How Star Wars: Visions Season 2 Drew Inspiration From Real-World History Of Colonialism

Star Wars Celebration wrapped up earlier today, and one of the day's biggest panels was for the upcoming second season of "Star Wars: Visions." We're getting nine new episodes in May, and while the last season came from Japanese creators, this time, the animated shorts come from all around the globe. 

One of the writer/directors that appeared on the "Star Wars: Visions" panel was Gabriel Osorio, representing his Punkrobot animation studio in Chile. Vargas created the third episode in the upcoming second season, entitled "In the Stars." The story, some of which you can see in the trailer, features two young sisters, one of whom clearly has enough Force powers to attempt to take on a TIE fighter. 

/Film attended the "Star Wars: Visions" panel, which featured Osorio talking about the inspiration for his episode "In the Stars." The short actually has a connection to a genocide that happened in Patagonia around the beginning of the 20th century. 

'Our story is about two sisters who lost everything'

Osorio spoke about the inspiration, saying: 

"Without spoiling the story ... our story is about two sisters who lost everything, their people, their family because of an Imperial invasion. And I think the inspiration for this story came from a real story that for us, as Latin Americans and Chileans, is really a very important story and sadly, it's very unknown.

The story is this one: During the early 1900s in the far south of the continent, in what now is known as Patagonia or the Land of Fire [Tierra del Fuego], a large part of the original inhabitants were killed by the colonists. And the thing is that these events were happening less than 100 years ago, still happening 100 years ago. So this is recent history for us. And in spite of this, this is still a not very well known part of our own history by the vast majority of Chileans and Latin America."

The director appears to be referencing the Selk'nam genocide, which took place from the middle of the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th. The tribe is estimated to have had about 4,000 members when Europeans first arrived. But the settlers offered bounties on the Selk'nam (also called the Ona), and others died from terrible conditions, fighting, and diseases introduced by the colonizers, leaving almost no one left. 

"So this is why I felt a big responsibility to tell a story that reflected on the resistance and on the resilience and all the injustice that the original nations of Patagonia have to endure," Osorio continued on the panel. "And we felt that the Star Wars universe was the perfect place to tell this story."

The animation for 'In the Stars'

For the look of the short, Osorio said that they mainly used digital 3D, but they "tried to achieve a look that reflected on the mood and the unique texture of Patagonia's landscape." He explained that they use a mix of stop-motion animation that they created with "real backgrounds, real scale models, hand-painted, and then 3D scan[ned]" models. He said that approach allowed them to capture the "imperfection of the hand-making," and added that they used little things like the plants of Patagonia from scans of the country's landscape. 

Osorio said that he felt that "Star Wars, at its core, is mostly about families that are separated and overcome pain through hope." He wanted to show how people move on after a "terrible loss." He also felt the connection to the Force was important to show. Osorio said: 

"And for me, the Force is a strong connection with nature. And, of course, we really wanted our characters to be very strong in the Force ... We also tried to think [about] the Force as a metaphor [for] our own connection with our own roots. I think that's something very important, because our roots sometimes get left behind and forgotten. And I think that is something that us Chileans, sometimes we forget our roots and forget our own original nations."

"Star Wars: Visions" season 2 will begin streaming on Disney+ on May 4, 2023.