Journey to the Dark Head Visions

Every Episode of Star Wars Visions, Ranked

I firmly imagine that Visions is the very best factor popping out of the Star Wars franchise. The shorts permit us to see new tales unrelated to the key occasions and characters in Star Wars historical past whereas additionally exhibiting off some of the very best the animation world presents.

But not all Visions are created equal, and right here, in what’s primarily a celebration of the brief movies, I’d like to check them with one another and crown one the very best of all of them, to date not less than. 

18. Tatooine Rhapsody

Tatooine Rhapsody Visions

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“Tatooine Rhapsody” is the one brief that feels unhealthy. The chibi-style artwork combined with an intense brightness that isn’t a lot colourful as it’s flat makes it one of the least fascinating trying of the bunch.

While its story a couple of band enjoying a present feels inconsequential and the inclusion of Boba Fett (voiced by Temuera Morrison) and Jabba the Hutt in that story register as uninspired and leaning on current plots and characters followers know and love. 

17. The Pit 

The Pit Visions

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Unlike “Tatooine Rhapsody,” “The Pit” isn’t precisely unhealthy; it’s simply disappointing in contrast with the opposite Visions. The artwork fashion seems like your common Shonen anime with none sense of persona, and its overwhelmingly beige colour palette doesn’t do something to assist that.

The story, about staff deserted in a mining pit, is usually superb however doesn’t have a way of narrative momentum and ends on a word that feels extra schmaltzy than compelling. 

16. T0-B1

T0-B1 Visions

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The neatest thing about “T0-B1” is its idea: {that a} droid could develop into a Jedi. It’s an thrilling concept that I want had been higher executed and is revisited in different Star Wars tales.

“T0-B1” is fascinating conceptually, however when there are two montages in a brief, it seems like filler, and the clunky dialogue combined with overly cute and nearly solely soft-edged character designs leaves the brief feeling like an ideal concept with mediocre execution. 

15. The Village Bride

The Village Bride Visions

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Many Star Wars tales have interaction with environmentalism because the Empire usually robs planets of their assets to the purpose of ecological devastation. But maybe none of these tales are as on the nostril with their message as “The Village Bride,” which incorporates traces like “this world has been terribly exploited.”

It’s a bit overly preachy, and its story, a couple of lady giving herself up as collateral to raiders who’ve been abusing her village, is overly emotional in a method that tries too arduous to get you to really feel one thing and leaves you feeling aggravated as an alternative. But it seems phenomenal, as any anime with an environmental message should. 

14. The Bandits of Golak

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“The Bandits of Golak” seems superb, the watercolor fill on the three-dimensional characters and costumes is gorgeous, and its partial setting on a practice makes for an ideal motion set piece early on within the brief. The story, a couple of lady with drive powers and her brother making an attempt to outlive an Empire conquered planet, isn’t distinctive, however it’s additionally strong bones for any Star Wars story.

The difficulty arises with its close-quarters motion scenes late within the brief. These scenes look uneven and weightless, and the overreliance on slow-motion doesn’t assist. 

13. I Am Your Mother

I Am Your Mother Visions

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Aardman’s contribution to Visions could be very clearly from the studio that introduced us Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. It’s cute, and their traditional claymation fashion adapts properly to the world of Star Wars.

But the story a couple of younger Twi’lek who’s embarrassed by her mother just for her mother to indicate that she’s cool by profitable a household race on the lady’s flight academy seems like fluff in a universe that may sort out extra. 

12. Sith 

Sith Visions

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An nearly meta brief in regards to the relationship between the making of Star Wars artwork and Star Wars philosophy, “Sith” facilities on a painter attempting to maintain darkness out of her artwork.

The three-dimensionally animated brief exhibits the painter in a primarily white house with splashes of paint on the partitions that she seeks to type into one thing stunning. It seems splendidly distinctive and units the stage for a narrative about accepting that darkness and lightweight are each needed. 

11. The Twins 

The Twins Visions

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It’s apparent to anybody who has seen Studio Trigger’s Promare that they’re answerable for “The Twins.” The brief tells the story of force-using twins (who might have guessed?) who come into battle when one of them decides to go away the Empire and makes use of that premise to ship a shocking visible feast.

