Star Wars: Visions remembered: Lop and Ocho

"Lop and Ocho." Star Wars: Visions. Courtesy of
"Lop and Ocho." Star Wars: Visions. Courtesy of /

With season two of Star Wars: Visions coming in 2023, I wanted to look back at each short from season one and celebrate why they’re great. This is Visions Remembered.

Lop and Ochō from Geno Studio is the one episode that reminds me the most of the Star Wars animation we’re used to. Maybe because the story and setting scream both Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Resistance in different ways. The story and characters are very Rebels while the settings have the same breathtaking, stylized beauty of Resistance as its saturated with gorgeous colors. It feels so familiar to my animation-loving heart that it does make me wonder if the creators of this short were fans of those shows too.

Lop is also a bit of a first. Outside of the Forces of Destiny web series on YouTube, this is the first time we’ve really had a Lepi on screen. She’s definitely the first Lepi in a major role in any series. Lop, while cute on the surface, gives a wide range of emotions. Something as simple as how she holds her ears conveys her feelings. Zeb in Star Wars Rebels was the same. When he was angry or scared, his ears would fold back. Star Wars: Visions overall has a huge lack of alien characters. Lop really shows off how an alien lead character can not only give some intriguing visual storytelling but also add to the narrative overall.

Because Lop’s story is very coded. While on the surface it’s the same found family trope we’ve come to know in Star Wars, Lop’s personal story can be interpreted in many different ways. I’ve seen people interpret her narrative as adoption. Some have interpreted it as interracial family dynamics. I read her as a bit of a queer-coded character being different from her family. Also, more personally, her relationship with her adopted father reminds me of the journey I went on to bond with my stepfather. As aliens are often portrayed as “The Other” in Star Wars, they play an important role to allow for many different interpretations with the barrier of fiction that allows a viewer to view them cathartically.

Yes, Star Wars has a negative history of using aliens as racial stereotypes. Yes, Star Wars needs to continue to have improvements in representation with BIPOC and queer people as human faces on screen and not hidden behind makeup. But also, Star Wars can have all of that and still have alien characters to provide coded stories as well. Both can be true and work in the franchise. Lop is a reminder that it can work and still be a powerful story.

Ochō’s story is a relatable one as well. I’ve definitely felt that pain seeing family members slipping away from me due to political or religious views only to change into someone I don’t recognize anymore. But the episode gives great care to explain Ochō’s actions. She joins the Empire with good intentions. She wants to save her planet and let her people thrive. She sees the old, traditional ways as hindering potential growth for success. While her heart is in the right place, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The point of her story is she lost her soul in the process while Lop is the one who found the balance of the old and new. Like so many of the Visions shorts, on the surface Lop and Ochō ends in tragedy, but there is still a hopeful undertone that perhaps Ochō’s soul will one day be saved.

Lop and Ochō is a heart-wrenching tale overall. This family truly does love each other which is why the drama of their warring is so intense. It’s sibling versus sibling, battling over ideology instead of trying to find peace together through communication and compromise. This short is a fantastic portrayal of that timeless story.

The final entry of Visions Remembered will come soon with the surprisingly dark final episode, Akakiri. But next time I’ll argue: Is it really a tragedy or is it actually the most hopeful episode of all? You’ll have to be on the lookout to find out.

Star Wars: Visions is exclusively on Disney Plus. Season two will air in spring 2023.