Star Wars: Visions premiered a month ago on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Despite all nine short films dropping at once, the anime anthology series has stayed in the pop culture consciousness with more and more viewers falling in love with these disparate stories that reside in the same universe. If you’ve watched the series of films, it’s not hard to see why.
There’s an innovation to Visions, a creativity that has challenged the traditional canon of the Star Wars franchise and pushed the audience to want even more from this ever-expanding world.
Each film differs in style, tone, and storytelling, but they are united in their themes of family, generational power shifts, legacy, and stepping into the destiny one has chosen for themselves.
It’s no wonder there have been calls for a sequel to the series. Though opinions on what that should look like change from fan to fan. Should there be fresh stories in a Star Wars: Visions sequel? Or should a sequel expand on the stories that have already been told?
Does Star Wars: Visions need a sequel?
To be honest, I’m in the camp of viewers that don’t believe the anthology series needs another installment whether that be new short films or a continuation of what we’ve already seen.
Additions to the series would just leave us clamoring for more once again like we have been since the anthology released on Disney+. While expanding the stories we know and love in a sequel will give us more from these narratives, there’s only so much that can be done in the limited format of a short film.
As much as I want to continue some of the stories set up in Star Wars: Visions, I don’t believe a sequel is the way to do that. Instead, Lucasfilm and Disney should capitalize off of the popularity of the anthology by choosing select films to produce into feature-length movies or limited series.
I suspect we’ll be seeing more book adaptations like Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon but, in terms of the anime, I’m hoping an investment is made in furthering stories like “The Twins,” “The Ninth Jedi,” and “Lop & Ochō.”
Regardless of fans’ personal rankings for the series, these three short films were left open-ended in a manner that begs for more to be seen from them.
“The Twins” ends with Karre vowing to find his sister, Am, because he believes she is the key to discovering their purpose. They were raised on the Dark Side, but Karre’s defiance of his predetermined destiny puts them both on an alternate path from the one they were born to follow which was supposed to lead to defeating the Resistance.
Theirs is a story centered on identity, choice, and determining one’s own future. There’s also the potential for a nature vs. nurture narrative that could see the twins fighting not only physically but internally as they decide who they are outside of what they’ve been told they should be since birth.
“The Ninth Jedi,” which is a fan favorite, is one of the short films in Visions that stays in the pocket of a traditional Star Wars story while introducing a new era.
Kara steps lightsaber-first into her path as a Jedi after helping to stop several Sith who’d hidden their true nature. Her father, the sabersmith Zhima, is the reason why lightsabers have returned to the fold. She wielded what he forged and now Kara, Juro, Ethan, and Homen must not only find her father but also the other Jedi roaming the galaxy so that the Order may once again rise.
The director of the short film, Kenji Kamiyama, has expressed an interest in expanding Kara’s story and divulged that he already has her journey mapped out.
Considering “The Ninth Jedi” was the most completely realized and cohesive short film in Star Wars: Visions, giving Kamiyama the reins to a larger project could produce an exceptional story for the franchise. One that becomes iconic in its own right.
As for “Lop & Ochō,” the short film has the most frustrating ending in the anthology hence why it needs to be expanded. There’s no real resolution. The Yasoboro sisters are on opposite sides in a fight for the planet Tao’s future. Ochō has succumbed to the Dark Side while Lop is in a battle to get her sister back and reunite their family.
Both “The Twins” and “The Ninth Jedi” feel like the beginnings of longer stories, those two short films are tied up enough to have satisfying endings. “Lop & Ochō” feels like it just scratched the surface of what it could be like a prologue instead of the ending to the first book in a series.
It’s also hands-down the most creative and innovative story in the anthology series outside of “T0-B1,” deftly blending its Japanese aesthetic with its futuristic, industrialized cityscape. Not to mention the Yasoboro clan’s lightsaber, which is an engraved katana, has me wondering what the weaponry in the world at large could look like. There’s so much potential in “Lop & Ochō” that wasn’t fully realized because of its format.
If the story was given more space and time to breathe in a feature-length film or a limited series, it would truly shine and continue to push the envelope of what a Star Wars story can be.
So, no, we don’t need a Star Wars: Vision sequel. What this franchise needs is an investment in the stories that were told in the anthology series. We can quibble about which ones those should be, but my point is that Visions opened a door to worthwhile stories being further developed.
There’s no need to close that door to open another or simply open it up a little more. Lucasfilm and Disney should blast the door off the hinges and let the universes created in this series spiral into something greater than what we’ve already seen.