Star Wars: Visions, on Disney+
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This is an anime anthology series of short films based on the Star Wars franchise. Reviews coming soon.
The Duel (14 minutes; produced by Kamikaze Douga)
When I first watched this, it was in Japanese with no subtitles. It took me awhile to figure out how to adjust the settings to watch it in English. So, I had to re-watch the whole thing. It had looked cool the first time I watched it, but it's definitely better when I understand what people are saying. Anyway, it has the look and feel of an Akira Kurosawa movie, all in black & white (except for lights, particularly lightsaber blades). But it's definitely also got familiar anime sensibilities. After the Empire loses the war, a group of stormtrooper bandits come to a small village and demand taxes in the form of whatever goods they have. The villagers do all right at defending themselves at first, but then a Sith (voiced by Lucy Liu) attacks, and she seems unstoppable. That is, until a wandering ronin who is assumed to be a Jedi steps in to fight her. It's a pretty cool battle. Meanwhile, he has a villager repairing his astromech droid, which later flies into the village to defeat the remaining bandits. The whole film is fairly cool, though I feel like I should have liked it more than I did. I guess my expectations are a bit too high. Still, if this were like a regular series, I'd probably watch it.
Tatooine Rhapsody (14 minutes; produced by Studio Colorido)
The animation style kind of reminded me of FLCL. There's a band that includes a Hutt named Gee, whom Jabba sends Boba Fett to capture for having run away from the family crime syndicate instead of joining it. The band's singer, Jay (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sounding nothing like himself) convinces his remaining bandmates to go after Gee, and Jabba allows them to play one song. That's all I want to say about the plot, but it was a fairly fun little film. I'm not sure I would have wanted it to be any longer, though.
The Twins (18 minutes; produced by Trigger)
The remnants of the Empire have constructed a twin Star Destroyer with a laser capable of destroying planets, as well as human twins created by the Dark Side. The sister, Am (Alison Brie) is eager to use the weapon against the Republic, but her brother, Karre (Neil Patrick Harris) steals the ship's power source, for a reason I don't want to reveal. But Am and Karre end up having a Force duel for control of the power source. I don't want to say how that ends, either, but the film's not a bad story, I guess.
The Village Bride (18 minutes; produced by Kinema Citrus)
Sometime after the Clone Wars, an explorer and a Jedi witness the wedding of a girl named Haru (the granddaughter of her village's chief) and a boy named Asu. The next day bandits who had reprogrammed a battle droid army come to take Haru away as collateral for the village's compliance. Haru's sister, Saku (Stephanie Sheh) and some of her friends want to fight the bandits, but Haru believes that would only put the village in danger. When the bandits show up, the Jedi and her friend fight them off. It's a decent story with some nice animation and nice, Celtic-sounding music at one point. And I don't know what else to say, except it might be nice to know more about the planet and its people.
The Ninth Jedi (23 minutes; produced by Production I.G)
After the extinction of the Jedi Order, a planetary leader and Jedi himself, Margrave Juro, sends out messages to Jedi around the galaxy to gather at a temple, where they will be presented with lightsabers, a weapon that hasn't existed in a long time. They're delivered by a girl named Kara, the daughter of the man who made the new lightsabers. There are seven assembled Jedi, aside from Juro, and I guess Kara turns out to be the ninth. But not all is as it seems, and a battle ensues. That's all I want to say, but it's a pretty decent story. Oh, and one of the Jedi was voiced by Masi Oka.
T0-B1 (14 minutes; produced by Science Saru)
This story is basically like if Astro Boy dreamed of becoming a Jedi. That's all I can think to say about it.
The Elder (17 minutes; produced by Trigger)
A Jedi Master named Tajin (David Harbour) and his padawan, Dan, investigate a disturbance in the Force on a remote planet, where they encounter an old man who is apparently a former Sith (James Hong), and there's a battle. And I don't know what else to say about it.
Lop and Ochō (21 minutes; produced by Geno Studio)
The Empire provides technological advancement for a planet called Tau, but their presence is oppressive and exploits Tau's natural resources. A rabbit-like alien slave of the Empire named Lop escapes from servitude and is taken in by a the leader of a wealthy Tau clan, Yasaburo, and his daughter, Ochō, who becomes like Lop's sister. Seven years later, Yasaburo is leading a resistance against the Empire on his planet, but Ochō takes the Empire's side. Yasaburo passes on a lightsaber which has been in his clan for generations to Lop, who must battle her sister. It's a pretty good story, and something I might not mind seeing more of.
Akakiri (14 minutes; produced by Science Saru)
A Jedi named Tsubaki, who has apparently debilitating visions, returns to a planet he had visited five years earlier, and reunites with a now-exiled princess named Misa (Jamie Chung). She wants his help defeating her aunt Masago, a Sith who had overthrown Misa's father. They travel with two guides named Senshuu (George Takei) and Kamahachi (Keone Young). And... once they finally reach Masago, I don't want to say how the battle goes. But it's definitely an unexpected ending.