Although practically all Star Wars media coming out right now has to nestle itself in the ever-growing continuity of the post-Disney-acquisition reboot of its canon, Star Wars Visions is one of the rare new projects that is firmly and unequivocally outside of that canon to better free its creators. That doesn’t make it any less interesting to see how those new tales are informed by the Star Wars timeline, though.
At a recent event in Tokyo — reported on by IGN — several of the key directors behind the shorts in Visions revealed a few more details about the series. While most matched what we’d heard when Visions was recently unveiled at Anime Expo Lite a few weeks ago, interestingly several directors offered details on when their shorts would be set — revealing that some of the series will tell stories that take place long before the Star Wars movies, and some will actually be set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker.
Both of Studio Trigger’s shorts in the series, “The Elder” and “The Twins” by Masahiko Otsuka and Hiroyuki Imaishi, respectively, will take place before and after the saga, with Otsuka’s taking place before Phantom Menace, and Imaishi’s taking place after The Rise of Skywalker. Imaishi will be joined by Production I.G.’s Kenji Kamiyama in that post-episode-IX timeline too, with his short, “The Ninth Jedi.”
It’s interesting that both Imaishi and Kamiyama’s stories, non-canonical as they are, deal with the events left in the wake of The Rise of Skywalker’s story, because they both seek to wrestle with the idea of what becomes of Force users across the galaxy in the wake of The Final Order’s defeat, and with Rey seeking her own path as a Jedi without necessarily seeking to rebuild the structure of their fallen order.
“I wondered, after Episode IX, has the galaxy settled into peace?”, Kamiyama asked at the event, teasing “The Ninth Jedi” and its story of a lightsabersmith encountering other practitioners of the Force. “We all love stories of the Jedi and lightsabers, but what became of the Jedi Knights after the movie series? My story is about that.” Meanwhile, Imaishi’s has even more interesting connotations given its place on the timeline — starring an Imperial remnant and two force-sensitive siblings, raised to wield the power of the Dark Side.
Even if these stories aren’t canonical — and will, therefore, to some fans not “matter” as much as others — it’s still fascinating to see how they’re informed by the Star Wars material that is and how their own insight and perspective on the world of the galaxy far, far away will play out. And perhaps, even if some of the tales Visions tells aren’t something that will potentially inform future Star Wars works that do take place in the canon, that they’re going to be some of the first steps the franchise takes into detailing a world after The Rise of Skywalker (we already got the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special doing much the same, in a dubiously canonical manner) is hopefully an indicator that Lucasfilm is ready to start exploring the potentiality of that setting.