After the first episode, which very much felt like an alternate take on the Star Wars legend, this second episode veers off in a totally different direction and just feels like some good old fashioned anime that happens to take place in the Star Wars universe. The result being that this episode ends up feeling nothing like Star Wars whatsoever.
Given that there’s a clear pop culture reference in the title of the episode, which is something Star Wars never does in normal circumstances. And from said title, you can probably guess what this one is about.
This one comes out of Studio Colorido, a animation team that makes their bones mostly from producing anime features and web shorts for other brands. Their movies include their movie adaptation of Burn the Witch and A Whisker Away shortly before that. Two movies I’ve never seen before.
They’ve also done some work for the Pokémon Company, making some Poketoons and some episode of the Twilight Wings web series before coming onto work on this episode of Star Wars Visions.
This episode follows former Jedi Padawan Jay, who has since escaped Order 66 and joined a traveling rock band called Star Waver. Music in Star Wars has always been there, but kind of pushed to the background.
The Canteena Band from the original movie is one of the most iconic in nerd cinema. And the Max Rebo Band from Return of the Jedi has been a constant source of debate since George Lucas started going back and fiddling with the original trilogy years later.
The shortened version of this episode’s story is that during their gig, Boba Fett shows up (still voiced by Temuera Morrison) to take away Geezer; the Band’s Hutt bass player. After a chase, Geezer is taken away to be executed by Jabba. Only for the band to play a song and get Jabba to forgive Geezer thanks to the power of rocking out.
It’s short, it’s round and bouncy. About as unlike the duel as you could possibly get in terms of presentation and tone. And ultimately it’s not fantastic in any regard. Jay’s turning his broken lightsaber into a microphone, symbolising him giving up on his Jedi past and embracing his present as a musician is a cool little act you never usually see in Star Wars.
Once you’re in the Jedi Order, it hounds you until your dying day. So seeing someone fully embrace a different life outside of the Jedi is cool and all. But that’s really about the biggest praise I can muster for Tatooine Rhapsody on a conceptual level.
It’s not bad or offensive. It’s just not super interesting to me. I liked the look of the episode from a visual standpoint and would happily watch some more stories told in this style, but the story about a band trying to make it in the Star Wars universe is just one step more mundane than I am willing to vibe with in this continuity.
It just didn’t feel very “Star Wars”y to me, if you get what I mean. I know this series is supposed to be taking the setting and doing its own thing with it, but I guess this one just wasn’t for me at the end of the day.