Star Wars: Visions is back with another batch of episodes, showcasing nine unique stories set in the galaxy far, far away from animation studios around the world.
While Season 1 of the Disney+ animated anthology focused solely on Japanese anime as a canvas to tell Star Wars stories, this new volume broadens the series' creative horizons, featuring the talents of nine different studios with nine completely different styles of animation.
Early returns on Season 2 have been remarkably positive, with critics calling the project "Disney+'s hidden gem."
So, with Season 2 finally streaming, here is the ranking of the seven best Visions episodes from both Season 1 and 2.
Ranking the Best Star Wars Visions Episodes
7.) Season 1 Episode 8 - "Lop and Ocho"
Starting off the list in the seventh spot is one of Visions Seaosn 1's best and most charming episodes, "Lop and Ocho." Coming from Geno Studio (known for Golden Kamuy and Pet), this Star Wars story feels like Season 1's most primed to be built upon.
Yes, this series technically takes place out of canon, but this tale of a young Jedi looking to make her adopted father proud feels right at home within the galaxy far, far away. And does so with stunning hand-drawn art that harkens back to anime classics like Medabots, and early Seasons of Digimon.
6.) Season 2 Episode 8 - "The Pit"
While Season 2 of Visions is not exclusively anime, there are a couple of episodes that certainly take inspiration from that Japanese style. "The Pit" is one of those, coming from Tokyo-based studio D'Art Shtajio.
"The Pit" follows a group of Empirical slaves in a forced work camp. It is a smaller-scale story when compared to some other episodes of the series; however, it features some of the most goosebump-inducing moments of Season 2. It is a story of societal division that makes one think about the world they live in and at what cost their standard of life comes.
5.) Season 1 Episode 5 - "The Ninth Jedi"
One of the best parts of Star Wars: Visions is the series' ability to tell gripping Star Wars stories in relatively short amounts of time, and "The Ninth Jedi" is one of the best examples of this. This animated epic offers fans a short-form narrative that very easily could be built out into an entire Season of TV or a full-length blockbuster.
Coming from anime studio Production IG (Psycho-Pass, and Ghost in the Shell), this Visions episode focuses on the daughter of a lightsaber maker who embarks on a dangerous mission that is not what it seems. "The Ninth Jedi" is stunning to look at, and sports one of the darkest twist endings of the series thus far.
4.) Season 2, Episode 1 - "Sith"
Star Wars: Visions Season 2 starts off with a bang, opening the proceedings with "Sith" from Spanish studio El Guiri. What "Sith" lacks in plot it makes up for in action and style. This 3D-animated episode looks like a painting come to life (as seen in a recently released poster for the series), with brushstrokes and splatters of color smattering the lightsaber battle at its center.
"Sith" is centered on a lonely Jedi, who has made it her mission to cover a painting terminating dark energy before coming to blows with a familiar Sith lord in one of the best lightsaber duels in animated Star Wars history.
3.) Season 2 Episode 5 - "Journey to the Dark Head"
One of the best episodes of Visions Season 2 comes from the Korean animation studio Studio Mir. Titled "Journey to the Dark Head," this story tells the tale of a recordkeeper/storyteller and a Jedi joining forces to take on a mysterious evil to stop the war.
While Star Wars has never shied away from mature storytelling, "Journey to the Dark Head" is on another level. Its anime-inspired art is something to behold, with a climactic action sequence that feels more cinematic some of the franchise's biggest and best. This is one of the only episodes dubbed solely in Korean, and it almost adds to the atmosphere. "Journey to the Dark Head" is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
2.) Season 1 Episode 1 - "The Duel"
Setting the stage for what Star Wars: Visions would be was the Season 1 opener "The Duel". This animated masterclass from Japanese studios Kamikaze Douga takes the Star Wars world and infuses it with ancient Japan and the Samurai. This unique narrative milieu creates something that while looking so completely different from anything else within the franchise, still feels right at home.
"The Duel" perfectly combines action, story, and art style into one stunning package, following a former dark side user as he seeks to protect a village from a new evil. And it does it all with awe-inspiring black-and-white where the only color in the world comes from the blades of a pair of clashing lightsabers.
1.) Season 2 Episode 9 - "Aau's Song"
It has yet to be seen if a Visions story could make the jump to something bigger (like a full series or a big-screen blockbuster), but "Aau's Song" from South Africa's Triggerfish Studios feels ready-made for that sort of jump. This adorable stop-motion story is classic Star Wars fare. It follows the charming Aau as she discovers she may possess a connection to the force.
The beautiful textile work Studio Triggerfish has crafted here is absolutely incredible. It feels tangible and completely unique from anything ever seen before. These characters may look teddybear-like in appearance, but in less than 15 minutes demonstrate more emotional depth than some Star Wars characters have gotten in nearly 50 years of storytelling. If Pixar were to make a Star Wars movie one could imagine looking and sounding a whole lot like this.
Star Wars: Visions Season 2 is available to stream on Disney+ now, with no confirmation as to if a Season 3 is in the cards.