A Jedi and his forbidden love -- a princess -- try to save their kingdom from a secret Sith in Science SARU’s shocking short.
Star Wars: Visions is here! The anthology series is now streaming on Disney+, featuring original shorts from some of the world’s best anime studios. In Visions Revisited, StarWars.com picks the greatest moments from each short. Whether you love anime, Star Wars, or both, we’d be honored if you would join us.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses story details from the Star Wars: Visions episode "Akakiri."
Love can be blinding. Even for a Jedi.
In “Akakiri,” a Jedi named Tsubaki comes to the aid of Princess Misa, his lost love, as a Sith has seized power of her world. But as Tsubaki experiences debilitating visions of violence, his sense of himself suffers, as does his ability to see clearly. Science SARU’s “Akakiri” takes influence from Star Wars itself and the Samurai films that inspired it, resulting in a chilling, cautionary tale worthy of its inspirations. Here are five highlights.
1. Dark visions.
“Akakiri” throws us into the action, as a nameless Jedi arrives on a planet and quickly engages bandits in combat. But things don’t go quite as we might expect; a painful vision sends the warrior to his knees and, in the end, it’s the Jedi who needs rescuing -- our first sign that this will not be the typical Jedi-as-hero story.
2. Kamahachi and Senshuu.
As the group begins a dangerous journey back to the kingdom, guides Kamahachi and Senshuu, practically plucked from Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, add some much-needed levity to the proceedings. They trade barbs with Tsubaki, delight in their cowardice, and angle for more money. It’s all funny, making their later exhibitions of caring all the more impactful.
In a brief but lovely scene, we’re treated to a quiet moment between Misa and Tsubaki from their younger years. It reveals much about how the princess views the world, and Tsubaki’s respect, if not love, for her.
4. Masago attacks.
Another great Visions villain! Masago, the king’s secret Sith sister, is a towering, menacing presence, dwarfing even Tsubaki. It’s clear that her powers are not to be underestimated -- something Tsubaki fails to grasp.
5. Tsubaki’s choice.
Who saw this coming? Filled with rage and swinging his lightsaber with abandon, Tsubaki strikes a masked Misa down. It’s a shocking moment, but his choice to save her by joining Masago is the ultimate gut-punch. This is tragic Star Wars, and very powerful.