The brief is identical combination of two and three-dimensional animation as Promare to deliver to life a large battle on the outside of a Star Destroyer that includes some of probably the most over-the-top kinetic and eye-popping motion among the many eighteen Visions. Sadly it’s held again by clunky exposition and dialogue that isn’t as much as the extent of its visible splendor.  

10. Spy Dancer

Spy Dancer Visions

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Part of what makes Visions so particular is the inclusion of culturally particular artwork and design within the animated shorts, and “Spy Dancer” does a beautiful job of translating the French artwork of aerial silks to animation. The story facilities on a efficiency venue the place Empire troopers go to see a present, however they don’t know {that a} insurgent spy runs it. Of course, that will get discovered, and an motion sequence ensues.

It’s not like anything in the best way it mixes flowing aerial silks with fight to ship an motion sequence that’s simply as stunning as it’s thrilling. 

9. The Duel

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One of probably the most formally creative of the Visions, “The Duel” is a three-dimensional computer-animated brief with a movie grain filter nearly solely black and white with flashes of colour for neon lights, blaster hearth, and, of course, lightsabers. But it’s not simply the shape that makes it distinctive. It’s additionally probably the most instantly indebted to outdated samurai movies narratively and design-wise. 

The village the place the story takes place is modeled on a feudal Japanese city, and the story itself facilities on a wandering, seemingly unaligned force-user who comes into battle with bandits who raid the village. It’s a quintessential samurai and Western film premise superbly introduced into the Star Wars world whereas closely drawing on Star Wars’ cinematic previous.  

8. Journey to the Dark Head

Journey to the Dark Head Visions

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“Journey to the Dark Head” offers with traditional Star Wars themes of a Jedi being tempted by the darkish facet and the all the time intertwined nature of gentle and darkish. It does so in a beautiful animation fashion whereas providing a battle scene that, just like the battle in “Spy Dancer,” is equally thrilling and dazzling. Here that battle happens amongst crystals that replicate the sunshine of the lightsabers within the battle.

But there’s extra! The brief additionally options one of the few vehicular fight sequences among the many log, exhibiting that even the fights in Star Wars that aren’t beguiling feats of acrobatics can nonetheless be a pleasure to observe. 

7. The Elder

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“The Elder” would be the solely Visions brief to introduce a brand new philosophical concept to Star Wars, and that’s value so much. The brief facilities on a Jedi grasp and padawan who encounter a mysterious elder whereas patrolling the Outer Rim, solely to return into battle and in the end defeat the outdated man. But, because the grasp says, it isn’t the Jedi who defeat the elder, however time.

He argues that his younger padawan should be taught the lesson that regardless of how highly effective you develop into, like all issues, it’s impermanent. It’s an fascinating concept that’s fleshed out a bit extra within the brief and one which elevates the thrilling brief, which options two improbable lightsaber duels, to 1 of the very best. 

6. Lop & Ochō

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“Lop & Ochō” would be the solely environmentally-minded brief that provides not less than some dialogue of the problem, and that’s precious. The brief facilities on a household of three, a clan boss father and his two daughters, one organic and one adopted, and presents some scenes of dialog between them about whether or not the Empire’s industrialization on their planet is extra useful or dangerous because it economically advantages the planet, whereas additionally draining its assets. Of course, there’s a transparent unhealthy man, however it makes the brief extra fascinating than a number of others with environmental messages. 

It’s additionally one of the few shorts that packs an emotional punch in its exploration of household and the way blood shouldn’t be the one factor that makes a household. Add to these victories that it seems unimaginable, stars a non-human protagonist, and options one of probably the most distinctive and albeit simply cool-looking lightsabers formed like a katana and consists of an inscription, and also you’ve obtained a improbable brief. 

5. Screecher’s Reach

Screecher's Reach Visions

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Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon has been making options like nobody else, which holds for his or her Visions brief. The lovingly hand-drawn brief options beautiful watercolor and pastel backgrounds for the motion that make even a dingy manufacturing unit and darkish cave look stunning just because of how good the shading is. The story follows a bunch of youngster manufacturing unit staff who escape to the eponymous Screecher’s Reach cave, the place one of them has been advised to go by a mysterious mentor. 

