Disney is trying some interesting new things with the Star Wars franchise following its divisive sequel trilogy, with the latest being a series of anime short films set outside the mainline franchise continuity.
Star Wars: Visions features work from seven reputable animation studios, including Trigger, Science Saru and Production IG, as each one puts their own distinctive spin on the universe first created by George Lucas in 1977.
While not the first animated series the Star Wars franchise has seen, this might well end up being the most memorable, with a style quite different from the likes of George Filoni’s The Bad Batch and The Clone Wars.
The show is also notable for its two voice casts, one providing the original Japanese dialogue and another adding an English dub, with Hollywood stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Karen Fukuhara (The Boys), and Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) featuring in the latter.
Read on for everything you need to know about Star Wars: Visions, a unique new project headed exclusively to Disney Plus, including release date, cast, trailer and more.
Star Wars: Visions release date
CONFIRMED: Star Wars: Visions will premiere on Disney Plus on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.
Earlier that month, Disney unveiled the first poster for the series, teasing “visionary” work from the seven studios enlisted to tell its wild galactic stories.
The project was first revealed at Disney’s investor call held in December 2020, as part of a slate of Star Wars programming that also included Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka and Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
It is expected that the show will release weekly, as has been the case with most of the original shows on Disney Plus.
Star Wars: Visions cast
Star Wars: Visions will feature two voice casts in total, one to perform the episodes in Japanese – which is most authentic to the style of animation – as well as a separate cast to provide an English dub for viewers averse to subtitles.
Numerous Hollywood stars have signed up to lend their voice to Star Wars: Visions, including:
- Lucy Liu
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Bobby Moynihan
- Temuera Morrison
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Alison Brie
- Karen Fukuhara
- Kimiko Glenn
- Simu Liu
- Kyle Chandler
- David Harbour
- James Hong
- Henry Golding
- George Takei
Star Wars: Visions episodes and studios
Nine films will be released as part of the first season of Star Wars: Visions, with several distinct animation studios approached to tell stories close to their heart. Read on for the details we have so far.
Studio: Kamikaze Douga
Studio: Twin Engine/Studio Colorido
This episode is described as “a rock opera style film” by director Taku Kimura.
Director Hiroyuki Imaishi explains: “It’s basically the story of twins of the dark side.”
The Village Bride
Studio: Kinema Citrus
This story explores “the concept of the traditional Japanese culture of mountains”, according to director Hitoshi Haga.
The Ninth Jedi
Studio: Production IG
“A lightsaber is the stuff of children’s dreams,” says Kenji Kamiyama. “I took that and added a bit of Japanese taste.”
Studio: Science Saru
“We tried to have some retro vintage feeling,” Abel Gongora explains. “We couldn’t skip the Astro Boy influence – people love Astro Boy.”
“I wanted to make a period drama with a taste of Star Wars,” explains Masahiko Otsuka. “It’s a story of a Master and Padawan who meet an unknown enemy.”
Lop & Ochō
Studio: Twin Engine/Geno Studio
“I wanted to make a symbolic character and was looking for a non-human being,” Yuki Igarashi says of his mysterious new character.
Studio: Science Saru
Star Wars: Visions trailer
Disney revealed the first full trailer for Star Wars: Visions in August 2021, which introduced some jaw-dropping new characters, including a Sith lord wielding six (!) lightsabers – beat that, Grievous!
The studio released the exact same trailer again, only this time with an English dub, for viewers who would rather watch without subtitles. Check it out below.
Previously, Disney released a three-minute featurette introducing Star Wars: Visions and including interviews with several of the directors behind the upcoming short films.
Star Wars: Visions premieres on Disney Plus on Wednesday 22nd September. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.