Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 Represents The Very Best of Star Wars
Star Wars: Visions is criminally underrated. And, dare we say it, it might be the best Star Wars series on Disney+. That’s not to say the other series are bad, but Visions has the added advantage of being non-canonical. The disconnect from the linear Star Wars plot lines, ironically, makes Visions one of the best shows Disney has ever put out. Every episode takes place in an entirely different world and time, and in Volume 2, every episode will also have a completely new animation style.
Based on the trailer, we already know that Volume 2 will cover even more ground than Volume 1. In terms of style and scope, Volume 2 is the most diverse Star Wars show to hit the streaming platform. It begs the question, how exactly did Visions even put this anthology together? In an exclusive interview with Esquire, executive producers James Waugh, Jacqui Lopez, and Josh Rimes broke down how they got studios to pitch the best and most outlandish scripts.
“We wanted these creators to tell a story that had heart... a human story,” said Waugh. “We wanted to challenge these creators to bring their unique perspectives to the story they want to pitch.”
Coming up with the stories was the first step. Finding the Star Wars elements in the stories came after that. Visions producer Jacqui Lopez tapped nine renowned animation studios from around the world, namely El Guiri Studios from Spain, Cartoon Saloon from Ireland, Punkrobot from Chile, Aardman Animations from the U.K., Studio Mir from South Korea, Studio La Cachette from France, 88 Pictures from India, D’art Shtajio from Japan, and Triggerfish from South Africa.
Each studio was able to inject its own culture into its respective Star Wars stories. Cartoon Saloon’s episode “Screecher’s Reach” was inspired by Irish banshees and 88 Pictures’ episode “The Bandits of Golak" is rich in Indian culture. Meanwhile, Aardman Animations delivers uniquely British humor in “I Am Your Mother.” We never thought we’d see a Wallace and Gromit and Star Wars collaboration, but it just goes to show how flexible the Star Wars universe can be.
The diversity of animation in Volume 2 embodies the diversity of the Star Wars universe. For the executive producers, this was a conscious decision to view the Star Wars universe from multiple lenses. Hence, the title Visions. Pun very much intended.
“It was also [about shining] a light on all the different countries creating incredible animation and the cultures that lead to that animation. The story of Volume 2, in general, is this celebration of a global world and global community, the joy and uniqueness of each one of those members of that community, and what they specifically brand animation,” said Waugh.
At its core, Visions is a showcase for animation studios around the world. Volume 1 was connected by their shared animation style, anime, and Volume 2’s different styles make each episode stand out even more.
“Going global with different animation styles, we knew that, even more so, the styles would separate the stories into their own unique short films,” said executive producer Josh Rimes. “That was always the goal for us, for these nine stories to really stand on their own and just reflect the style, the heart, and the ‘cultural specificity meets Star Wars’ of what the creators wanted to bring.”
If Volume 1 stuck by anime through and through, Volume 2 will explore everything from stop motion to 3D. Star Wars: Visions was made for and by Star Wars nerds. It’s weird and wonderful, capturing the heart of Star Wars. Every episode is pure imagination, with a feeling of limitlessness that trumps even the film trilogies.
“The framework of Visions takes off the burden or the expectation that this story is connected to the broader trajectory of the ongoing (Star Wars) saga storytelling. I think what Visions offers is just to send pure, imaginative exploration and a pure celebration of everything these creators love about Star Wars,” said Waugh.
“Our hope is that the audience isn't really focused on ‘where does this fit’ and ‘how does this connect?’ Our goal is to create authentic just great stories that celebrate Star Wars and different cultures.”
If Volume 1 was any indication, Volume 2 will be even better.
Catch Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 on May 4 exclusively on Disney+.