Star Wars is having a bit of a moment right now with the success of Ahsoka. And it's deservedly so. Despite having concerns about the show needing to fix a serious problem even I am all in after the past few episodes.
But, now we have to wait another week for more of Ahsoka and the gang to grace our TV screen, and that's a long time to go without my Star Wars fix. Luckily, Disney Plus has a hidden gem in its catalog of Star Wars content — Star Wars: Visions.
I really enjoyed the first season of Visions and now that there's a season 2, I've been finding myself watching it as I wait for more Ahsoka episodes. And the more I watch, the more I can't stop thinking about just how good this show is. I even got my wife, who does not like animated shows, watching a few episodes and she's been enjoying it, so don't shy away from Visions just because it's animated.
What is Star Wars: Visions?
Now in its second season, Star Wars: Visions is an animated anthology series, with each episode produced by a different animation studio (two studios, Trigger and Science SARU did produce two episodes each in season 1). In season 1, all nine episodes were produced by Japanese studios; in season 2, studios from all over the world contributed installments.
• S1, episode 1: The Duel
• S1, episode 5: The Ninth Jedi
• S2, episode 1: Sith
• S2, episode 4: I Am Your Mother
• S2, episode 8: The Pit
If you’ve never heard of Star Wars: Visions, I wouldn’t be surprised. The show’s first season arrived with some fanfare back in September 2021, but nothing matching Ahsoka or Andor, let alone The Mandalorian. The second season was almost a stealth drop — I loved the first season and didn’t even know a second had arrived when it was released on May the Fourth (aka Star Wars Day) this year.
This is partially because Visions is an animated show, though even fellow animated Star Wars show The Bad Batch got more hype than Visions did. But it’s not just an animated show, it’s also an anthology series, meaning that each episode tells its own story. So there are no characters for marketing to latch onto to get you invested in Visions before you watch.
Oh, I almost forgot — it’s not considered canon, either.
Taking Visions out of Star Wars canon is what makes it great
Yes, that may seem like a bombshell, but it is part of what makes Visions so great. That doesn’t mean the episodes are completely out of left field — they all draw from what’s been established in Star Wars TV shows, movies and books over the years. But by abandoning the need to stick strictly to Star Wars canon, each studio is allowed to see out its full vision. Nothing feels held back for fear of what it may do to the rest of the Star Wars expanded universe, because, well ... it doesn’t need to.
This makes watching Star Wars: Visions as a Star Wars fan a delight. The show is already great in its own right thanks to incredible animation in styles varying greatly from episode to episode — particularly in season 2. And it’s compelling to see how each studio imparts its cultural values onto an episode. In particular, episode 7 of season 2, The Bandits of Golak (by Indian studio 88 Pictures) feels like the creators felt it was important to bring India into the Star Wars universe. But not having to worry about anything being retconned is a huge weight off of the viewer's shoulders.
Don’t believe me? Watch Star Wars: Visions for yourself and experience the joy of it not mattering that two Dark Siders are fighting outside of a Star Destroyer in outer space (season 1 episode 3: The Twins). No matter how often kyber crystals are mentioned, you don’t need to worry about whether bled kyber can be mined or not (season 2 episode 9: Aau’s Song). None of it’s canon, none of it matters.
All that matters is watching these studios produce 18 episodes of incredible animated Star Wars TV. So queue up Disney Plus, pick an episode that speaks to you, and just enjoy the ride.