‘Star Wars: Visions’ Volume 2 review: Nine pint-size powerhouses, including one from India, sparkle in this ‘Star Wars’-inspired anthology

Widening its scope, the anthology presents a delightful array of animation styles and storytelling from across the globe in this collection of tales inspired by the happenings in a galaxy far, far away

May 05, 2023 05:46 pm | Updated 05:49 pm IST

A still from ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Volume 2 

A still from ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Volume 2 

It is dreadfully difficult to pick a favourite among the nine shorts that form Volume 2 of the animated anthology, Star Wars: Visions, as each is a marvel of beauty and individuality. Unlike Volume 1, which dropped in September 2021, and featured the works of seven Japanese animation studios, Volume 2 has gone further afield featuring the works of animators from around the world.

Star Wars: Visions Volume 2
Episodes: 9
Run time: 11 to 18 minutes  
Storyline: Nine stories with a glancing connection to the Force, Jedis, Sith and sundry Star Wars lore

Each studio has brought in its special look, feel and sound to its story, under the overarching Star Wars umbrella. The first episode in warm reds and gold, ‘Sith’, comes from El Guiri studios in Spain and tells of a young Sith apprentice who chooses to paint her own destiny. Lola prefers art over ruling the galaxy and is doing a good job of it till her master comes calling.

Cartoon Saloon from Ireland is the brain behind the fairytale-like second episode, ‘Screecher’s Reach’, where Daal, a worker ‘wants more’ and her final choice not to look back, is poignant. ‘In the Stars’ from the Chilean company, Punkrobot, looks at the environmental cost of the Empire’s roaring rampage. Two sisters, possibly the last of their kind, take a stand against the heartless hoards.

It is Hanna City Flight Academy’s annual race day and Anni is embarrassed with her mum in Aardman’s (United Kingdom) charming stop motion ‘I am Your Mother’. If Anni makes you think of Luke’s dad, then well… there is also a wookie tearing off a doll’s arms—you know they do not like losing.

‘Journey to the Dark Head’ from South Korea’s Studio Mir tells of yet another young girl and her efforts to stop the war with some reluctant help from a Jedi and hindrance from a Sith in an anime style.

France’s Studio La Cachette hand-drawn offering ‘The Spy Dancer’ has a look of Moulin Rouge in space. A dancer, seeking her son who has been lost for many years, finds him where she least expects to. Those swirling veils were quite hypnotic. While there is no need to watch the stories in any order, I followed the order the stories were presented in and finally it was India’s turn with ‘The Bandits of Golak’.

The warm colours and the music tell the story of a boy escorting his force-sensitive sister to place of safety, which turns out to be a dhaba run by a mysterious woman. The action sequence aboard the train brought to mind that other movie with Gabbar and his cohorts hijacking a train while a brave policeman and two petty thieves give good account of themselves.

‘The Pit’ from D’art Shtajio (Japan) tells of the importance of trying and following the light, while the last story, from South Africa’s Triggerfish, ‘Aau’s Song’, tells of one more gifted girl and the chasm cleaved in her father’s heart at the need to let her go. As the Jedi Kratu comments, “We cannot choose where our calling takes us, only whether or not to answer.”

The bite-size episodes are a visual and aural treat. They also underline the fact that the imagination knows no boundaries. While there are spin-offs galore from the Star Wars universe, Visions stands out as much for its style as its alternate take on the events in the galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: Visions streams on Disney+ Hotstar

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