Star Wars: Visions episode 1: “The Duel” ending explained

Ronin (voiced by Masaki Terasoma in Japanese and Brian Tee in the English Dub) in a scene from "STAR WARS: VISIONS” short, “THE DUEL”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Ronin (voiced by Masaki Terasoma in Japanese and Brian Tee in the English Dub) in a scene from "STAR WARS: VISIONS” short, “THE DUEL”, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Disney’s latest foray into a galaxy far, far away released this week in the form of Star Wars: Visions, a daring anime showcasing a variety of Star Wars-inspired stories. The first episode, titled “The Duel,” follows a “ronin,” or wandering warrior, as he finds himself in a remote village on an unknown world.

The 15-minute episode opens straight into the action, with a village besieged by ruthless bandits that resemble First Order stormtroopers. After briefly surrendering to the troops, the young chieftain of the village launches a surprise attack, calling a motley crew of guards to repel the invaders. This crew includes a Trandoshan warrior, a Dug piloting a modified probe droid wielding multiple swords, a minigun-brandishing protocol droid, and a heavily-armored Gran.

After a short scuffle, it looks as though the day may have been saved. That is, until a mysterious Sith-like woman emerges from the bandit transport. She wields a multi-bladed, blood-red lightsaber arranged in the shape of an umbrella as she single-handedly wipes out the village guards.

At this point, our main character enters the scene. Prior to that, he’s been biding his time at a local shop, observing from afar the pandemonium. He calmly walks through the chaos until he faces the Sith, challenging her to single combat. Much to her surprise, he also ignites a red lightsaber, indicating that he too may be a Sith.

The next several minutes of the episode are an epic duel between the two warriors. Though both are strong combatants, the ronin eventually tricks the invading Sith into attacking a decoy, giving him a chance to strike from behind and finish her off.

As the short wraps up, the villagers thank the ronin for his help in defending their village. He gifts the shopkeeper he met at the opening of the episode with the Sith’s lightsaber, before surprising the crows by revealing his own crimson sword. As the group watches in stunned disbelief, the ronin opens his cloak to reveal a collection of red lightsaber crystals similar to General Grievous’ collection. In a parting gesture, the ronin presents the young leader of the village with one of the crystals, claiming that it “wards off evil.”

Star Wars: Visions “The Duel” ending explained

“The Duel” is an incredibly strong start to Disney’s latest Star Wars project. The bite-sized story is engaging and the animation is beautiful. However, the most interesting part of the episode is the ending. The villagers refer to “the Jedi Knights of old” before realizing the ronin is actually a Sith (or Sith-adjacent). Perhaps this particular “vision” occurs in a distant future, sans-Jedi, or an alternate timeline. The planet “The Duel” occurs on is also (intentionally) vague — it appears to have a temperate climate similar to Earth’s, and it is inhabited by a variety of alien races. It actually resembles Sorgan from The Mandalorian, though given that Visions doesn’t take place in the regular Star Wars timeline, this is highly unlikely.

What we do know is that while the ronin wields a red lightsaber, he is no friend of the Sith. Given his demeanor and collected Kyber crystals, he most likely has a vendetta against the ancient order of Force-users. Perhaps they killed an old friend (or lover), or maybe he was cast out for some transgression.

This episode adds some much-needed depth to Star Wars’ Force-wielders. The Jedi/Sith dichotomy is iconic, but a little blurring of the lines has a lot of potential to expand the universe, both in projects like Visions and the standard, canonical timeline. We will most likely not get any answers to the aforementioned questions, which works to the episode’s advantage. Speculation about the planet, the Sith, and the ronin’s motivations is half of the fun, and given that Visions is intended to be Star Wars vignettes rather than fleshed-out sagas, the mystery works perfectly.

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