been confirmed that Legendary Pictures and Sunrise will create a live-action film for Netflix. The story will actually be written by Brian K. Vaughan, who also wrote the Saga series. We’ll undoubtedly see more and more Gundam in the coming years because, ultimately, giant space robots are a timeless concept.
Have you read or watched any of the space stories we listed? Which one is your favorite? Which are you going to pick up next? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!