Back in 2021 Disney released the first season of Star Wars Visions, an anime series where several Japanese filmmakers got to come in and make short films set in the Star Wars universe free of the restraints of canon. The second season comes out today, and this time it’s comprised of films made by studios all across the world.
Before we get the second volume though, I thought I’d look back at the first season and do a top five ranking for fun. Overall, I loved the show and there’s no episode I would call bad, but this is just a personal ranking.
1. The Ninth Jedi
I think most people felt The Ninth Jedi was the standout. It honestly felt like it could’ve been a pilot for a full series. Focusing on the daughter of a sabersmith and taking place after the events of The Rise of Skywalker where the Jedi are mostly extinct, The Ninth Jedi was an engaging episode filled with mystery and tension and a plot twist that was genuinely surprising. The episode also introduced the interesting concept of a lightsaber being able to change colors based on the user. That’s an idea that would be cool to see explored again either in a full series follow up to this or other, live-action Star Wars media.
This might be a controversial one. I’m not sure but I remember a lot of people seeming kind of indifferent to TO-B1. I can understand why because compared to something like The Ninth Jedi it seems a lot more light or safe but I found a lot to love about it. The aesthetic was very much inspired by older anime like Astro Boy. The art style was one of my favorites and I just loved the character designs for T0-B1 (or toby) and the other droids along with the professor. But I also enjoyed the story which was basically a star wars version of Pinocchio. Asking the question of whether or not a droid could become a Jedi and connected with the force. It was another example of visions exploring ideas and concepts that the main Star Wars films and shows never really touched on.
3. The Duel
The Duel was the first episode of the show and in a lot of ways took star wars back to one of it’s original inspirations which was samurai films specifically those by filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Following a ronin who wanders into a town attacked by a Sith lord the story also pays tribute to “the man with no name” set up of many western films. It’s a fairly straightforward plot done with minimal dialogue there’s a lot to the ronin character that’s not spelled out. The action is without a doubt the best of the series in my opinion. Lucasfilm also seemed to be really happy with it as there was a novel written focusing on the Ronin’s character.
4. Lop and Ocho
Lop and Ocho was another short that felt like it could’ve been a pilot episode to a new series. A bunny like alien (possibly based off of the old marvel comics character Jaxxon) is saved and adopted by a family. And later grows up having to face her adoptive sister who has decided to side with the empire. The episode in my opinion actually did a good job of making you feel invested in the family drama in a fairly short amount of time. Lop is a very likable character and it’s easy to root for her. Ocho is an effective villain since we’re first introduced to her as a child where she loves her new sister dearly. It makes the end where she turns to the dark side feel genuinely tragic.
5. The Elder
The last on the list is The Elder. A Jedi and Padawan who both believe the Sith to be completely extinct are confronted by one after landing on a planet in the outer rim. The Elder is one of the creepiest characters in the series. The way he smiles and seems to be enjoying just toying with the jedi is very disturbing. Ultimately, he seems to want nothing more than to face a worthy opponent. He feels like a genuine threat despite appearing to just be an old man. I also loved the design choice of making his lightsabers look like actual swords.
Now, once again this just my personal ranking of the first volume of Visions.
If you have a favorite episode that wasn’t listed, let us know down below! Also, tell us which short you’re most excited for from Volume 2.
Star Wars Visions Volume 2 is available to stream exclusively on Disney+ now.