Family and sacrifice in Star Wars Visions

Star Wars: Visions. Image courtesy
Star Wars: Visions. Image courtesy /

One of the most fascinating things about Star Wars: Visions to me is that none of the studios collaborate with each other. And yet despite this, over the course of two seasons, there are certain themes that rise up among the different shorts. For example, in season one, all the shorts were from Japanese studios. With Star Wars heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa films, it wasn’t a surprise that many of the shorts focused on the lightsaber and its importance.

Star Wars: Visions season two is no exception, as many different themes bubbled to the surface. One in particular that stood out to me was the bond of family. Found family is always prominent in Star Wars throughout the entire franchise. But when it comes to these shorts, there is a focus on blood relations and the community around them, which isn’t as common.

“In the Stars” was the first of these, focusing on the sisterly bond between Koten and Tichina. “I Am Your Mother” is the hilarious story of Anni and her mother, Kalina. “The Spy Dancer” is about the Josephine Baker-inspired dancer, Loi’e, using her craft to get revenge for her missing son, leading to a fateful reunion. “The Bandits of Golak” is the harrowing journey of siblings Charuk and Rani trying to get to safety. “The Pit” focuses on older brother Crux, risking everything to save his little sister and their people trapped by the Empire. And finally, “Aau’s Song” is about Aau struggling under her father’s protection as he silences her ability out of fear of the unknown.

Six of the nine shorts focused on blood relations within family, which is a bit unique for Star Wars. Usually when this is the narrative, it’s so a very important main character can be born or tap into their abilities. So, you know, the Skywalker family. But outside the adventures of the main movies, the stories of the shows, books, and comics don’t always delve into this, preferring to focus on more of a found family element.

To be more specific, what caught my eye among the shorts was the sacrifice of the family when a person is Force-sensitive. This is very rare in Star Wars outside of Tales of the Jedi when the anthology features Ahsoka Tano’s parents or the occasional story in The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels with evildoers stealing Force-sensitive babies from their parents. A third of Visions season two shorts were about this theme, which is an interesting coincidence when the studios don’t work together.

Koten and Tichina lost their Force-sensitive mother in “In the Star,” which is a devastating blow that the sisters struggle with. Tichina believes she has her mother’s powers, but it’s actually Koten who has the ability and overcomes the pain of her mother’s sacrifice to save her little sister.

The gut punch of “The Bandits of Golak” is when the siblings arrive at Golak. The entire story is about Charuk’s sacrifice. The kids have already lost their parents, and he must let go of the last of his family. Letting Rani leave with the Jedi Rugal is the only way he can keep his little sister safe. He gives up everything and is left alone to give her the best chance to survive.

And finally, “Aau’s Song” ends with Aau’s father, Abat, letting her leave to go with the Jedi Kratu. He spent most of the short struggling with Aau’s abilities, to the point of silencing her. It was out of fear because he had no idea how best to protect her. While “Aau’s Song” ends on more of a hopeful note than “The Bandits of Golak,” there is still a sadness tingeing the final scenes. Abat doesn’t know when he will see his child again, but he knows it’s what is best for Aau.

Star Wars: Visions is always a beautiful journey with the different studios. Season two followed in the footsteps of season one’s triumph, and it continues to be some of the more progressive and beautifully unique storytelling in the franchise.