Star Wars Visions is an anthology series of nine wildly different stories that are separate from the established Star Wars canon, but it was important for the show's producers that these stories were based on entirely original scenarios, instead of the alternate timeline stories seen in some other Expanded Universe media and the series' fellow Disney+ animated companion, Marvel's What If...?
Series producers James Waugh and Kanako Shirasaki explained why this distinction was so important to them in a new interview with Crunchyroll. "I think the only real rule we had with it was to render your own stories, your own characters," Waugh said. "What we didn't want this to do was become like a "What If" show, which is great for Marvel, but that's not what we were trying to achieve here," Waugh continued, adding,"It wasn't let's do a 'What if Luke Skywalker did this, or what if Darth Vader..." I love those comics, they're great, but that's not what the intention was. The intention was let's go to these creators and say, what amazing stories do you have to tell that take place in this massive galaxy." Shirasaki agreed, saying "Yeah, and I think it worked very well, too, otherwise we couldn't have this diversity and stories from seven different studios and nine different directors."
Waugh says the decision to avoid "What if" stories with established characters was the only rule for the show, and otherwise they wanted to let the seven different anime studios involved with the series go wild with their creations. "We had a framework, a very kind of loose framework for what we wanted Star Wars: Visions to be, which was really a way to unlock timeline-focused development and allow for different creators to celebrate Star Wars through their unique lens and through a medium that, you know, is very specific and has a certain kind of vocabulary to it," Waugh said.
Star Wars Visions is a nine-episode anthology series that recently debuted exclusively on Disney+. Production of the series was handled by seven of Japan's top anime studios, including Ghost in the Shell's Production IG; The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl's studio Science Saru, who are also producing the upcoming historial-fiction anime The Heike Story; and perhaps most surprisingly of all, TRIGGER, the studio that was created by former Gainax employees and consists of artists who worked on acclaimed anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Promare and SSSS. Gridman.