Visions will see seven animation studios tackle the world of Star Wars to create nine unique stories -- and the creators behind each tale weren't forced to adhere to canon.
Executive producer James Waugh spoke to StarWars.com about whether the new anime shorts that comprise Visions will fall within the existing timeline. According to Waugh, canon and timelines were less important to Lucasfilm and the team behind Visions than letting the creators explore the themes and elements of the galaxy far, far away.
"We really wanted to give these creators a wide creative berth to explore all the imaginative potential of the Star Wars galaxy through the unique lens of anime," Waugh said. "We realized we wanted these to be as authentic as possible to the studios and creators who are making them, made through their unique process, in a medium they’re such experts at. So the idea was, this is their vision riffing off all the elements of the Star Wars galaxy that inspired them — hopefully to make a really incredible anthology series, unlike anything we’ve seen before in the Star Wars galaxy."
Star Wars: Visions was teased back in December during Disney's Investor Day, which revealed a flurry of upcoming projects from the company. Little was known about the anime spin on Star Wars until the Anime Expo Lite this past weekend, where the first look at Visions was revealed. The featurette not only offered interviews with the creators of each short and the producers of the show, but it also showed off the first looks at each of the tales that will be part of the anthology. As is already clear, Visions will weave together numerous animation styles and tell a variety of different stories, but they'll all be firmly rooted in the anime tradition.
Many of the shorts will also draw from Japanese mythology and culture, which itself was a big influence on George Lucas when he was crafting Star Wars in the first place. "I think it’s really interesting to see how the East and West influence each other, and there’s a cycle of creativity that goes back and forth," co-executive producer Justin Leach said about Science Saru's two contributions to the show. "It’s interesting to see her take on the classic [Akira] Kurosawa melded with the Star Wars mythology, then taking her own Science Saru expression and putting it all in this mix. It looks really great."
Star Wars: Visions will be available exclusively on Disney+ on Sept. 22.