How 'Star Wars: Visions' Fits Into Canon
What Has Been Said?
Star Wars: Visions is just a couple of months away. Set to drop all at once on Disney+ September 22, the nine episodes of this anthology series will be in anime styles, having been made by multiple Japanese anime studios. While there is a lot of excitement for this collection, there is always the question of whether or not it may fit into canon. And we have somewhat of an answer. According to StarWars.com,
"Star Wars: Visions storytelling didn’t have to fit in the timeline. In developing the series, Lucasfilm made the decision to let creators tell the stories they wanted to tell — whether they featured established or original characters — without a need to tie into the larger chronology. 'We really wanted to give these creators a wide creative berth to explore all the imaginative potential of the Star Wars galaxy through the unique lens of anime,' James Waugh said. 'We realized we wanted these to be as authentic as possible to the studios and creators who are making them, made through their unique process, in a medium they’re such experts at. So the idea was, this is their vision riffing off all the elements of the Star Wars galaxy that inspired them — hopefully to make a really incredible anthology series, unlike anything we’ve seen before in the Star Wars galaxy.'"
From this wording, it sounds like Star Wars: Visions could have stories that potentially may not fit what's been established in the canonical timeline. On one hand, it could simply be that these are isolated stories that do not tie into certain stories too much. On the other hand, these could also be stories that include elements that go against things established in the canon. The fact that Lucasfilm is letting these creators have complete freedom suggests that there is perhaps not an "approval process" that would need to take continuity in mind. First and foremost, they are allowing these creators to tell their vision, and that may not always fall completely in line with what is considered canon.
One episode, titled "The Duel," is described on StarWars.com as a story that "focuses on Jedi and Sith, but with an alternate history pulled from Japanese lore — and it has become the inspiration for a new Star Wars novel unlike any other in recent memory." The novel in question is titled Ronin, and it comes out on October 12. So if that episode is an alternate history, then this novel will surely be part of that alternate history and not have to adhere to canon.
According to IGN, Studio Trigger founders Masahiko Otsuka and Hiroyuki Imaishi said their episodes "The Elder" and "The Twins" will be set before The Phantom Menace and after The Rise of Skywalker respectively to "bookend the Skywalker Saga." Regarding "The Elder," Otsuka says,
“So our story is not directly connected to any of the characters from the films, but it explores the idea of the Jedi Knights and the master and padawan dynamic in an older setting.”
Regarding "The Twins," in which the titular characters search for "a new hope," here is what Imaishi had to say:
“'The Twins’ is set after Episode IX, after the Empire has been vanquished by the Resistance. The remnants of the Imperial Army have raised a pair of twins on the Dark Side of the Force, and the story goes from there.”
Furthermore, according to Director Kenji Kamiyama of Production I.G., the episode "The Ninth Jedi" will also take place after The Rise of Skywalker.
“I wondered, after Episode IX, has the galaxy settled into peace? We all love stories of the Jedi and lightsabers, but what became of the Jedi Knights after the movie series? My story is about that."
While these episodes each have their set point in the timeline, that does not necessarily mean that future storytelling will take these episodes into account if their same eras are explored. Recall that, in Legends, there are stories set before and after the films, but they are not canon. These episodes could be a similar case. However, it is possible that the post-Episode IX episodes in particular could potentially give audiences an idea of what to expect from that era thematically if Lucasfilm ever chooses to flesh out the post-saga era. Of course, that is speculation, but post-Episode IX content, canon or not, is exciting.
Ultimately, we will not know how well some of these stories can fit into the canon's timeline until after we see them. For all we know, a few could fit, even if there is not attempt to have them fit. But it is also possible that future storytelling could contradict them. So it is probably best to expect each episode to be part of an alternate universe. Perhaps these could be tales told by characters in the galaxy, though there may be bits of truth to them. Or perhaps one can embrace the multiverse theory and say that any of these can take place in some Star Wars universe even if it's not the main one that is considered canon. In the end, a good story is a good story, and that seems to be the main aim.
Written By Steven Shinder
Syndicated From Culture Slate