Have you ever thought about the limitless possibilities of a galaxy far, far away? Have you ever found yourself wondering if Jedi could control fire or what a lightsaber axe might look like? Star Wars and anime fans alike will learn the answer to these questions and more, in the upcoming series Star Wars: Visions. This unique new series will be a continuation of the current Star Wars canon, exploring thoughts and possibilities within the Star Wars galaxy. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy “Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of the world’s best anime creators.“ The series will include 9 short films created by 7 different Animation studios. The series is set to premiere on September 22, 2021.
Many fans have been wondering why we are getting this series now. Anime has been popular in the U.S. for some time now, and it seemed like Star Wars was moving away from animated film media with the conclusion of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. At the surface, there is seemingly no correlation between Star Wars and anime, besides a few off-brand, non-canon mangas. Dig a little deeper, and the connection between Star Wars and Japanese culture is surprisingly immense. George Lucas himself is a major fan of Akira Kurosawa. In an interview, Lucas talks about watching Seven Samurai and other Kurosawa in film school and said, “it really is the visual style to me that is so strong and unique.” Lucas has included several tributes to Kurosawa in Star Wars, including an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that is dedicated to the Japanese filmmaker. One of Star Wars’ most iconic villains Darth Vader was originally based on Date Masamune, a Japanese feudal lord who was known for being dressed in black head-to-toe armor. While Vader’s costume design was later changed, many fans still recognize the similarities between Vader and Masamune’s armor. Japanese culture is an important component of Star Wars, and fans can expect it to continue to be present in Star Wars Visions and future Star Wars series.
2021 and 2022 will be major years for Star Wars. On top of Star Wars: Visions, Star Wars fans can look forward to future tv series like The Book of Boba Fett (December 2021), Andor (2022), and Kenobi (2022). All Star Wars tv series can be found on Disney+ along with several older tv or movie series. It is currently unclear whether future Star Wars movies will be streamed on Disney+ or released in theatres. For fans looking for even more content, a comprehensive list of Star Wars books can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_books.