4. Star Wars: Visions – Episode 4: The Village Bride
Similar to “Lop and Ochō,” reverence for nature is a key theme in “The Village Bride.” However, nature isn’t an absent figure in this short film or overshadowed by industrialization. It’s all around these characters in a lush environment that serves as the episode’s setting.
“The Village Bride” is a slow-burning episode that may take too long to get to its point for some viewers but is a unique addition to the Star Wars franchise. For instance, instead of the Force being cast in the forefront as the element that binds all life forms and balances the cosmic scales, the people of this planet believe in Magina.
It’s likely the two are the very same thing but their belief ties this power directly to nature from the sky to the river. Their faith is unwavering even in the face of their resources being depleted by raiders and the happy occasion of a wedding having to bear the weight of the bride’s impending loss.
While not much happens in “The Village Bride,” it’s still a compelling and breathtaking film in terms of its artistry. It’s also the only other episode that features a romance. Asu and Haru have better chemistry than Tsubaki and Misa from “Akakiri” and their love for one another has some emotional weight to it as well.
Also, there’s a bit of mystery concerning the character F. Aloof, but intrigued by the world around her and the young couple she encounters, F’s purpose isn’t revealed until she must intervene with the raiders. We’re given little information on her past, but she does relinquish the burden she’d been carrying and steps back into the shoes of a Jedi.
My desire to know more about F kept this short film out of the top three, but this quieter and more contemplative entry into the anthology was still rather good.
Animation studio: Kinema Citrus
Runtime: 18 minutes
Synopsis: On a planet whose resources have been stolen by the Separatists and a band of raiders, a young couple prepares for marriage. Despite the hardships they and their people have faced, they continue their traditions, giving honor to the land and the Magina within them all. It’s enough to inspire a mysterious figure to intervene when the raiders arrive to take the bride away.
- Karen Fukuhara as F
- Nichole Sakura as Haru
- Christopher Sean as Asu
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Valco
- Andrew Kishino as Izuma
- Stephanie Sheh as Saku
- Asami Seto as F
- Megumi Han as Haru
- Yūma Uchida as Asu
- Takaya Kamikawa as Vaan
- Yoshimitsu Shimoyama as Izuma
- Mariya Ise as Saku