Star Wars: Visions Season 2 Will Expand To Showcase Animation From All Over The World

The anime anthology "Star Wars: Visions" was a breath of fresh air for the "Star Wars" franchise, tapping into its Japanese cinematic roots and influences by recruiting a number of Japanese animation studios to bring the galaxy to life. In a time of fandom obsessed with canon alignment, "Visions" emboldened artistic and philosophical conversations with the franchise, the Force, and the Jedi — more so than most other onscreen "Star Wars" media — by letting creatives steer the wheel and reconfigure the kyber crystal and the Force in their own image. The result was nine non-canon shorts, featuring a myriad of jaw-dropping storytelling and color.

At Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm and Qubic Pictures discussed the development of "Star Wars: Visions," and announced that season 2 is on the way in spring 2023. In a panel hosted by anime and "Star Wars" fan Chastity Vicencio, the Lucasfilm team shared their collaboration with the anime studios involved in "Visions:" Kamikaze Douga, Studio Colorido, Geno Studio, TRIGGER, Kinema citrus Co., Production I.G, and Science SARU. James Waugh (executive producer), Josh Rimes (executive producer), Jacqui Lopez (executive producer), and Justin Leach (co-executive producer) were present on the panel.

Vicencio asked the team, "How much direction did you give each animation team?" Waugh replied, "We see our function as being great dramaturgs. We had a high-level framework, editorializing the content, but it was in service to the visions of these creators."

The English voices of Visions

The panel also surprised attendees with the English voice cast of "Visions," many of them veterans of other "Star Wars" animation, from "The Clone Wars" to "Star Wars: Resistance." Voice actors on the panel included Andrew Kishino (Juro of "The Ninth Jedi"), Hiromi Dames (Ochō in "Lop & Ochō"), Keone Young (Kamahachi of "Akakiri"), Christopher Sean (Asu from "The Village Bride"), Bobby Moynihan (Geezer of "Tatooine Rhapsody"), and Brian Tee (The Ronin of "The Duel").

Moynihan spoke about geeking out in the voice booth when he discovered his Hutt character was in conversation with Temuera Morrison's voice (as Boba Fett), though he was disappointed that Geezer didn't get to speak any Huttese.

Kishino shared about the ease of English dubbing compared to typical voicework with the U.S. homegrown projects. He explained, "I'm profoundly dyslexic. [Dub] is governed by lip flaps. One of the hallmarks of voiceovers is 'let's change it.' I don't know if I can change the words quickly enough."

A performer with seniority, Young's comment stood out: 

"You have to understand. When I grew up, I was born in the '40s like George [Lucas]. My culture was of an evil empire so to speak. We were scorned here ... all my life I've been doing [performance work] to show you the characters that have raised me. My grandparents came here as agricultural workers and gave me a good life. The work we do here is my ancestors'. When you see Japanese animation, I thank you. I thank you for accepting the good and the positive sides of my people."

Young continued, "What was on my mind, I was representing people. I was thinking of my son and how I wanted it to be for him a legacy that he can point to and say, 'He did that.'"

The panel played a video of the Japanese studios and artists giving their thanks for watching their shorts. Most playfully, the director Takanobu Mizuno of "The Duel" cosplayed as the star Ronin and spooked his cast out of the frame to claim his seat and thank the audience for watching "The Duel."

Beyond anime

Unsurprisingly, the creators were asked, "Will we see more Star Wars anime?" — which perked up an enthusiastic Celebration crowd.

"Anime takes a while to make. But I can guarantee that Star Wars and anime have a very bright future," Waugh said. But this was a preface to a more encompassing reveal. "Visions" isn't just sticking to anime (Japanese animation); it's expanding in season 2 to include animation from all around the world. The panel revealed a map that highlighted the countries with animation studios working on "Visions:" the U․S. (the state of California highlighted), Chile, the U․K., Ireland, France, Spain, South Africa, India, South Korea, and Japan. The "Star Wars" galaxy is expanding!

"Star Wars: Visions" season 2 is set to release in Spring 2023 on Disney+.