Star Wars Visions: The Ninth Jedi

Writer/Director: Kenji Kamiyama

Summary: The Jedi Order is nearly extinct. Margrave Juro, ruler of Hy Izlan, invites seven apprentices to his temple to receive new lightsabers, each one having a design lost to time. One is given to Ethan, the youngest, as proof that the rest will receive theirs when they are complete.

Meanwhile, sabersmith Lah Zhima is captured by the Sith. But his daughter Kara manages to escape with the finished lightsabers, which she delivers to the Jedi. It is then revealed that all of the apprentices –with the exception of Ethan–are Sith impostors sent to murder Juro. Kara and Ethan save Juro, but it’s revealed that one of the impostors is Homen, an old friend of Juro. The three set out to rescue Zhima.

Review: This one was beautiful and action-packed. Like The Village Bride, it had one of the best scores of the entire series. I liked the pacing of this story. It felt longer than it actually was, almost as if I was watching a pilot for another series. Out of all of the shorts, this is the one that I wouldn’t mind seeing turned into a series.

One more to go! I’m sure you can all guess which one is next. To be honest, both this and the next one are tied for the best out of all of them.


Star Wars Visions Review: TO-BI

Writer: Yuichiro Kido

Director: Abel Góngara

Summary: An armless inventor named Professor Mitaka has created a sentient robot named T0-B1, who dreams of becoming a Jedi. While searching for a kyber crystal to power a lightsaber, T0-B1 accidentally sends a signal into space, attracting a Sith Inquisitor to its presence. We eventually learn Mitaka is actually a former Jedi and TO-B1 is powered by a kyber crystal, meaning he is Force-sensitive.

Review: We Americans have Walt Disney, and the Japanese have Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka may not have started the manga industry, but he was one of the most prolific creators in both manga and anime. One of his most beloved creations was Mighty Atom, or his more famous name Astro Boy, which has been adapted into 3 series and a CG movie. This short is basically a love letter to the boy robot. Not only does T0-B1 bear a slight resemblance to Astro, but its name is similar to the name of the son of Dr. Tenma, his creator. In the story, Tenma’s son is killed by an oncoming car, and he creates Astro to replace him. Mitaka is modelled after Professor Ochanomizu, a colleague of Tenma who is head of the Ministry of Science, who becomes Astro’s surrogate father after Tenma rejects him (I’m currently watching the 80’s version of the anime). As a fan of Astro Boy, I loved this concept. I thought the idea of a Force-sensitive robot was a great way to pay tribute.

Next up are my top 3 favorite Visions shorts. Either one of these could be the best one, but I decided to put The Village Bride next.

Star Wars Visions Review: The Elder

Writer/Director: Masahiko Otsuka

Summary: A Jedi named Tajin and his padowan Dan arrive on an isolated planet in the Outer Rim. While Dan befriends a group of children, Tajin learns of a Sith who is extremely old and is out for blood.

Review: I thought this was a good alternate take on the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan in Phantom Menace. Dan was calmer and kinder than Obi-Wan. I loved his scenes with the village children.

The fight between Tajin and The Elder was well-animated. The Elder isn’t just a threat because he wants revenge, but because he has nothing to lose. His anger is the only thing he has left. And that’s what makes him so dangerous.

This story didn’t have a lot to it, but it was good.

Star Wars Visions: Tatooine Rhapsody

Writer: Yasumi Atarashi

Director: Taku Kimura

Summary: A rock band called Star Waver is being targeted by Boba Fett because their bassist, Gee, doesn’t want to participate in the Hutt criminal empire.

Review: This was the short that felt the least like Star Wars to me. Now not being 100% like Star Wars isn’t bad, in fact, quite a few of the higher-up shorts didn’t seem “like Star Wars” .

My main problem is this style. I’m not a fan of chibi animation, and hearing the adult voice for Boba Fett seemed wrong. If it had been the voice actor for his younger version, Daniel Logan, I might have not had a problem.

That being said, I did like the band. I especially liked the drummer being a conjoined triplet. It had a more light-hearted feel, but I didn’t mind that.

Overall, I didn’t hate this one. It was different, which isn’t always bad.