Why Star Wars Visions Isn't Canon ⁠— And Why Some Of It Should Be

"Star Wars: Visions" is the new animated series from Lucasfilm on Disney+. As an experiment in storytelling, Lucasfilm commissioned nine animated short films from seven different animation studios in Japan. Instead of shackling them to the "Star Wars" canon, Lucasfilm instead had them reimagine the stories of "Star Wars" through their own unique, cultural lenses. This freedom allowed the studios to create stories ranging from punk rock operas and Pinocchio stories about droids who want to be Jedi, all the way to tales of lightsaber blacksmiths and wandering Sith ronin.

Some of these stories contain absurdities that, if they were put into the "Star Wars" canon, would break the universe as well as the timeline. In "The Twins," a cloned dark side twin turns light and survives in the vacuum of space to ride atop an X-Wing to cut a Star Destroyer in half with his lightsaber as he jumps into hyperspace. There's not really a lot of room for that in the "Star Wars" universe as we know it today. In "TO-B1," a young droid dreams of becoming a Jedi and taps into the Force in order to defeat an Inquisitor. They don't quite make sense in the context of "Star Wars."

Other episodes are closer to canon, but only on a surface level. I loved every minute of "The Ninth Jedi," but the way it sets up the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith and the new lore created around lightsabers and kyber crystals prevent it from really settling into the current universe as written. 

There's something alluring about "The Duel," but errant Sith wandering the galaxy fighting each other in public during the time of the Empire (or even shortly after) doesn't make a whole lot of sense. "The Duel" was turned into a novel, which led many to believe that it would be canonized, but it's being published under the "Star Wars: Visions" banner and reading it gives one the sense that it's quite obviously not intended to fit into the canon. It exists as a beautiful alternate reality, set beside "Star Wars" rather than a part of it. And I think that's okay.

In fact, I think it's better than okay. I would love to see Lucasfilm do more of this kind of storytelling. Can you imagine what it would be like to see one of the seven studios behind "Visions" tackle an entire feature-length endeavor? Or what if they lured Hayao Miyazaki to do a "Star Wars" tale of his choosing? Or let Katsuhiro Otomo tell "Star Wars" stories in manga format?

It would be incredible.

How 'Visions' Could Fit Into 'Star Wars' Canon

There are other stories in the oeuvre of "Star Wars: Visions" that could be canon, and we should have many more stories told to complete them and take them further. The top of that list, for me, would be "The Elder." It tells the tale of a Jedi Master and his Padawan who, in their travels in the Outer Rim, stumble upon an aging Sith warrior. Aside from the moniker of Sith for the dark-sider, there's almost nothing in the short that couldn't be put into the current canon of "Star Wars." And honestly, who wouldn't want to see the continuing adventures of Tajin and Dan? More than anything, it brings "Star Wars" to a place of quiet stillness, more in line with the Kurosawa roots of the saga. "Akakiri" is another Kurosawa-esque tale that could be similarly brought in.

Another short that has potential to be incorporated into the canon would be "The Village Bride," which takes place on a remote planet that the Separatists abandoned during the Clone Wars. It's a sweet and simple tale, far removed from the bombast of the more well-known heroes of the conflict, and we could use more stories like that in the canon.

The "Star Wars: Visions" episode I'd be most excited to see continued and brought into the canon, however, might be the most bombastic of the shorts: "Tatooine Rhapsody." This punk rock opera tells the story of Jay, Geezer, K-344, and Lan — a punk band trying to make a go of it. Jay, the lead singer, was a Padawan during Order 66 and Geezer, the bass player, is a Hutt with crime family ties. Stories like theirs, gallivanting around the galaxy with a punk rock spirit, are exactly what "Star Wars" needs. They're fun and carefree, not too dark, and with the right amount of punk rock attitude.

It makes sense that Lucasfilm gave the "Star Wars: Visions" creatives all the freedom they wanted and deemed it all to be not part of the official canon, but I'd love to see these studios take on the official canon as well. Why not give them a crack at a "Star Wars" story that does fit? With "Star Wars: Visions" doing well and the hype surrounding it at a fever pitch, what do they have to lose?

"Star Wars: Visions" is currently streaming on Disney+.