Review by Dan Skip Allen
Disney has had a rough time with Lucasfilm since they bought it back about a decade ago. Some of their movies have been good, but most of them have been pretty bad. Their television shows have also been hit and miss. The Mandalorian and Andor have been big hits, while the rest haven't moved the needle much. One of the most successful things that have come out of the Lucasfilm deal is Star Wars: Visions, an animated series of shorts from various animation houses around the globe. Now the second season is coming out, and it's even better than the first season.
In the second season of Star Wars: Visions, there are nine all-new animated shorts from a bunch of new animation houses, like Cartoon Saloon, that didn't do shorts in the first season, and a few returning studios from the first season, like El Guri Studios. El Guri did the first episode called "Sith." It's an episode about a girl who fights a Sith Lord. It's an entirely painted animated episode. The Cartoon Saloon episode is episode two. It's called "The Ghost of Screechers Reach," and follows a girl who goes into a car to fight for her life against an old woman who lives in a cave. These two were the best episodes for my liking.
This series allows various visionaries to show different sides of a galaxy far, far away. All these different animation styles bring a new look and new ideas to this universe. Most of the stories are about female characters, and that serves a specific demographic the producers were going for. They obviously wanted to showcase female empowerment, and that Star Wars can be about powerful girls and women. That's been a thing they've been doing for a few years now.
With a show like this, it champions all kinds of stories and animation styles. Studios from Spain to Japan have submitted episodes. There are anime and even stop-motion episodes that look pretty cool. A lot of these episodes look very good, with only a couple that didn't impress me that much. There is no doubt that the work by all of these studios is first-rate. These studios will be at the forefront of animation going forward if they weren't already.
Volume two of Star Wars: Visions is even better than the first. The various studios that have come on board for season two have given great submissions. They deal with a lot of diversity and empowerment from women, Black and Latino characters. The studios come from countries all over the world, like Spain, Japan, France, and Ireland, just to name a few. The producers have assembled so much talent from all corners of the globe that produce various styles of animation, like hand-drawn, anime, and stop-motion animation. This series stretches the boundaries of storytelling and animation that make this brand fascinating going forward.
Star Wars: Visions streams on Disney+ beginning May 4. All nine episodes reviewed.