Star Wars: Visions producer: "[We] were like, 'Let’s see if Lucasfilm say no to this'"

An exclusive image from Star Wars: Visions
(Image credit: LucasFilm)

Star Wars has a rich history of borrowing from Japanese movies and TV shows. After all, A New Hope was heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden fortress. Now, the Star Wars universe is being remade in anime form by a collection of Japanese filmmakers. The circle, as one black-clad villain may say, is complete. 

"These creators in the Star Wars: Visions can pay homage back to George Lucas and Kurosawa," the show's executive producer James Waugh tells Total Film in the new issue of the magazine, which features Eternals on the cover.

The series – a collection of anthology shorts that are coming to Disney – will take inspiration from more than just Kurosawa and George Lucas. Take 'Tatooine Rhapsody', a rock opera from Studio Colorido. 

"That is a story about friends and family," explains Waugh. "It’s a story about a band that sticks together through thick and thin and is willing to sacrifice for each other. And that’s an incredibly Star Wars story that’s rich and has heart."

With promised appearances from bounty hunter Boba Fett and gangster-slug Jabba the Hutt, it’s also the only one of the nine cartoons with characters that casual fans will know. Waugh claims that there were no rules against using original characters. "We didn’t stop people. We didn’t say, ‘Don’t use that character.’ But if you’re going to use the character, it would have to be earned. It has to not be that character for the character’s sake. It would have to organically fit into the storytelling."

So while you shouldn’t go into Visions expecting Yoda or Luke to pop up, there’s plenty of recognizable hardware. Well, sort of. In Trigger’s ‘The Twins’, which imagines a story of siblings born to the Dark Side, fans will even get to see a co-joined Star Destroyer, a "mind-blowing" concept says Shirasaki. "In anime, they use very exaggerated expression all the time. So they just push their imagination to the maximum. OK, let’s do this. I’m sure they were like, 'Let’s see if Lucasfilm say no to this.' But Lucasfilm was very open to ideas."

For much more on Star Wars: Visions, which is available on Disney Plus from September 22, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine, when it hits shelves this Thursday, September 16, featuring not one but FOUR Eternals covers to collect. Pre-order the issue here.

Total Film's four Eternals covers.

(Image credit: Total Film/Disney)

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(Image credit: Total Film/Disney/Warner Bros)
Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood.