Star Wars: Visions has arguably been a landmark event for the Star Wars franchise. Pairing the mythology of Star Wars storytelling with the feel and cultural influences of Japanese anime has been largely well-received by fans, and one of the standout shorts in the series has been “The Ninth Jedi” from Japanese anime studio Production ID. The story of a mysterious leader of the planet Hy Izlan in the Outer Rim who calls a meeting of masterless Jedi from across the galaxy in the aerial temple above Hy Izlan was promising in that it told a story well beyond the current continuity, which goes only as far as The Rise of Skywalker.
The story ends feeling very much like the first episode of a longer series, which isn’t far from the mind of the story’s creator. Kenji Kamiyama, director of “The Ninth Jedi,” recently shared with Oricon News that he would love to continue the story further. In fact, Kamiyama mentioned that he already has the story mapped out. If viewers come away from the story wishing there was more, it’s the reaction Kamiyama hoped for.
The original interview is in Japanese, but @NorskAkiruno on Twitter was able to provide a summary of the article in English.
The interview also describes how Kamiyama approached telling a story that could possibly interact with the current continuity. In order to avoid conflicts and explore a new take on the Star Wars universe, he decided to set his story far into the future beyond The Rise of Skywalker. Kamiyama further revealed how intricate his approach to storytelling is, creating entire backstories for the characters even if those details won’t show up in the story itself.
Kamiyama didn’t share whether or not Lucasfilm has discussed continuing the story of “The Ninth Jedi,” but the reception of the story suggests that it would be a welcome addition to Star Wars storytelling by many fans.
The Ninth Jedi is a masterpiece
Even though the story isn’t considered canon, it functions as a fun speculation about what the galaxy looks like in the generations after The Rise of Skywalker. The story suggests that not only have the Jedi not returned to protect the galaxy after the Skywalker saga (which could be an interesting commentary on the effectiveness of the victory accomplished in the sequel trilogy in itself) but the legendary weapon of the Jedi has been lost to history as well. Enter Margrave Juro and his daring plan to restore the Jedi Order by having a local sabersmith fashion the first lightsabers in a very long time for his Jedi guests.
The story, which was the longest of the nine anime shorts produced, worked well in its ability to tell two converging stories: the story of the Jedi meeting in the aerial temple, waiting for Margrave Juro and the story of Kara, the daughter of the sabersmith and a clear Force-sensitive, who is tasked with bringing the lightsabers her father made to the aerial temple when he is captured by Jedi hunters. The shocking revelation that the majority of the Jedi on the aerial temple are actually aligned with the Sith, marked by the red hue of the ignited lightsaber blades, was cleverly executed with the plot point of the lightsabers designed to reflect the nature of the one holding them.
“The Ninth Jedi” stands out for its ability to remind longtime Star Wars fans of how it felt to see a complex character, in this case Kara, caught up in an epic adventure as she discovers the Force flowing through her. It takes the emotional story of the original trilogy and brilliantly transplants it into a fresh new context.
Star Wars: Visions is streaming now on Disney+.