STAR WARS Needs To Stop Living In The Past; Should Look To The VISIONS Anthology For Its Future

While Star Wars in many ways is thriving right now on television, its film slate is a different matter altogether. With multiple starts and stops, Star Wars on the big screen is a muddled affair where, at this point, I’ll believe a theatrical feature when I’m seated for it at the movies. But even the success of the franchise on television has an issue; it’s all set in the past. And for new Star Wars movies to solidify the franchise for a new generation, we need to look to the future. And the best thing is that Star Wars has already created stories that could lead to bigger and better things. As evidenced by both seasons of the Star Wars: Visions anime anthology series. Read on to see how the new Star Wars movies need to take a cue from Visions. 

Please note that the following will feature mild spoilers from seasons 1 and 2 of Star Wars: Visions, now streaming on Disney+. 

All-Star Wars TV Is Living In The Past

New Star Wars movies Mando.

Image via Disney+.

Starting with The Mandalorian, Star Wars returned to the cultural zeitgeist in a way better than the inconsistent sequel trilogy had promised. While the new movie ‘trilogy’ functioned more as individual stories told by different creators who didn’t respect the ideas of their predecessors, the TV side felt more organized. Dave Filoni, now Chief Creative Officer of Lucasfilms’ Star Wars division, has even created a mini-shared universe among his live-action shows like The Mandalorian, Book Of Boba Fett and Ahsoka. Not to mention expanded his existing impact on the franchise through The Clone Wars, Rebels and The Bad Batch series. However, all these stories are set in the past. Meaning all occurring before the events of The Force Awakens. 

Even the upcoming The Acolyte, while set 100 years before The Phantom Menace, is the furthest look into the past of Star Wars we have gotten thus far in live-action. But it’s still taking place in the past. Making whatever story they want to tell, already needing to be restricted and confined to the canon established in stories occurring after this series. So none of the current hit Star Wars shows are moving the narrative forward. That is something only in development on the film side of things. 

What Star Wars Movies Are Yet To Come

New Star Wars movies Rey.

Image via Disney+.

On the other side of the franchise, the big screen, Star Wars has yet to give us anything after the highly divisive The Rise Of Skywalker. However, there’s supposedly a lot coming on that front. First up is oddly titled The Mandalorian And Grogu movie that wraps up the storylines explored in the three seasons of the Disney+ original series. Along with it, a Dave Filoni-directed feature film will tie up the storylines explored in the live-action universe of shows that include The Mandalorian, Book Of Boba Fett and Ahsoka.   

James Mangold is also set to direct his own Star Wars film, set in the era of The High Republic, an adaptation of the multi-media book series. However, his film would be set in an era decades before even The Acolyte, making it the earliest story in Star Wars movies. The only movie that moves ahead is the confirmed Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy-directed feature film that will see the return of Daisy Ridley as Rey, and continue her story forward from the ninth film of the franchise. There are some others, like a long-planned Taika Waititi movie, a maybe now scrapped Rian Johnson movie, and a potential Shawn Levy-directed film. But we know next to nothing about the stories of those films. 

Star Wars Movies Need To Move Forward For A New Generation

New Star Wars movies Star.

Image via Disney+.

Despite this impressive feature film slate, it’s strange that only 1 concrete film is moving the franchise forward. For Star Wars as a brand to survive and grow, the creation of new stories that don’t rely on nostalgia or gimmicks is crucial. A new generation should find their way into the franchise through new characters and stories set in this preexisting universe. Something that Star Wars has already done multiple times in their Visions Anime anthology series.

Visions is a marvellous experiment from Lucasfilm where many creators from all over the world tell their own unique Star Wars stories, in their unique animation style. The result is a plethora of short stories that feature awesome cultural representation, themes and real-world parallels that showcase just how unique the franchise can be. Like this incredibly moving indigenous story in season 2 titled ‘In The Stars’, about characters displaced as the Empire colonized their homeworld to exploit their natural resources. Or another where the sacrifice of a loved one is set in a world very much like India in ‘The Bandits of Golak’, a combination I never thought could ever be possible. 

New Star Wars movies Golak.

Image via Disney+.

These wonderful creators from different cultures are infusing their corner of the world into the stories of this fictional universe that has influenced generations of storytellers from all walks of life. While stories that fill in the blanks between movies and series are great, for Star Wars to stay relevant, it needs to tell new stories that take the franchise to newer places without the confines of the canon that came before. The ability to blaze a new story with new characters forward. And hopefully this time, for the love of God, have an actual plan! 

Star Wars: Visions is now streaming on Disney+. 

What do you think the new Star Wars movies need to do to stay relevant? Let me know in the comments below, or over at X (formerly Twitter) at @theshahshahid. 

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