Less than a week from now, Lucasfilm will release Star Wars: Visions on Disney’s streaming platform. But in company with the sheer awkwardness that seven different Japanese animation studios are bringing to the galaxy far, far away, we’ll also undoubtedly see familiar faces as well. Co-producer Justin Leach has just given us a first look at some of those via the official Star Wars website.
Looking back on the legacy of Star Wars, George Lucas’s sci-fi creation has always predominantly reflected American culture. But that’s not to say that the director didn’t incorporate elements from East Asian cinema, or their philosophy, for that matter. Indeed, you could almost touch on the analogs between the Original Trilogy and Akira Kurosawa’s filmography, most notably The Hidden Fortress.
But beyond that, the Skywalker Saga has taken most of its narrative influence from the real history of the United States, from the American Revolution to the Vietnam War. Even now, as it stands, Star Wars is generally more popular in the Western hemisphere. But Disney is trying to change that and expand the reach of the franchise, their latest attempt coming in the form of the experimental Star Wars: Visions, which explores the franchise from an entirely different perspective — Japanese anime.
It seems the core elements of the story will remain the same, though, as Leach has just revealed that Darth Vader’s Inquisitors and other Sith legends will appear in the anthology series. ‘The Jedi Hunter’ is the work of famous animator Takafumi Hori. Others include a Sith Elder swordsman and a Sith bandit assassin, as can be seen in the gallery above.
You can watch all nine episodes of Star Wars: Visions when they stream on Disney Plus on September 22nd.