Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 is one of the most diverse Star Wars projects ever made. For Volume 1, Lucasfilm worked with Japanese animation studios to create an anthology of beautifully animated short films with a distinctly Japanese imprint. This time, the team of animation studios invited to play in the Galaxy Far Far Away was expanded to include studios from Chile, France, Japan, India, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, and the U.K. The result is a mind blowingly gorgeous and diverse set of short films that are completely unlike anything we’ve seen in Star Wars before, and yet very distinctly Star Wars stories.
In advance of the release of Visions Volume 2, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the creative brain trust behind the project, executive producers James Waugh, Jacqui Lopez and Josh Rimes.
Waugh, who is the Senior Vice President of Franchise Content & Strategy at Lucasfilm, talked about how they wanted to lean into the cultural diversity in addition to the animation diversity. Referencing 88 Pictures, an Indian animation studio, Waugh said that they strongly encouraged “88 Pictures to lean into Indian culture and celebrate it in their story,” which is called The Bandits of Golak. “The universality of the myth of Star Wars allows it to be really pliable across cultures,” Waugh said.
As with anything Star Wars, I had to ask the ever present question of whether Visions is considered canon. For my part, it was only a half serious question because what is considered canon or not is far less important than simply telling good stories. Regardless, Lopez, the Vice President of Franchise Production, had a wonderful perspective on the topic. “This is about a Galaxy. There are so many cultures in Star Wars; so many planets, so many species. And it’s almost like there are so many stories we don’t know that are happening concurrently with the one Skywalker story we do know. That’s why for me, all of these are authentic expressions,” Lopez said.
Rimes, the Vice President of Animation Development & Production, has worked on a broad range of Star Wars animation projects, including The Bad Batch, The Clone Wars, Resistance, and Rebels. He talked about the impact of animation on audiences worldwide. “What animation is doing now, it’s creating new touch points for new audiences for Star Wars…there’s a whole generation of kids that their first Star Wars was Clone Wars, it was animation,” Rimes said. “And you never know, 20 years from now, you might find that kid in India, or a kid in Spain or Chile, that says the first Star Wars they saw was Star Wars: Visions. To us, that’s tremendously exciting.”
Watch our full conversation below. Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 premieres May 4th on Disney+ for Star Wars Day!
“Star Wars: Visions” is an animated anthology series featuring celebratory expressions of Star Wars storytelling. Seven Japanese anime studios brought their unique talents and perspective to “Star Wars: Visions – Volume 1.” Launching in 2023, Volume 2 will feature stories from creative teams from Chile, France, Japan, India, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. to showcase the incredible animation happening across each country and culture, through the mythos of Star Wars.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.