These episodes seem to alternate between being stories that could happily slot into the established Star Wars continuity and ones that just blew the whole thing up as fantastically as they could. Episode 4, like the second episode deals with a Padawan survivor of Order 66 and how they move on from the trauma of their pasts.
Only the hero of this story goes about things a little differently than Jay from Tattooine Rhapsody.
The Village Bride comes to us from Kinema Citrus. The studio being the anime adaptations of The Rising of the Shield Hero and Made in Abyss, among many others. And boy is this a clean looking episode. It tells us a story from the perspective of a woman only called “F”. She’s a survivor of Order 66 and the tragic loss of her master has left her lost and empty inside.
She finds herself on world where the human inhabitants live a simple, more tribal and ritualistic lifestyle together with the living force, what they call Magina. F observes the way the people live in harmony with the planet and are happy despite this simple lives.
That is except for a group of pirates who have taken control of a salvaged platoon of B-1 Battle Droids and are using them threaten the village for resources. With this being the final night before they take the village elder’s daughter hostage as collatoral.
In the end, seeing all of this helps F get past her trauma and realise that the duty of a Jedi is much bigger than just her. They are servants of the force after all. Thus she and the wily old traveller who has been negging her to act the hero save the village ultimately without much effort.
Allowing F to get go of her trauma and venture back out into the galaxy to act as Jedi against the Empire.
I liked this episode. It was very simple in its premise and execution. Telling a pretty simple Kurosawa-esque samurai story and setting it in the Star Wars universe. Which is arguably what most Star Wars started life off as in the first place.
It didn’t do anything as wild and unusual as the three episodes that proceeded it, feeling waaaay more grounded in the established lore than they did. But the very clean and smooth animation style coupled with a very optimistic view of the Jedi and what they should represent in the lore made this one feel like more of a real love letter to the franchise from Citrus than any of the episodes that proceeded it.
Not that those episodes were bad or anything, this one just felt like it was treating the source material with a little more weight and respect than what Trigger did, which was just have some fun with it. And honestly, that’s one of the best thing about this Visions series. It gives us this wider array of experiences to pick from episode to episode.
The Village Bride was probably the most “Star Wars” and the least anime of any of the episodes we’ve gotten so far. Although they couldn’t resist making F’s Lightsaber into a katana and adding their own little nod to the Jedi as Samurai in the end. Which is fine by me, this one made me feel happy as a Star Wars fan. To see the Jedi as I used to see them as a kid.
Before Clone Wars made me super cynical and jaded about them. As the greater series itself seems to be trying its best to do these days. Which is a subject I’ve had on the back-burner for a while now. But I suppose it can wait a little bit.
I need to give you some breathing room, this blog is becoming dangerously close to just being a Star Wars blog these days as it is.