Star Wars goes anime.
Lightsabers are already pretty cool. But put them in the hands of Japan’s leading anime studios and what do you you get? Next-level lightsaber action! Disney Plus just revealed trailers for new series Star Wars: Visions, streaming from Sept. 22, and they’re incandescent with anime action.
You can watch each of the nine animated shorts with either English or Japanese subs and dubs. The English voice cast features Lucy Liu, George Takei, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Neil Patrick Harris, Kimiko Glen and Bobby Moynihan. Oh, and as in the prequels and The Mandalorian, Temuera Morrison plays Boba Fett (see 1:29 in the trailer). The Japanese voice cast features the talents of Masaki Tersoma, Akio Kaneda, Junya Enoki, Hiroyuki Yoshino and more.
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The trailers open with a nod to the Star Wars saga’s roots in samurai stories, before exploding into a riot of Jedi taking on star destroyers and stormtroopers. George Lucas was directly inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s film The Hidden Fortress when creating the first film, A New Hope, blending samurai movies with westerns and sci-fi serials in a smash hit mashup of genres.
Star Wars Visions was first announced at last year’s Disney Plus event alongside a slew of other shows. “Lucasfilm is partnering with seven of the most talented anime studios in Japan to bring their signature style and unique vision of the Star Wars galaxy to this inspired new series,” James Waugh, Lucasfilm’s vice president of franchise content and strategy, said in a release Tuesday. “Their stories showcase the full spectrum of bold storytelling found across Japanese animation; each told with a freshness and voice that expands our understanding of what a Star Wars story can be, and celebrates a galaxy that has been such an inspiration to so many visionary storytellers.”
Check out the face-melting English and Japanese trailers for the show below:
The English dub cast includes the voice talents of returning Star Wars actors and some new voices:
The Duel: Brian Tee (Ronin), Lucy Liu (Bandit Leader), Jaden Waldman (Village Chief)Tatooine Rhapsody: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jay), Bobby Moynihan (Geezer), Temuera Morrison (Boba Fett), Shelby Young (K-344), Marc Thompson (Lan)The Twins: Neil Patrick Harris (Karre), Alison Brie (Am), Jonathan Lipow (B-20N)The Village Bride: Karen Fukuhara (F), Nichole Sakura (Haru), Christopher Sean (Asu), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Valco), Andrew Kishino (Izuma), Stephanie Sheh (Saku)The Ninth Jedi: Kimiko Glenn (Kara), Andrew Kishino (Juro), Simu Liu (Zhima), Masi Oka (Ethan), Greg Chun (Roden), Neil Kaplan (Narrator), Michael Sinterniklaas (Hen Jin), T0-B1: Jaden Waldman (T0-B1), Kyle Chandler (Mitaka)The Elder: David Harbour (Tajin), Jordan Fisher (Dan), James Hong (The Elder)Lop & Ocho: Anna Cathcart (Lop), Hiromi Dames (Ocho), Paul Nakauchi (Yasaburo), Kyle McCarley (Imperial Officer)Akakiri: Henry Golding (Tsubaki), Jamie Chung (Misa), George Takei (Senshuu), Keone Young (Kamahachi), Lorraine Toussaint (Masago)
The studios creating the nine shorts include Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio and Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru and Production IG. Here’s the Japanese voice cast:
The Duel: Masaki Terasoma (Ronin), Akeno Watanabe (Bandit Leader), Yūko Sanpei (VillageChief)Tatooine Rhapsody: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Jay), Kōusuke Gotō (Geezer), Akio Kaneda (Boba Fett), Masayo Fujita (K-344), Anri Katsu (Lan)The Twins: Junya Enoki (Karre), Ryoko Shiraishi (Am), Tokuyoshi Kawashima (B-20N)The Village Bride: Asami Seto (F), Megumi Han (Haru), Yūma Uchida (Asu), Takaya Kamikawa (Vaan), Yoshimitsu Shimoyama (Izuma), Mariya Ise (Saku)The Ninth Jedi: Chinatsu Akasaki(Kara), Tetsuo Kanao (Juro), Shin-ichiro Miki (Zhima), Hiromu Mineta (Ethan), Kazuya Nakai (Roden), Akio Ōtsuka, (Narrator), Daisuke Hirakawa (Hen Jin)T0-B1: Masako Nozawa (T0-B1), Tsutomu Isobe (Mitaka)The Elder: Takaya Hashi (Tajin), Kenichi Ogata (The Elder), Yuichi Nakamura (Dan)Lop & Ocho: Seiran Kobayashi (Lop), Risa Shimizu (Ocho), Tadahisa Fujimura (Yasaburo),Taisuke Nakano (Imperial Officer)Akakiri: Yū Miyazaki (Tsubaki), Lynn (Misa), Chō (Senshuu), Wataru Takagi (Kamahachi),Yukari Nozawa (Masago)