From “Star Wars: Visions”, a project by seven Japanese animation studios to create new “Star Wars” films, the synopsis and scene photos of “Village Bride” by Kinema Citrus and “Tatooine Rhapsody” by Studio Colorado have been released.

George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars”, has stated that he was inspired by Japanese mythology and Akira Kurosawa’s films, and this influence has been poured into all of his films to date. The connection with Japanese culture has been passed on from generation to generation.
“Star Wars: Visions” is a project that will bring “Star Wars” back to Japan, where it is said to have its “creative roots”. Seven Japanese animation studios, Kamikaze Doga, Kinema Citrus, Science SARU, Geno Studio, Studio Colorido, Studio TRIGGER, and Production I.G, have come together to create a unique “vision” of nine new stories. This is the first of its kind.

This time, the synopsis and scene photos were released for “Village Bride” by Kinema Citrus and “Tatooine Rhapsody” by Studio Colorido.
In “The Village Bride,” we see the fate of a bride who makes a sad decision.
After Order 66, the Empire’s rule had not yet reached the Outer Rim planet of Keelia. Fugitive F receives a message from an old friend, Van, and visits the planet, where he stumbles upon a strange wedding. The villagers are unable to escape the curse of war, and the young people are trying to fight back. …… What does F do when he sees his own situation in the bride, Haru? And what will be the fate of the lovers?

“Tatooine Rhapsody” tells the story of the rock band Star Waver, set on the desert planet Tatooine, home of Luke Skywalker.
The band is made up of former Jedi, discarded droids, and other members who have some issues, and they perform live from place to place in the Outer Rim. One day, Geezer, the leader of the group, is hunted by the gang as a traitor and eventually taken away by Boba Fett, a skilled bounty hunter. As Geezer’s public execution draws near, the band members make a deal with Jabba the Hutt, the crime lord of the planet Tatooine, to give them their last live performance in exchange for their lives. ……

The “Bride of the Village” and “Tatooine Rhapsody” will be available exclusively on Disney’s official video streaming service, Disney+, from September 22, 2021.

Director of “The Village Bride” Haga Hitoshi, actor Kamikawa Takaya, voice actors Seto Asami and Uchida Yuma

Director Haga Hitoshi has previously worked on the original drawing of the theatrical version of “The Prince of Tennis: Two Samurai” and the theatrical version of “Yatterman: New Yattermechs! Omocha no Kuni de Dai Kessen da Cologne!, and the TV animation “Made in Abyss,” for which he served as assistant director, has gained popularity overseas and around the world, and the second season of “Made in Abyss: The Golden Land of Furious Suns” is scheduled to be broadcast in 2022.

Director Haga says, “I have a lot of memories of Star Wars”. When the first film in the series, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was released, the director was in his first year of junior high school and said, “I was moved by the expression that you can see the invisible by how you hold your mind. At that time, I was so moved by the development of the story that I immediately went home and bought the novel version, and since the soundtrack was expensive, so I bought the donut version with only the main theme as a single cut, and still I couldn’t get enough of it, so I bought a book of mechanical design sketches.” he said, revealing that his love for “Star Wars” had been overflowing since the beginning of the series.

In response to the director’s decision to connect “Star Wars” and “wedding” in “Bride of the Village”, Director Haga said, “I wanted to depict the customs and culture of the planet through a ‘wedding’, which has various customs even within Japan. I wanted to portray the customs and culture of the planet through ‘matsuri’ (festival in Japanese). ‘Matsuri’ is a carnival, but it is also a ceremony. It is also an event to worship, to be in awe of and appreciate nature and things. What is the Force? There is a sense in Japanese people that all things have life in them. I feel that this is something quite similar. In this film, Van introduces the culture of the opposite sex to the main character, F, in the form of an explanation, and by overlapping the difficulties that exist there with the difficulties that F is facing, I hoped to highlight the importance of the Force and the Jedi.” He said revealing that he wanted to express “Star Wars” through Japanese customs and culture.

In addition, “the uncelebrated wedding of Anakin and Amidala in ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ left a deep impression on me, and it may be the theme that leads to this film, ‘Bride of the Village’,” he said, revealing that memorable scenes from the “Star Wars” series were the starting point for the theme of this film.

The voice cast for “Bride of the Village” also includes Fukuhara Karen as F in the English dubbed version, and the director of “Village Bride”, Haga Hitoshi, said, “We are grateful to have someone who understands Japanese dubbing for us. I would like her to comprehend nuances unique to Japanese.” He also revealed that he and Kamikawa Takaya, who plays the role of Van in the Japanese dub, have been friends since their high school days. It was one of my goals to one day work with him or have him appear in one of my films,” he said, revealing that he had achieved one of his goals as a creator with this work.

