Star Wars: Visions and 5 video game ideas

Star Wars: Visions and 5 video game ideas

Star Wars

If you have read our review of Star Wars: Visions, then you will know that, net of some less inspired episode than the others, we really liked the weird anthological experiment. For the uninitiated, Disney and Lucasfilm have entrusted the immortal imaginary of George Lucas to seven different Japanese animation studios, leaving almost total creative freedom: the series, in fact, is not canonical, and this tiny detail has allowed the writers to indulge themselves and fill each episode with hilarious ideas that sometimes worked and sometimes not, but which nevertheless demonstrated the versatility of an extraordinarily rich and layered universe.

The relationship between Visions and video games is not really like that obvious, because video games are a very important part of the universe created by George Lucas: titles like Battlefront II, Jedi: Fallen Order and Squadrons are canonical, while those that are not, like Knights of the Old Republic which is about to return after the announcement of the remake for PlayStation 5, are real pieces of videogame history. Visions could change the next Star Wars video games and we have come up with 5 meaningful ideas for a Star Wars Visions of video games.

The aesthetics

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The duel The very first episode of Star Wars: Visions blew us away. Made by Kamikaze Douga, The Duel is a story set in an alternate future in which the Jedi have been wiped out and the protagonist, a ronin, finds himself defending the village from a very powerful Sith. The episode opens the curtain on the anthology by immediately recalling George Lucas' first source of inspiration: Akira Kurosawa.

The chanbara style, the design that recalls feudal Japan and the cadenced rhythm are something completely different from Star Wars, and at the same time they fit perfectly. If there's one thing that really won us over, though, it's the way Kamikaze Douga drew the episode: it's completely black and white, except for the energy emissions that include blaster shots and, of course, , the lightsabers. It immediately reminded us of Mad World, a 2009 Nintendo Wii action game that PlatinumGames developed: even that was completely black and white, save for the blood.

The duel proves that it's not all that necessary to hang on to usual visual conventions to tell a story, even if it is set in a galaxy far, far away. Mad World was an extremely original title for its art direction and little or nothing of the same style was seen afterwards. There are other episodes of Star Wars: Visions that adopt a particular aesthetic, for example T0-B1 which at times recalls Osamu Tezuka's Astroboy and therefore Capcom's Mega Man, but The duel is truly exemplary. Star Wars video games all tend to have super realistic and lifelike graphics - apart from LEGO ones, of course - but with a little courage and an ounce of originality it might make sense to try a different and innovative path.

Not just lightsabers

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The Twins The figures of the Jedi, somewhat reminiscent of samurai, arouse enormous fascination in the Japanese, and perhaps that is why virtually every episode of Star Wars: Visions revolves around them and their lightsabers. Some episodes seem to exist only to justify the duels between Jedi and Sith, such as The Twins and The Old Man, while one of the best episodes of the anthology, The Ninth Jedi, which was made by Production I.G. who also designed the animated introduction of the recent Tales of Arise, plays with the mythology behind the electronics of lightsabers. Star Wars, however, is not just that. And it can't be said that video games haven't tried: in BioWare's MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, four out of eight classes do not use the Force or lightsabers, and have storylines that focus on other aspects of Lucas' imagery. . In Star Wars: Squadrons you fly and shoot as starfighter pilots, and in Battlefront II the campaign follows the vicissitudes of an imperial soldier.

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The Ninth Jedi Se Star Wars : Visions should have a second anthology season, we would like it to explore the Star Wars universe from more unusual but distinctive points of view, a bit like The Mandalorian series did. The same concept applies to video games.

The excellent Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was centered on a young Padawan and the combat system revolved around the lightsaber and the Force, but a very similar game, à la Uncharted, so to speak, which it doesn't speak in the least of Jedi or Sith, it would be a breath of fresh air. Perhaps Star Wars 1313 could have been before it was canceled: it was rumored that in the game we would play a bounty hunter grappling with the criminal underworld of Coruscant. Dusting off that concept would make total sense now that we have left the Skywalker Saga behind and Disney + has focused on alternative series such as the aforementioned The Mandalorian, but also The Bad Batch and the upcoming Andor.

