STAR WARS: VISIONS SERIES REVIEW
It’s no secret that George Lucas drew inspiration from Japanese culture when creating the world of Star Wars. Now Lucasfilm returns the favor by teaming up with several prominent Japanese anime studios (Kamikaze Douga, Studio Colorido, Geno Studio, Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Production I.G, Science SARU) to produce “Star Wars Visions”, a new series where Japanese storytellers explore the themes of Star Wars, from a certain point of view. Each non-canonical short features all new stories, characters, and planets, and is defined by its own individual animation style. With the exception of one episode, no legacy characters appear, and the animators were free to set their stories anywhere within the established Star Wars timeline. Considering how central samurai and Eastern philosophy are to both Japanese culture and Star Wars, it’s no surprise these shorts focus heavily on the Jedi. Still, there is enough aesthetic and tonal variety here to appeal to both Star Wars and anime fans. Harmoni, Tessa, Spider-Mike, and Marco convened a meeting of the Jedi Order and search their feelings about this new streaming series . Is “Star Wars Visions” strong with the Force, or did our critics get a bad feeling about this? To find out, listen to the review you must. Listen. Or do not. There is no try.
DIRECTED BY: Takanobu Mizuno, Taku Kimura, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Hitoshi Haga, Kenji Kamiyama, Abel Góngora, Masahiko Otsuka, Yuki Igarashi, Eunyoung Choi
STARRING: Masaki Terasoma, Brian Tee, Akeno Watanabe, Lucy Liu, Yūko Sanpei, Jaden Waldman, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kōsuke Gotō, Bobby Moynihan, Akio Kaneda, Temuera Morrison, Masayo Fujita, Shelby Young, Anri Katsu, Marc Thompson, Junya Enoki, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryoko Shiraishi, Alison Brie, Tokuyoshi Kawashima, Jonathan Lipow, Asami Seto, Karen Fukuhara, Megumi Han, Nichole Sakura, Yuma Uchida, Christopher Sean, Takaya Kamikawa, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Yoshimitsu Shimoyama, Andrew Kishino, Mariya Ise, Stephanie Sheh, Chinatsu Akasaki, Kimiko Glenn, Tetsuo Kanao, Andrew Kishino, Shin-ichiro Miki, Simu Liu, Hiromu Mineta, Masi Oka, Kazuya Nakai, Greg Chun, Akio Ōtsuka, Neil Kaplan, Daisuke Hirakawa, Michael Sinterniklaas, Masako Nozawa, Jaden Waldman, Tsutomu Isobe, Kyle Chandler, Takaya Hashi, David Harbour, Kenichi Ogata, James Hong, Yuichi Nakamura, Jordan Fisher, Seiran Kobayashi, Anna Cathcart, Risa Shimizu, Hiromi Dames, Tadahisa Fujimura, Paul Nakauchi, Taisuke Nakano, Kyle McCarley, Yū Miyazaki, Henry Golding, Lynn, Jamie Chung, Chō, George Takei, Wataru Takagi, Keone Young, Yukari Nozawa, Lorraine Toussaint
Marco Noyola (Digital Noise, Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad, Audio Editor)
By day, Marco is a mild-mannered office worker, but by night he is a mild-mannered movie watcher. He does other mild-mannered stuff too.
“You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody!”
Harmoni Anderson (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews, Unstabletop Gaming)
Harmoni is a mermaid-haired, millennial, rum drinking, Section 31, Slytherin (who’s divorced J.K. Rowling) preschool/nursery teacher and multi genre geek who also loves all things film, tv, fashion, makeup, and an embarrassingly huge BTS stan. Like really embarrassing. As in, mention them and then sit back and watch the insanity. Harmoni likes being able to game and talk movies/TV with people that aren’t 3 feet tall or all that demanding of her. Plus she can curse at us and not get fired….so bonus!
Tessa Morrison (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad, Unstabletop Gamers)
Well-rounded nerd and artist, Tessa Morrison grew up in the misty mountains of West Virginia and was constantly ridiculed for being a “weirdo.” Then moved to Austin in 2009 where people said the same thing, but in an endearing tone. Tessa works an office day job, creates puppets and fiber art, cosplays, models for gaming and animation studios, and volunteers for various organizations. One of which is the Other Worlds Film Festival, Austin’s first SciFi film fest, working in the capacity of Outreach Director and programmer. Another is local DIY-comedy-wrestling league, Party World Rasslin’, where Tessa scrambles around stage-handing and doing art department nonsense. Wrote and contributed to website and magazine Strange Kids Club for five years reviewing films, video games, and Halloween candy. Co-hosted a Public Access show called Ladies of Fandom. Previously guested on podcasts Blood Over Texas, Threequel Club, Trash in the Can, Retro Movie Roundtable, and Nerds with Mics.
Michael Riojas (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews)
The man with the ever-changing nicknames. Born in Austin, Riojas was rocketed to Del Rio, Texas, a literal small ville. In his youth, he was bitten by a radioactive… okay, look. Mike is not very good at this whole “talking about himself” thing. But he has been so obsessed with comics, video games, and anime since childhood- that if one has to choose between listening to Joe Quesada or Mike over any obscure Spider-Man trivia, they go to him (or, at least Martin Thomas once said so). He is also a big fan of “Ghostbusters” (he even owns his own jumpsuit and two, that’s right, TWO proton packs!), collects toys and video games, and will defend “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” if provoked. He lives in Austin with his beloved Dachshund-Maltese and trusted sidekick, Dean. He can also be heard on RageSelect. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
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