There’s no easy way to really talk about a project like Star Wars Visions. The anthology series offers something unique with different studios getting the chance to tell a unique story in a galaxy far far away. Going into the second season, Lucasfilm is taking a new approach by expanding beyond Japanese studios to give the world an opportunity to leave a unique stamp on this anthology series. Did their ambitions continue to make this series stand out in this ambitious era of animation?
One thing is clear: the idea to go beyond anime made this season truly stand out. The animation is beautiful and every studio brings something unique to each project. What continues to be the big selling point of this anthology is just taking known concepts and giving them new life by allowing other creatives to play around with the world we are familiar with. With the added variety of creatives, it adds to the feeling that these stories are quite a bit more personal this time around.
El Guiri’s Sith offers a visual showcase that blends the lines between reality in its visual style to add something that uses color in such a creative way, it caught me off-guard when its story caught up with the visuals. A lot of this season, at least early on, explores the themes of on which side of the Force you’ll find yourself. Screecher’s Reach by Cartoon Saloon and Mir’s Journey to the Dark Head offer these really interesting stories in two distinct ways. They offer a look at what you’re willing to do to accomplish your goals but end up in very different places.
Then you also have some fun with Aardman’s animated I am Your Mother, which just looks at a young X-Wing pilot cadet and her relationship with her mother. Of course, there’s also something just so charming about the stop-motion approach from the creators of Wallace and Gromit that makes this little special just stand out, especially with its humor.
Then you also have 88 Pictures’ The Bandits of Golak and Punkrobot’s In the Stars, which explore the galaxy far far away from the unique perspectives of those just trying to survive. It highlights how two very distinctly animated projects explore tales of survival in a Sith-dominated world. Even Studio La Cachette’s The Spy Dancer uses that concept to offer a rather heartfelt twist in its short runtime.
Then you also have Triggerfish’s beautifully animated Aau’s Song and D’art Shtajio’s The PIt that highlight just how diverse these stories can be told. The new season continues where the first left off and hopefully, they will continue making more seasons. Stand-outs personally were Screecher’s Reach and The Spy Dancer which felt like the perfect combination of beautiful animation with emotional storytelling. It’s not to say that the others didn’t provide the same but when you have so many good choices, it becomes difficult to truly pinpoint what makes a project stand out.