Star Wars and anime is something we’ve all been waiting for and “Visions” does it flawlessly

I just binge watched all ten episodes of Star Wars: Visions on Disney+. Couldn’t help it because they were just that good! Not only was I impressed with the visuals and the stories, but I even recognized some of the voice actors from my favorite anime shows. This was a match made in heaven with new content that brought me the Star Wars universe in a completely new light. The anime style differed from each episode, and the stories were completely different too. In fact, I even think they changed some canon with this anime series (I’ll explain later). In any case, I was completely enthralled by this series and I hope they do more of them in the future.

Similar to the Animatrix short stories that came out around the same time as The Matrix: Revolutions movie, Star War: Visions brought anime storytelling to the popular universe of the Jedi and the Sith, which makes sense since the look of these force users have a Japanese-vibe to them. According to Kathleen Kennedy, “Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. This anthology collection will bring ten fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.”

For the most part, these shorts focused on the constant war between the Jedi and the Sith, with one exception, and that’s what many Star Wars fans look for in storylines. I mean, even The Mandalorian TV series focused on “The Child” and the Jedi. There’s nothing wrong with that but honestly, I thought there would be more diverse content. The one episode that didn’t go that route was Tatooine Rhapsody. Gotta love a Padawan escaping Order 66 by becoming a rock star with a droid guitarist, tri-bodied drummer and a Jabba family outcast on bass (nose ring and all). That was awesome!

My favorite had to be The Duel because it felt like an old Japanese samurai film but with aliens and lightsabers. The rogue Sith hunting down other Sith was a shocker, which made it even more enjoyable. Plus, the R2 unit wearing a straw hat was totally in character for this anime. The changes I mentioned to canon (which every Star Wars nerd swears by) was in the episode The Ninth Jedi. The “saber smith” (love that name) said that the kyber crystal projects the color of the lightsaber depending on the force users will and abilities. Hence, in this episode, when the Sith wielded the lightsabers, they were all red. However, previously we were told that each crystal has its own color and when a Sith kills for the first time and the kyber crystal is soaked in blood, it becomes a red lightsaber. So, in essence, Star Wars: Visions has changed canon to the Star Wars universe.

Speaking of lightsabers, all ten episodes had different versions of the legendary weapon. Some looked like they do in the movies while others looked like a katana or bladed-version of a lightsaber. There was even an spinning umbrella lightsaber . . . Talk about deadly! The style of animation differed in each episode, but you tell the anime influence from the stylized drawing of the characters to the way they animated it all together. I mean, The Twins reminded me of Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill while TO-B1 had the style of Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo. It made each episode unique as they told their story.

I hope that this is the first in anime storytelling from the Star Wars universe. I want to see more! These are definitely ones to watch.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Star Wars novels are better than the movies (except the original trilogy)

Star Wars – The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide: Ruin Cover by Tsuyoshi Nagano.

This being International Star Wars Day (#Maythe4thbewithYou), I thought it best to reflect on one of the best epics in science fiction. The problem is, the books are better than some of the movies, video games, and television series out there.

How many of us wanted to see movies made from Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” trilogy? Or salivating at seeing the Yuuzhan Vong and their bio-engineered weapons on the screen. These stories are some of the best out there, but not all are canon. This makes them just a memory, not part of the mythos that is Star Wars.

The first Star Wars book I ever read was “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” and it was a gem. After seeing the original, I wanted more and couldn’t wait for more. This book have us fans more insight into the workings of the force, before we heard about midi-chlorians. It was also the first time we heard about a kaiburr crystals, which is weird because it’s not related to kyber crystals (i.e. lightsabers) but it’s close.

I am a huge fan of the man series, from the New Jedi Order through Fate of the Jedi. I mean, in this series we had the death of Chewbacca, Anakin Solo and the journey of Jacen Solo from Jedi to Sith. It was an amazing series and, to be honest, it brought me closer to the Star Wars universe.

Novels expanded our knowledge, from characters, planets and races to the new insights into characters we barely knew anything about. The best example of that is Boba Fett. We barely knew anything about him after The Empire Strikes Back, and now we have the entire legacy of the Mandalorians to go with his legend. And it’s all from the books.

The Star Wars universe may have started as movies, but its canon… It’s TRUE canon is written by the authors who have taken us to “a galaxy far, far away” and beyond! It’s one of those many reasons why I became a writer.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available from Austin Macauley Publishing.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is worthy of the legacy

It’s a Christmas tradition (at least in my house) to watch a Star Wars movie over the holiday. First, I spent the holidays thrilling over The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Then, on Christmas Day, I got to see the end of the original series with Episode IX.

My son called me before I saw it to let me know he really didn’t care for it and I may be disappointed. I wasn’t fazed by his review. After all, he liked The Last Jedi.


In any event, I think people seeing this movie will either like it or hate it. It’s that polarizing. The way the story of Rey, the Resistance, the First Order, the Jedi and the Sith, and the Emperor all came to a conclusion was a bit clunky. It was all over the place, from beginning to end, not sure which way was up or down, light side or dark side, etc. But even through all that, the story came to a close with a bang, not a whimper. It was brilliant.

The way this all started out, I thought they were taking Rey down the dark side, learn to control her emotions or end up like Vader and Kylo Ren. We all got that vibe from images in the trailer. Luckily, there was more to it than that. Rey’s story is the most complex within the movie, and I wish it didn’t take the whole movie to sort it out, but I’m glad it finally did.

The Rise of Skywalker ticked all the right boxes for a Star Wars movie… Epic battle scenes, beautiful vistas, balanced comedic and tender moments, and “edge of your seat” suspense. It was quintessential Star Wars.

One of the things I tend to hate about Star Wars movies is the over/under use of characters. Rose, who played a big role in The Last Jedi was so under used here. Likewise was Dominic Monaghan. You don’t bring in someone like him to Star Wars and give him four lines. I am thrilled they were able to work in the last scenes of Carrie Fisher. It was an appropriate end for “our” princess!

I loved the various cameos and the nods to characters from film, television, books and comic books. That’s one of the things that made this movie great for me. They didn’t forget where the story began and brought it to a close.

We can now look forward to new stories from the Star Wars universe, or so we’re told by our Disney Sithlords. Let’s hope we get more like The Mandalorian and less like The Last Jedi.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.