Of all the anime short films announced for Star Wars: Visions, premiering on Disney+ in September, the one that's inspired the most otaku excitement is "The Twins," directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and animated by Trigger. Imaishi, who made the Gainax classics Gurren Lagann and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt before co-founding Trigger and directing Kill la Kill and Promare, is a fan-favorite director whose over-the-top style is a perfect fit for the world of Star Wars. Imaishi fits so well into the Star Wars universe, in fact, that it seems he's comfortable importing characters from his own universe into his short.
"The Twins" is said to be about a brother and sister raised in the Dark Side of the Force. They become separated, and in a story paralleling Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa's first adventure in A New Hope, the brother goes on a mission to rescue the sister. The characters' names have not been announced, but if one were to judge by designs alone, it would be a fair assumption to just call the brother Lio Fotia.
The protagonist of "The Twins" is almost identical to the fire-starting revolutionary hero of Promare. Their faces, body types, expressions, hair color and even details as small as the shapes of their eyelashes are the same. In fact, the only two details really distinguishing the two designs from one another are that the Star Wars antihero's hair poofs out to the side less than Lio's (which could just be a haircut) and that the Star Wars character's eyes are bluer and less purple -- though his twin sister just happens to have purple eyes.
Excitement for "The Twins" has been tied in part with the idea of this essentially being a crossover between Star Wars and Promare. "Promare" and "Lio Fotia" trended on Twitter alongside "Star Wars: Visions" shortly after the release of the trailer and the announcement panel at Anime Expo Lite.
Hiroyuki Imaishi has become known for repeating certain types of designs throughout his filmography -- just look at all the comparisons between Promare's other hero Galo Thymos and the beloved Kamina from Gurren Lagann. Even by his standards, however, the similarities between the brother in "The Twins" and Lio Fotia go beyond a repeating archetype into essentially copying and pasting with only the slightest of changes. This is emphasized by just how much the overall aesthetic shown in the preview screenshots of "The Twins" resembles Promare, more than any of Imaishi's other work.
Promare's creative director Hiromi Wakabayashi once told CBR that "Any project or series animated by us, the baseline requirement is to be included in the Trigger universe." While the safe assumption is that this statement would only apply to Trigger's original work, imagine the sheer geek-outs if Trigger's Visions shorts meant that the Star Wars universe and the Trigger universe are in fact one and the same? By that standard, "The Twins" could very well be meant as a Star Wars-Promare crossover.
Star Wars: Visions premieres on Disney+ this September.