The latest Star Wars™ news to arrive from a galaxy far, far away is the premiere of Star Wars: Visions™. The much-anticipated Disney+ anthology series is a nine-episode journey that features the lore of Star Wars told through the style of various iconic anime houses. Since the series isn’t necessarily canon, it can be tricky to place each episode in the Star Wars timeline. It’s an expansion of many familiar Star Wars concepts, such as the Jedi, the Sith, and their legacy. Every episode showcases a different style and the animation is absolutely breathtaking.
Most of the episodes explore what it means to be a Jedi and what happens on that journey of self discovery. There is plenty of lightsaber action, and some of the legendary weapons even have completely new designs — you’ll see katana lightsabers, lightsabers with adjustable blades, and even a couple helicopter contraptions! Kyber crystals also make significant appearances. Though they aren’t extensively discussed in the film trilogies, these crystals are an important symbol of a person’s connection to the Force.
Each episode features a single quote that perfectly captures the story’s meaning. Let the Force be your guide as you read below (light spoilers ahead).
“The Duel” (Kamikaze Douga)
“Take care of this, it wards off evil.”
This episode, with its crackling black and white tones punctuated by bright bursts of color, redefines the strict binary of the Force. Though the lines between good and evil can be clear as day, sometimes there is room for nuance. When a lone ronin saves a village from invading forces, he says the above quote to the people’s young leader. Though the red of the Kyber crystal would normally denote the Sith, the Ronin reminds us that our intentions matter more than any color.
“Tatooine Rhapsody” (Studio Colorido)
“We’re just a band.”
So a Jedi, a Hutt™, and a droid walk into a bar … and form a rock band? One of the series’ more lighthearted stories, this episode continues the Star Wars trend of an unlikely group of outcasts becoming the best of friends. Jay, an abandoned Padawan™, is taken in by a Hutt named Geezer as the newest addition to Star Waver, the galaxy’s next biggest musical act. As it turns out, Geezer is wanted by Jabba the Hutt™, who sends Boba Fett™ to retrieve him. From there, the band uses their pop-punk sensibility and the power of friendship to take center stage.
“The Twins” (Trigger)
“Don’t live for someone else.”
Twins are once again used as a symbol of the duality of the Force, and the infinite potential for madness and wisdom. Force wielders either succumb to the burning desire to transcend death or they find inner peace in embracing what cannot be controlled. In this episode, a set of twins is trained since birth to obey the dark side, but the Force always finds a way of balancing itself out, as well as allowing us to defy destiny and discover our own purpose.
“The Village Bride” (Kinema Citrus)
“You can’t change the river’s flow by casting a stone, but live in harmony with nature and you’ll change together.”
The Force is not just telekinesis and controlling the minds of others. Instead, this episode of Star Wars: Visions reminds us how the Force is found all around us, in every facet of nature. And the harder you resist, the less in balance you will be with the universe itself.
“The Ninth Jedi” (Production IG)
“Remember that while the Force exists in every living thing, only those individuals who develop their connection with it will have the power to wield it.”
In the film trilogies and accompanying television series, audiences are mostly left to speculate on the meaning of lightsaber colors. Of course, red is associated with the Sith and green or blue are common Jedi colors, but there are other lightsabers existing on the color spectrum. Kara’s father is a sabersmith and he charges her with a special mission to deliver lightsabers to a mysterious collective. Before she leaves, he shares this bit of wisdom about Kyber crystals when Kara is drawn toward a colorless blade. The relationship between a person and their lightsaber is reflective of their connection to the Force, and the colors remain an important symbol of that living bond.
“T0-B1” (Science SARU)
“’Cause that’s what Jedi do.”
Professor Mitaka is an overbearing scientist who aims to bring life back to a barren planet. He is assisted by a slew of droids, in particular a precocious humanoid droid who dreams of becoming a Jedi. T0-B1 is more human than we’ve ever seen any other droid. Can a droid actually be a Jedi? Do droids connect to the Force? Not only does this episode depict the nurturing relationship between a Jedi Master and their Padawan, but it is a heartwarming tale of pursuing your dreams, even when they seem out of reach.
“The Elder” (Trigger)
“The seeds of misfortune, when in peaceful soil, can be easy to overlook.”
Out of all the Star Wars: Visions installments, this episode has the most sinister tone. From the start, there is a sense of foreboding. The color palette is subdued and slightly dismal, and the story features a somewhat unorthodox Jedi perspective on power. After all, power is the ultimate test when determining how a person interacts with the Force and where their path will lead.
“Lop & Ochō” (Geno Studio)
“It’s all in the best interests of the planet.”
Star Wars loves a complicated sibling relationship, and this episode features two daughters who could not be more opposite. But it’s also a portrait of the complex struggle that planets face when they must choose between autonomy and the security of the Empire. While imperial influence can provide benefits, it also brings inevitable oppression — yet what can a struggling planet do when its people are suffering? Decisions like this are always sure to leave a mark.
“Akakiri” (Science SARU)
“There is nothing that has not been fated.”
As is the case with any hero, their story often becomes a battle against fate. We can run from our fears, our hidden desires, even those who hurt us, but in the end we can’t run from destiny. Except, of course, with the power of the Sith. This episode once again shows how the temptations of the dark side are never easy to overcome, no matter how heroic a person strives to be.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, Rey™ taught us that there is more to the Force than just light and dark, because within everyone is their own light and darkness. Likewise, Ezra Bridger™ of Star Wars: Rebels™ and Ahsoka Tano™ of Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ demonstrated that the path of a Jedi is never quite what’s expected. There are as many ways to be a hero as there are star systems in the galaxy.
Star Wars: Visions is unafraid to experiment with the beloved tropes and concepts of the Star Wars universe. It enriches people’s connection to the Force as something that permeates all of nature. Any limitations we might have had about who can be a Jedi or what it means to wield the Force are challenged in this soon-to-be-classic anthology series.
Which episode was your favorite? What sort of lightsaber would you wield? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!