Japan: Some of Japan’s most creative animation studios get to explore a galaxy far, far away in the anime anthology series “Star Wars: Visions” on Disney+. The show, which consists of short films with vastly different animation styles, pays tribute to the Japanese influence on “Star Wars,” Robert Ito writes in The Times.
George Lucas has mentioned Star Wars’s debt to Japanese culture before, citing Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 period drama “The Hidden Fortress” as a primary inspiration for his first “Star Wars” film. There are also the kimono-like robes, lightsaber duels — kendo experts worked with the actors in the films — and the Force itself, with its elements of Buddhism and Shintoism.
For the series, the animators developed stories that exist outside of the franchise’s cinematic universe. “There are Sith villains and rabbit-girl hybrids, tea-sipping droids (OK, it’s really oil) and sake-sipping warriors,” Ito writes. “Lightsabers are lovingly squirreled away in traditional wrapping cloths called furoshiki and in red lacquer boxes.”