Star Wars: Visions was awesome. The philosophy behind the Disney Plus animated anthology seems to have been to give Star Wars to some of the greatest anime studios in the world and tell them to go nuts with it.
The results range from goofy comedy to high-octane action, with a whole bunch of weird stuff along the way. None of these shorts has been confirmed to be canon but like Marvel’s What If..?, it’s fun to see stories that don’t have to worry about slotting into a wider saga.
The best may have been The Duel, directed by Takanobu Mizuno, written by Takashi Okazaki, and animated by Kamikaze Douga. This heavily Kurosawa-inspired story shows a ‘Ronin’ saber-wielder saving a village from Imperial remnants, led by a Dark Jedi/Sith warrior wielding an unusual weapon.
This has been described as a ‘lightsaber parasol’, although it appears to actually be a beam-splitter with a traditional blade as the base. Here it is in action:
Pretty rad, huh? Many fans on Twitter have taken issue with it, however.
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But for every hater, there’s someone telling them to lighten up and pull the saber out of their ass:
Anyway, a lightsaber umbrella is far from the strangest saber in Star Wars, with most of the craziest ones debuting long before Disney bought the franchise. One of the most notorious is Irek Ismaren, who had eight(!) lightsabers surgically implanted into his body and looked a bit like a neon hedgehog. There’s also been light-whips, light-tonfas, light-pikes, and lightsaber rifles (that fire beams of lightsaber energy). Against all that, this kickass parasol begins to look kinda practical.
Star Wars: Visions is currently available on Disney Plus and I’d advise checking it out. There’s such a wide variety of styles that there’s bound to be something that’ll appeal to you. If you particularly liked ‘The Duel’, it’s being expanded into a tie-in novel called Star Wars: Ronin: A Visions Novel, which is out on Oct. 12.