George Lucas famously drew a myriad of inspirations from Japanese fiction in the creation of Star Wars. The original trilogy was heavily inspired by Japanese period pieces like Seven Samurai from directors like Akira Kurosawa, and a lot of the symbols and terminology bear similarity to feudal-era Japanese military. This inspiration went both ways; when the original trilogy released in Japan, it inspired a wave of science-fiction films, especially animated ones like Akira. I’d say it’s high time these two sources of inspiration finally intersect.
Over the weekend, at Anime Expo, Disney and LucasFilm announced an anthology of anime shorts set in the Star Wars universe titled Star Wars: Visions. Each of the anthology’s different shorts are being created by a different anime studio, with the confirmed studios including Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio, Studio Colorido, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, Production IG, and one of my personal favorite studios, Studio Trigger.
“Japanese animation inspired a lot of the people at Lucasfilm over the years,” said executive producer James Waugh. “We loved the idea of seeing Star Wars expressed in that way.”
First look at ‘Star Wars: Visions’
It is an anthology of anime short filmspic.twitter.com/BE17c9t0PK
— Culture Crave ? (@CultureCrave) July 3, 2021
“As a first formal venture into anime, each “Star Wars: Visions” short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling,” the official description reads. “From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio.”
Star Wars: Visions will be streaming exclusively on Disney+ on September 22, 2021.