Various and Sundry

Expanding the Star Wars brand with more Visions

I know. For a blog that has quite a lot of posts about Star Trek, what am I doing talking about magical space wizards?

Because magical space wizards are fun.

As with plenty of other Gen Xers, Star Wars was a big part of my childhood. I also grew up with a lot of samurai films and anime (something else shared by plenty of Gen Xers I’ve met.). So when Disney announced they were releasing a series of shorts crafted by a various Japanese animation studios called Visions, the 10-year old in me was ecstatic.

Apparently, the anthology series, which dropped on Disney+ back in September 2021, made a big enough impression, because there will now be a “volume 2” with the same goal of very varied shorts set in the Star Wars universe, but now expanding beyond just Japanese studios.

This trailer dropped Monday:

I’m particularly excited by the entries from Aardman (of Wallace and Gromit fame) and Cartoon Saloon (producer of oft Oscar-nominated films like The Secret of Kells).

It also strikes me as a clever, perhaps even cunning, plan on the part of Disney in terms of brand management. The shorts are apparently unconstrained by official in-universe canon, but the first volume certainly had shorts which were very much in the spirit of the galaxy far, far away we’ve grown used to. At the same time, many of these studios have their own brand identity and fans, so by partnering with them, Disney gets a chance to see what happens. I expect at least one executive used the word “synergies” when this was discussed. In any case, I’m looking forward to what animated hijinks are in store.

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