Disney+ and Lucasfilm are expanding the Star Wars galaxy in more ways than one, curating a list of nine animation studios from around the world that have been invited to create Star Wars shorts, each in a different style, for the second season of their Star Wars: Visions anthology.
In the mix for this round are Cartoon Saloon (Ireland), Aardman (UK), Triggerfish (South Africa), El Guiri (Spain), Punkrobot (Chile), Studio Mir (South Korean), Studio la Cachette (France), 88 Pictures (India) and D’art Shtajio (Japan). Their shorts will launch exclusively on Disney+ on May 4.
The first iteration of Star Wars: Visions—released in September 2021—was focused squarely on anime. Seven Japanese studios (including Kamikaze Douga, Studio Colorido and Science Saru) each created a 15- to 25-minute video that captured everything from the adventures of young Jedi knights, to a robot boy who dreams of battling the Sith.
This new approach to keeping Star Wars fresh and dramatically expanding its cultural footprint has interesting implications for smaller studios, which benefit from both the prestige of the IP and the wide reach of Disney+. The plan has always been for Visions to be a creative showcase, in addition to a franchise expansion strategy. James Waugh, SVP of franchise content and strategy at Lucasfilm and an EP on the anthology project, noted in a release that “animation is in a global renaissance.”
Pictured above is The Elder short from Japanese studio Trigger in Star Wars: Visions volume 1.