A universe of possibilities

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The Old Man Untiing himself from the canon, Visions allowed writers to invent the most absurd and unlikely situations even for a space fantasy like Star Wars. Over the course of seven episodes we have seen the mythology of Lucas bend to the will of the Japanese authors, who have manipulated it and made it their own, contaminating it with their culture. So they invented new rules - like lightsabers that change color depending on who wields them - and new alien species, completely new forms of the Empire and never-before-seen ramifications of the Force. This is because Visions, as we have said, is not canonical, that is, it does not have to respect the "official rules" and the legends of the Star Wars universe, and in addition, the authors were able to tell stories set long before or after the Skywalker Saga. , which allowed even greater freedom. Having to respect the canon, the most important video games tend to resemble each other a bit in terms of narrative and spacetime contexts.

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from T0-B1 The new cycle of stories set in the so-called era of the High Republic should guarantee a wider space for maneuver, but there is still no talk of video games inspired by the novels and comics already published: perhaps we will have to wait for future films.

In the meantime, it wouldn't be bad if some developers could have the same carte blanche as the animation studios that worked on Visions. We would like to play a title set in a distant, distant alternative galaxy, a sort of What if, to mention another animated series by Disney + and Marvel Studios, but in a Star Wars sauce. It would be a bit like inventing a completely new scenario, but drawing on some key ideas such as the Force or lightsabers that immediately identify Star Wars even in the eyes of the less passionate.

Weapons and technologies

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The duel Continuing the speech above, Star Wars: Visions not only plays with mythology, but also with technology. Over the course of the seven episodes we have seen very unusual interpretations of the weapons they usually wield in the Star Wars movies: if you thought Kylo Ren's cross-guard sword was bizarre, wait until you see lightsabers that stretch out like whips, rotating umbrellas formed by multiple lightsabers, katana-shaped lightsabers that can be scenically sheathed, not to mention conjoined Star Destroyers or droids learning to use the Force. For a Star Wars purist these alterations may seem cloying, but we who love anime couldn't help but smile, a little for certain excesses, a little because we thought: what if we could use similar weapons in a video game of Star Wars?

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from The Bride of the Village After all, many video games allow you to modify the paraphernalia or the lightsaber itself. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, for example, allowed you to choose between a normal lightsaber and a double-bladed one, thus altering the moves that protagonist Cal Kestis could use. Crazy weapons like the aforementioned laser umbrella - not the official name, huh! - they would be very funny and original, also because the developer would have to invent completely different fighting styles from the canonical Jedi forms more known as the Soresu, the Makashi or the Shii-Cho that appear in several licensed games. The same could be said for aircraft or firearms: the fanservice requires players to get their hands on the weapons wielded by their cinematic favorites, but a title out of the canon could free the developer from this important, but limiting, need. .

The right developer

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from Lop & Ocho So far we have seen Western developers such as BioWare, Respawn Entertainment, DICE or TT Games working on the Star Wars branding, but looking at Visions we couldn't help but wonder what an exquisitely Japanese video game could be on this prestigious license. And when we think of a Japanese style, we specifically imagine its excesses. We mentioned Mad World earlier, but try to imagine a Star Wars game with some sophisticated and spectacular PlatinumGames fighting system. Think of something like Bayonetta or Astral Chain, just with lightsabers and Force powers in between. Jedi: Fallen Order and the two The Force Unleashed before it gave us just a glimpse of what a crazy but competent developer could do with the right tools and the creative freedom that would guarantee an out of the ordinary reality.

Star Wars: Visions, a scene from I twins Studio Trigger, the animation studio behind cult such as Kill la Kill or the feature film Promare, founded by a former Gainax who had directed that other crazy masterpiece by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, has created the short film The Twins in which one of the most exaggerated and spectacular fights in the Star Wars franchise takes place, so Japanese in rhythm and direction that it immediately made us think of a cartoonish game delivered into the capable hands of a developer who knows how to transform anime in video games and vice versa, CyberConnect2, already seen at work on the Naruto tie-ins and on the recent Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. And then we thought of a fighting game, because after all, Star Wars gave us that too many years ago, but LucasArts' Masters of Teräs Käsi was really terrible. The same kind of game, full of eccentric and out of the canon characters, perhaps inspired by the Jedi and Sith of Visions, in the hands of Arc System Works? Imagine, it will never be done, but until a few months ago we did not even imagine an animated series like Visions.

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