The director, Haga Hitoshi said, “I hope the Japanese version of the film will allow you to enjoy the breath of the characters and the beauty of nature. After watching the movie, please imagine what kind of adventure the new Jedi named F will have in the future,” in a message to the fans who are waiting for the movie.

Actor Kamikawa Takaya, who played the role of Van, said, “I shouted with joy that a new Star Wars story is being depicted by Japanese animation, but what made me even happier was that Haga Hitoshi, with whom I used to discuss animation in the same circles when we were in high school, was named as one of the directors. After I was chosen one of the actors for the film, I felt like I was rewarded for more than 30 years that I have spent as an actor.” Seto Asami, who plays the role of Eph, said about the work, “I was surprised that it was a very big project, and I was very happy to be given the role of Eph in ‘Village Bride’ by Kinema Citrus”.

Uchida Yuma, who plays the role of Asu, said, “Star Wars has always excited us. This time, too, we have put our high level of enthusiasm into the production. Please look forward to the new ‘Star Wars’ from a Japanese studio!” in a message to the fans.

“Tatooine Rhapsody” directed by Kimura Takuya, voice actors Yoshino Hiroyuki and Kaneda Akio

Studio Colorido is an up-and-coming animation studio that has been attracting attention for its first feature-length animated film, “Penguin Highway,” which won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature. Kimura Taku, the up-and-coming director who was selected for the project, talked about how he felt about working on a “Star Wars” film, of which he is a big fan, saying, “Will I really be able to make a ‘Star Wars’ film and distribute it around the world? I was working on it without really feeling it. Once I had a sense of reality, I was excited to be able to create my favorite “Star Wars”, but at the same time I was worried about whether people would accept this new world. But now I’m itching for people to see it as soon as possible,” he said with excitement.

As for the reason for choosing the theme of “rock band” as the theme of the film even though we may have a strong impression of “Star Wars” as an action, he said, “The project is not limited to the conventional setting, and we were looking for projects with free ideas. I wanted to depict a person living in a corner of the galaxy that was completely different from the battle between the Jedi and the Sith. In the Star Wars universe, there are many fascinating musicians, such as Figrin D’an and Modal Nodes of the Cantina Band, so I thought that if I focused on these musicians, it would be a different kind of film. I also thought that the unprecedented genre of rock music and the rebellious spirit of rock would work well in the story,” he said, explaining that he was inspired by the “music” that has colored his works in the past. “In this galaxy which is difficult to live in, it’s okay to have people who want to do what they want to do instead of fighting, and I thought it would be right for this film to have that as its theme,” he said.

The film also features a gorgeous voice cast, including Yoshino Hiroyuki as the global version of the main character Jay, Joseph Gordon Levitt as the English dubbed version, Kaneda Akio as Boba Fett, who voiced Boba in the “Mandalorian” series, and Temuera Morrison as Boba in the English version. Director Kimura said, “As for Yoshino Hiroyuki, even just hearing his voice in daily conversation, I thought it was Jay! I had been begging Kanada-san to be the voice of Boba Fett, so I was happy when it came true, and I was moved as if I had been included in the official history.
I was so happy when it came to fruition, and I was thrilled to be included in the official history of Star Wars. In addition to the usual dialogues, there are also small stories and elements that fans may notice, so I hope that many people will enjoy it.

Yoshino Hiroyuki, the voice actor who voiced the main character Jay, said, “I’ve been passionate about it since I was a kid anyway. The world view, the story, all the people and things in it, it’s just overwhelming! He revealed his love for “Star Wars”. As for his participation in the film, he said, “Fans are both distinct and complex. Sometimes they are understanding, supportive, and at the same time very cruel critics. This is one possibility, and I hope you enjoy the film. That’s scary~ (laughs). It’s pressure, you know?” He seems to be feeling the pressure.
However, “Isn’t this, shall we say, all possibilities? I’m sure it’s something you’ve never seen before, and it’s something you can only enjoy here,” he commented to the fans waiting for the film.

Kaneda Akio, the voice of Boba Fett, also commented on the collaboration between the Japanese animation studio and Star Wars, saying, “I knew the standard of Japanese animation was high, but I really couldn’t hide my surprise. It’s wonderful. To use an analogy, Japan dominated all the medals at the Olympics! Nippon Cha Cha Cha! That’s what it’s all about,” he said.
He added, “To all the ‘Star Wars’ fans. I really appreciate that I was able to participate in ‘Star Wars’ developed in Japan, thanks to your tremendous support. In 1977, Kaneda Akio was a young man who watched “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” in real time at the movie theater with a trembling heart. I want to be a part of such a wonderful movie! I want to be a part of it! I want to go back in time 44 years and tell Kaneda, the young man who was sitting in his seat with such a desire! Your dreams will come true.”

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