Once there, the central youngster enters the cave and encounters a ghost that assaults. The spirit is rarely strong, drawn as an alternative with frantically sketched traces and ever-fluctuating boundaries, and is genuinely scary as a result of of it. “Screecher’s Reach” is undoubtedly the scariest of the shorts. But it isn’t so horrifying that it’s inappropriate for kids, and that’s a superb line to stroll. The undeniable fact that it’s additionally emotionally impactful makes it one of the very best. 

4. Akakiri

Akakiri Visions

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If “The Duel” factors towards and attracts from Star Wars’ samurai cinema inspiration, “Akakiri” does the identical for top fantasy. The brief follows a Jedi, a princess, and two guides on a journey by means of numerous landscapes to return to the princess’s palace, the place a Sith lord, who simply so occurs to be her aunt, has taken management. The journey by means of the totally different landscapes permits the animators to supply us gorgeous views of watercolor deserts, forests, and mountains earlier than the finale on the palace. 

That finale includes a battle that feels Shakespearean because the Jedi, who has a probably romantic historical past with the princes, takes on the villainous aunt who murdered her brother to take the throne. It additionally seems improbable because the battle provides gentle trails to the fast-moving lightsabers together with the same old gentle air pollution and movement blur. 

3. The Ninth Jedi

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“The Ninth Jedi” is the one brief that feels prefer it could possibly be a mainline Star Wars film. There’s a genuinely epic really feel to the entire thing from the beginning, with a rating that efficiently evokes John Williams’s work for the collection, voiceover narration explaining when and the place we’re within the galaxy, and the “camera” transferring by means of house earlier than following a ship because it lands. 

The story begins on two parallel tracks. The first is a gathering of surviving Jedi who’ve been mysteriously known as collectively many years after the dissolution of the Jedi Order. While the second facilities on a teenage lady whose father is a lightsabersmith and should transport the sabers to the assembly of the Jedi. It offers the identical sense of a standard child and an enormous journey that we get from the beginning of A New Hope and brings the 2 collectively completely whereas organising a bigger narrative. 

Add to that two unimaginable motion scenes, one a speeder chase, the opposite a multi-combatant lightsaber battle, and also you’ve obtained the very best (largely) two-dimensional brief of the bunch; one which I hope will get a sequel. 

2. Aau’s Song

Aau's Song Visions

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This is the purpose within the checklist the place I’ve to return clear about my deep affection for stop-motion. I genuinely suppose that “Aau’s Song” and (spoiler for a second from now) “In the Stars” are the very best of the Visions shorts we’ve acquired up to now, however that can’t be untangled from the truth that they’re stop-motion. To be clear, I don’t say that to undercut how good they’re. 

“Aau’s Song” introduces viewers to a brightly lit mountain group full of colourful vegetation and flowers. The settings are awe-inspiring, combining huge miniature units with stunning matte painting-style backgrounds. Our characters are made of felt and look nearly like plush toys however are animated so properly that we are able to see each piece of emotion on their faces. And that’s key to a narrative a couple of younger lady, the eponymous Aau (Mpilo Jantjie) whose relationship along with her father is examined by her drive talents.

1. In the Stars

In the Stars Visions

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“In the Stars” makes use of wooden and plastic figures and units to inform the story of two sisters residing on an nearly post-apocalyptic planet that’s been ravaged by the Empire. The elder of the 2 sisters is solely in surviving, whereas the youthful goals of taking down the Empire’s huge water filtration plant that has turned the planet right into a barren wasteland. 

Instead of coming into battle with each other, the sisters find yourself in an undesirable battle by means of the commercial plant. The set is one of probably the most stunningly intricate miniature units I’ve ever seen, and the motion is thrilling whereas additionally functioning narratively to develop the connection between the sisters. It’s additionally obtained a bit of a twist that made me smile. 

It’s the very best Visions brief up to now as a result of it succeeds on each degree. It delivers an emotionally resonant story and thrilling motion, all whereas trying superb and like nothing else. 

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Kyle Logan is a movie and tv critic and common popular culture author who has written for Alternative Press, Cultured Vultures, Film Stories, Looper, and extra. Kyle is especially taken with horror and animation, in addition to style movies written and directed by queer individuals and ladies. Along with writing, Kyle organizes a Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd.

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