The kickoff event of “Star Wars: Visions,” a project to create new “Star Wars” works by Japanese animation studios, was held at The Garden Hall, Yebisu Garden Place on July 15, 2021. The event was attended by nine directors from seven studios, including General Director Mizusaki Junpei from Kamikaze Douga, Director Haga Hitoshi from Kinema Citrus, Director Eunyoung Choi and Director Abel Góngora from Science SARU, Director Igarashi Yuki from Geno Studio, Director Kimura Taku from Studio Colorido, Director Imaishi Hiroyuki and Director Otsuka Masahiko from Trigger, and Director Kamiyama Kenji from Production I.G., and Ichikawa Saya, who is a model of a fan of “Star Wars”, took the stage.
“Star Wars: Visions” is a project in which talented top animation creators from all over the world draw a new story of “Star Wars” with their own vision.
The project started with nine directors from seven Japanese animation studios including Kamikaze Douga, Kinema Citrus, Science SARU, Geno Studio, Studio Colorido, Trigger, and Production I.G. Each of them will create an original animated short film based on “Star Wars”.
All nine films will be streamed exclusively through the video streaming service “Disney+” from September 22, 2021.
The event began with a special message by Lucasfilm Executive Producer James Waugh, saying, “Japanese animation inspired a lot of the people at Lucasfilm over the years. This film is a love letter from Lucasfilm to the Japanese culture that gave birth to Japanese animation.”
We also talked about the stories of the films created by each studio, which had not been revealed until now.
Regarding “The Duel,” produced by Kamikaze Douga, General Director Mizusaki said, “Star Wars has always depicted a confrontational structure between the Sith and the Jedi, but this time I wanted to depict a story that takes place at the ‘edge of the Star Wars world’, where individuals fight each other with lightsabers.”
Regarding “The Village Bride,” produced by Kinema Citrus, Director Haga said, “I depicted the fact that there are many worlds and customs in the galaxy through a wedding ceremony, which is the best way to show the customs of that culture.”
Regarding “Akakiri” and “T0-B1,” produced by Science SARU, Director Eunyoung and Director Abel said respectively, “’Akakiri’ is a short-lived love story between a Jedi and a princess,” and ‘”T0-B1’ is a story about a small humanoid droid, the main character, who grows up while he almost gives up on his dream,” which showed a wide range of the stories of “Star Wars: Visions.”
Regarding “Lop and Ocho,” produced by Geno Studio, Director Igarashi said, “Being set between Episodes 3 and 4, on a planet inhabited by people who love nature like we Japanese do, the story depicts the family-like bond between inhabitants of the planet, the Ocho, and the Lop, a rabbit-like race inspired by characters from the Star Wars comics.”
Regarding “Tatooine Rhapsody,” produced by Studio Colorado, Director Kimura said, “It’s about the main characters who aspire to be rock musicians, and it’s about the friendship and bond between the band members. The theme of the film is to follow what they want to do without being bound by backgrounds.”
Regarding “The Twins” and “The Elder,” produced by Trigger, Director Imaishi said, “’The Twins’ is about the remnants of the Empire trying to rise again after Episode IX, creating new twin Dark Lords, and the two of them exploring their hidden potential while overcoming difficulties.” On the other hand, Director Otsuka said, “’The Elder’ is set in an older time period than Episode 1, and I made it with the hope that people who have never been exposed to the series before will become interested in Star Wars. It begins with knights, who are in a Master-Padawan relationship, encountering a mysterious old man on a remote planet.”
Finally, regarding “The Ninth Jedi,” produced by Production I.G, Director Kamiyama said, “After Episode IX, has peace come to the galaxy? This is the story of the rebirth of the lightsabers and the Jedi knights. I wanted to portray the adventure story that is the origin of Star Wars with a different protagonist, just as Luke Skywalker, a nameless young man, went on an adventure in the ocean of space.”
When asked about their passion for “Star Wars,” Director Kamiyama said, ” I was 13 years old when I saw my first movie, and I thought I would be the one to make Star Wars. Now I have nothing but joy. I’m back to the innocent feeling I had when I was 13.”
Director Otsuka is a big “Star Wars” fan, who got so shocked when he saw “Star Wars” in junior high school that he created his own work based on “Star Wars” in high school, and talked about his passion for the work, “I took on this challenge with the thought that this would be the last time I would be involved in animation production as a creator in this work. I think the theme of passing on the legacy to the next generation is common to all of its works.”
Director Imaishi also mentioned about the music referring to the method of incorporating the spirit of Star Wars into his own work, “I thought that using a full orchestra would be the best way to express the musicality of Star Wars for the first time ever. Another first for me was to use film scoring, which is music composed based on completed images,” On the other hand, he also revealed that he incorporated his own style into the film, saying, “I used the main staff members of ‘Promare’ that I produced a few years ago, and since it was a continuation of ‘Promare’, I incorporated a lot of elements that are characteristic of ‘Promare’, such as the use of colors and the gradation of the background.”
Each of the “Star Wars: Visions” films will be streamed exclusively on “Disney+” from September 22, 2021.
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