Star Wars: Visions is back, and Lucasfilm’s second volume of animated shorts made by outside studios expands the canon with fresh perspectives for tales that build out that galaxy far, far, away.
The Star Wars Universe grows in exciting new ways, thanks to the global storytelling in Visions volume two. This time around, animation houses El Guiri, Cartoon Saloon, 88 Pictures, Triggerfish, Punkrobot, Aardman, Studio Mir, D’ART Shtajio, and La Cachette take turns exploring the multitudes contained in such a big galaxy. Here’s what we loved and the very few things we didn’t.
Loved: The new mediums
In this collection we run a full gamut of animation styles. Triggerfish’s Aau’s Song has a felt and watercolor texture that we completely fell in love with.
Loved: The new cultural perspectives
Visions volume two expanded to incorporate global voices like Chile’s Punkrobot, which offers an emotional tribute to the indigenous experience with In the Stars, and India’s 88 Pictures entry The Bandits of Golak. Star Wars is made all the better for it, and these shorts really open up possibilities for Lucasfilm to expand in other markets, with more creators helping bring to life a galaxy where everyone is represented.
Didn’t love: Some shorts needed to be longer
I really needed Bandits of Golak to be a whole movie. It truly felt like the first act of a story and I was here for it. The emotional journey of a brother and sister, the magic of the Force, and the music and action absolutely nailed a Star Wars story we need more of and broke the homogeny of the franchise. It was like RRR meets Star Wars. More from 88 Pictures, please!
Loved: The boundary pushing
Shorts like El Guiri’s Sith really stepped out of the realm of traditional storytelling by focusing solely on communicating through the animation medium, using colours to show the clash between the light and dark sides of the Force.
Loved: The boldness and rawness
Some stories didn’t stray from the honest reality of how the dark side constantly wins but no matter what, people carry hope no matter how hard it gets. LeAndre Thomas’ The Pit truly hit the core of why Star Wars offers such timeless and essential storytelling.
Loved: The silly fun
And Star Wars can be a sandbox for slice-of-life stories, like the heartwarming and cringe (on purpose) I Am Your Mother from Aardman, where the stakes might be smaller but are nevertheless still vital.
Didn’t Love: We needed more of this guy
Get this chaotic Wookiee baby his own short, stat! With so many of the shorts, I was like, “This is a good first act — now we need more.”
Loved: The strong mythology building
Some of the shorts went deeper into the mythology building around the nature of the Force. Studio Mir’s Journey to the Dark Head really dug into the philosophies of faith in the Star Wars universe.
Didn’t love: Turning to the dark side can be OK?
Definite “come to the dark side, we have biscuits” energy here. I can’t believe the ending to Cartoon Saloon’s Screecher’s Reach. It’s kind of angering yet powerful, but can also be construed as pro-evil? Maybe it’s — again — due to the brief running time, but I definitely wanted to see this story continue and how it played out.
Loved: Grace can be powerful
La Cachette’s The Spy Dancer really had me in my feelings with the beauty of dance telling a story and being a tool against the Empire. That ending really shakes you.
Star Wars: Visions volume two is now streaming on Disney+.