StarWars.com speaks with executive producer Josh Rimes for insight into some of the sleek ships and vehicles soaring into the upcoming Disney+ anime anthology series.
Star Wars is going to a new galaxy of storytelling. Star Wars: Visions, an anime anthology featuring nine shorts from some of the world’s best anime creators, is set to debut September 22 on Disney+. With Inside Star Wars: Visions, StarWars.com will pull back the curtain on the series for exclusive early insights into what might await us. In this final installment, StarWars.com finds out about some of the new ships and vehicles coming in for a landing.
A conjoined Star Destroyer, the return of the Z-95 starfighter, and the galaxy’s answer to a garage band’s trusty tour van. In the upcoming anthology Star Wars: Visions, the anime series proves there are no limits on creativity, form, and function when it comes to the stylized ships and vehicles flying through these shorts.
Recently, StarWars.com sat down with Lucasfilm’s Josh Rimes, an executive producer on the series, to learn more about five of the most fascinating new expressions of speedy hunks of junk, hulking planet destroyers, and, of course, a fresh spin on the iconic starfighter.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses characters and story details from Star Wars: Visions.
The Twin Star Destroyer, “The Twins”
When you first see the Twin Star Destroyer, it emerges from the shadows like the beginning of a new cinematic Star Wars adventure. But there’s something quite different about the shape of this craft. “The Twin Star Destroyer is such a playful idea,” says Rimes. “With a wink and nod, director Hiroyuki Imaishi slowly reveals a Star Destroyer coming out of shadow. But wait -- the light expands revealing a second conjoined Destroyer!”
A clever visual riff on the twin siblings at the core of this short, the expansive design fits perfectly into the heightened and sprawling world in the tale.
To mirror the occupants, each Star Destroyer contains its own throne room, one for Am and one for Karre. And in the middle: a weapon capable of mass destruction. “Holding them together is a massive cannon,” says Rimes. “When powered by the twins, it can deliver planet-eradicating blasts that would put the Death Star to shame.”
The Boat, “Akakiri”
Star Wars ships often traverse the cosmos, but in Science Saru’s “Akakiri,” lo-fi modes of transportation take the spotlight for a story of evasion.
Grounded in the look of The Hidden Fortress and other Akira Kurosawa samurai drama films, which first inspired Star Wars creator George Lucas, the short follows a group of heroes on the run. “Set against harsh landscapes, they must lay low to avoid bandits and the forces of warlord Masago as they move ever closer to her fortress,” says Rimes.
Among their forms of transport are ostrich-like creatures, a vendor’s vegetable cart, and something akin to a traditional Japanese river boat, unlike anything we’ve seen in Star Wars before.
F’s ship in “The Village Bride”
Lucasfilm Story Group’s Matt Martin first suggested the Z-95 for F’s ship in this short from studio Kinema Citrus, Rimes says. “It was a blast to bring this Clone Wars-era favorite into the world of Star Wars: Visions,” he adds.
Early in development of the short, director Hitoshi Haga expressed an interest in giving the hero, F, a classic send off. “[He] wanted F's flight off into the sunset to be aboard a heroic ship -- something similar to an X-wing,” Rimes says.
Although Visions exists outside the typical constraints of lore continuity, and no era is strongly defined in the anthology tales, this short specifically deals with remnants after Order 66 ends the Clone War. “So traditional X-wings were off the table,” Rimes says.
But thanks to Martin’s suggestion, another starfighter that first appeared in Legends and was the forerunner to the X-wing was able to take its place.
Troop Transport Tank, “The Duel”
Similar to other designs from the Kamikaze Douga short, the hulking tank in the Ronin tale is a perfect fusion of samurai and space opera influences. “There are unique flourishes, like rope moorings, that create that feudal samurai meets Star Wars aesthetic,” Rimes says.
The mobile fortress is an imposing vehicle that can be heard from great distances, “signaling doom to come for any village in its way,” Rimes says. Beyond an impressive arsenal of weapons, including a series of cannons to level those who dare to stand against it, the vehicle boasts enough space to conceal an entire army and an elevated platform. “It features a top hatch and lift that elevates the powerful and terrifying Sith bandit leader above all when she stands upon its roof to lord over those beneath her,” Rimes says.
To put it simply: “This vehicle was built to conquer.”
The Rolling Gales, “Tatooine Rhapsody”
For the band, Star Waver, their ship is their home away from home and their ticket to fame and fortune. But instead of smuggling runs, their ship The Rolling Gales is a unique expression of the galaxy’s answer to up-and-coming musicians piling into a van for a tour.
“When we open on them playing a small show, we see them rocking on a makeshift stage,” Rimes says. “What's so delightful is that this stage is literally built into their ship and home they fly from gig to gig.”
Star Waver is not unlike a garage band, Rimes says, “and the garage is literally the belly of their ship.” Designers paid careful attention to that inspiration in creating the massive craft. “It's form and function is so grounded to the fiction of a band gigging from show to show, staying scrappy, and keeping their heads above water.”
Even the ship’s deco evokes another Star Wars artist, Sabine Wren, who often expressed herself through freshly painted armor, rainbow-dyed hair, and graffiti tagging. “Keep an eye out for little colorful spray paint flourishes and details on the hull,” Rimes notes.
But there’s one thing The Rolling Gales wasn’t built for: outrunning bounty hunters, namely one Boba Fett, who comes calling on a mission from Jabba the Hutt.
Star Wars: Visions arrives on September 22 exclusively on Disney+.