9. “T0-B1”

“A cybernetic boy, who dreams of being a Jedi, discovers a dangerous truth about his creator.”

Really did not like this. I did not like the cybernetic boy and how he was suddenly able to match with a Sith lord Jedi hunter. I did not like the animation style. Part of my big thing is that I really don’t connect with the droids or the animals as easily, and this short demands that you buy into it in order to get the most out of the 15 minute expose.

Really did not like this. Very sad.

8. “Akakiri”

“A Jedi returns to his forbidden love to help defend her kingdom from a Sith-like Shogun.”

Holy crap this is a bleak way to end all of it. Like holy damn.

The general theme of Akakiri is that you can not escape your destiny…or at least I think it is? I don’t completely understand the flashbacks, nor how in the description how the women that the Jedi is trying to help is a forbidden love. Is it forbidden because destiny deems their future together nil?

Also the lightsaber fights in this finale short film are disappointing. Not great. Just felt meh.

7. “The Twins”

“Twins born into the dark side clash aboard a massive Star Destroyer.”

I know it is anime, and I know that it is Star Wars…but I can not abide by these Jedi or Sith Lords being in space and fighting and not dying because you know, the lack of air. It was one of my, if not my least favorite parts of The Last Jedi (2017) when Leia was just like WAHOOO, I got blown up but nahhh, I am all good. This same issue happens with The Twins.

I liked how it was paying homage to the Star Wars original trilogy with twins going on the different paths. The Twins has them diverge at the end rather than come together, but still the synergy is there.

I wish I like The Twins more. I think I may have liked this movie more if the fights took place in the ship, and not on it. Yes sure that may be childish, but give me a bit of grounded reality.

6. “Tatooine Rhapsody”

“A band with big dreams must save one of their own from Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett.”

This was not a Star Wars movie? It did not feel like one at all. Perhaps that was the intention, but I did not care for it. It was a little movie about a rock band, and kids at that matter. All of the characters made smaller and the voices when they talked was childish but the singing was like a classic 90s slow rock bad.

Also is this like a music saves the world type of thing? Jabba doesn’t end up killing his relative who ran away? Tatooine Rhapsody was the EXACT opposite vibe of The Duel. Very different one-two punches.

5. “The Village Bride”

“A Jedi on the run takes in the unique customs of a remote village under threat by a warlord.”

The fourth short film I have watched of the bunch, I think I am developing a trend with what I like from this anime movies. I think I like these short films where the heroes past is a complete and utter mystery. I don’t want to know anything about them except that they can be a bad ass.

The bit of The Village Bride that got my most is when we had the close up on the Jedi unsheathing her yellow lightsaber and it was shaped like a samurai blade. Just really cool.

4. “Lop & Ochō”

“A family is torn about what to do when the Empire encroaches on their planet.”

I was skeptical of this one with the way it began, but once it flash forwarded a couple years…then it really hit its stride.

Lop & Ochō is strong enough where you can buy into the fact that a newcomer to a lightsaber is suddenly able to fight like they have been training for years. This story also has a samurai vibe with the weapon being passed down, honoring family and defending honor.

3. “The Elder”

“A Jedi and his Padawan pursue a dark and powerful presence.

The Elder has Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom syndrome. As a whole it is good, entertaining and fun. However, there is a really annoying kid character that makes you want to plug your earholes.

The Elder would be higher on this list if they actually killed the padawan. Why didn’t they? Too dark for Disney+? It should have happened. With that being said, I really like the master and the old sith lord. A very fun short, even if there are a couple negative marks along the way.

2. “The Duel”

“A wandering stranger with a mysterious past defends a village from powerful bandits.”

Directed by Takanobu Mizuno, The Duel sets a very high bar right from the jump. The tone is bleak, which I like. The animation style is unique to the Star Wars world, and oh, the Sith Lord has a spinning umbrella of lightsabers. That is just cool as hell.

I also really like how we know know nothing about our protagonist. Known only as Ronin, he saves the villiage in need and then leaves. He is the man with no name, only an ethos. You don’t need a recognizable name to be a hero…take notes Rise Of Skywalker (2019).

1. “The Ninth Jedi”

“The daughter of a lightsaber-smith is pursued by dark forces while on a dangerous mission.”

The Ninth Jedi is the longest of the Visions animated shorts, and it takes advantage of that. The Ninth Jedi is a full fledge story. There is exposition, a notable beginning, middle and end. It poses a lore about the Jedi and sets up the mystique around them with a clever twist in the lightsabers adjusting the colors and length to ones feeling with the force.

In terms of when the villains are revealed, I was surprised when nearly all of the “Jedi” called by the encrypted mission turned out to be Sith lords. I thought that there would be one or maybe two…but not five. When the orchestrator of the meeting comes through and reveals himself, it leads to a final battle that is far more grounded than the other Visions films before this.

The only part of about The Ninth Jedi I didn’t love is the ending. It was incredibly corny and cheesy. But overall, this was the best viewing experience in terms of showing the force, lightsabers and the yearning for Jedi. Also love how the protagonist who gets the shadowy slow-motion entrance is not the real hero.

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