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9 Animation Studios We Want To See in ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Volume 3

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Now that Star Wars: Visions has expanded to include animation studios from all over the world, the possibilities of who we’d like to see helm an episode are endless. Spanning a variety of cultures, styles, and even mediums, these nine studios would continue to push the limits of what Star Wars can be, each with their own unique spin on a galaxy far, far away. Are all of these likely to happen? Probably not, but considering Lucasfilm have already humoured a Muppets-inspired Volume 3, anything is fair game. 


Image via LAIKA

This is a fairly obvious one, but then again, who cares? LAIKA is responsible for some of the most beloved animated films of the last two decades and, as Aardman proved in I Am Your Mother, Star Wars looks good in stop-motion. A few shorts from Volume 2 captured the visual appeal of the medium, however only Aardman’s was fully handcrafted. LAIKA’s film would follow suit, bringing some authenticity to Visions’ stop-motion representation.

Aardman’s entry, while expectedly charming, was mostly goofy, not to mention focused exclusively on podracing. LAIKA would likely contribute a far more immersive, potentially force-wielding story, likely with a few thrills and chills thrown in. We’re imagining something along the lines of Cartoon Saloon’s Screecher’s Reach, a story with darker themes but instead rendered in glorious 3D. Just imagine…a hard-hitting lightsaber fight directed by Travis Knight a la Kubo and the Two Strings. It would be the stuff of legends.

BreakThru Films

Image via BreakThru Films

Volume 2 features a breadth of animation, so much so that it’s difficult to know what other mediums, or materials, are left to discover. When looking back on game-changing animation from the last decade, one will quickly remember BreakThru Films’ Loving Vincent. The world’s first fully hand-painted film unearthed a whole new mode of animated storytelling. El Guiri’s Sith already splattered paint into the Visions universe, so we might as well double down and put oil to canvas.

People assume that the studio’s slow and labor-intensive production process makes their inclusion a non-starter. However, considering one feature took them six years, a 12-15 minute short film could surely be completed in one year’s time. But why worry about technicalities? What’s more important is this project’s artistic significance. For a franchise that has incorporated paintings since its inception, a fully hand-painted Star Wars story would make for a beautiful full circle moment.

Studio MDHR

Image via Studio MDHR

Some of the most cinematic animation is being produced for video games, so it’s only a matter of time before Visions starts working with game animators. Studio MDHR, known for their hit run-and-gun adventure Cuphead, is a prime candidate. To recreate the rubber-hose animation of the ‘20s and ‘30s, brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer animated Cuphead using hand-drawn cel animation. There’s no better way to showcase the power of the medium than going back to its roots.

Star Wars is no stranger to comedy, but it has never been reimagined quite in this way; it may seem a bit absurd to franchise purists, but considering it’s the style that put Walt Disney on the map, it feels like a no-brainer. The comic possibilities are endless: loopy lightsabers, bouncy beams, and slapstick stormtroopers! It’s yet another vast expansion of what Star Wars can be, even if it means rolling the dice (wink wink) on an unprecedented collaboration.

Viva Calavera Studios

Image via Cartoon Network Latin America

In Volume 2, a diverse collection of studios reimagined Star Wars through their own cultural lenses. We certainly wouldn’t want to lose that going into Volume 3, which means we need a bold, exciting international voice to enter the ring. Thankfully, Viva Calavera Studios already has, literally; their new supernatural lucha libre series, Rey Mysterio vs. The Darkness, will be featured at this year’s Annecy Festival as part of its Mexican animation showcase.

The series is built around a teen boy’s admiration for beloved WWE wrestler Rey Mysterio; a similar master-padawan relationship could translate to a powerful Star Wars story. We don’t want to pigeonhole the studio, but we have never seen wrestling in this universe before, nor a Visions story told with such a flashy and energetic 2D animation style. We’ve already seen a battle of the bands and a night at the theater, so is wrestling that much more of a stretch?


Image via Netflix

Few animated shows captured our attention like Arcane. The League of Legends prequel was an inventive sci-fi/fantasy epic, elevated by the astounding work of French animation studio Fortiche. They had previously worked with developer Riot Games on music videos and short films, but they truly outdid themselves with Arcane’s first season – nine episodes, each forty minutes a piece, with a follow-up season already in production. Surely they could whip out a 15-minute Visions short in the interim. 

Meticulously blending 2D textures with 3D character models, Arcane’s visual style is unlike anything else in animation right now. It would be a shame to not see Star Wars brought to life with the “Fortiche touch.” However, the company’s trademark is not just their design, but their cinematic approach. Arcane co-creator Christian Linke has spoken about Fortiche’s formally daring eye for cinematography, which speaks to how well they would embody the innovative spirit that has defined Star Wars since the beginning.

Holy Motion Studio

Image via O’Brother Distribution

Last year, the Netherlands produced their first-ever stop-motion feature film, Oink (Knor in the original Dutch), courtesy of Holy Motion Studio. The story, centered on a young girl who adopts a messy pig, charmed the pants off of audiences, earning a slot at the Berlin International Film Festival and even inspiring a prequel film shortly after. The reception formally catapulted the humble studio’s reputation, but it’s that kind of exciting momentum that makes them prime for an even larger spotlight: Disney+.

It may be difficult to remember sometimes, but Star Wars is ultimately for people of all ages, including children. Much like Aardman’s inclusion in the last volume, Holy Motion’s silly but family-oriented sensibility makes for a perfect introduction to Star Wars should any young people tune in. It would also be a nice diversion from some of the more intense shorts of the collection but without risking an offbeat sense of humour and meaningful family dynamics.

Wētā FX

Image via 20th Century Studios

The line between traditional animation and visual effects is a blurry one. Technically, the images originate in-camera, but modern blockbuster filmmaking demands several manhours of animation well after the fact. Wētā FX have designed some of the most imaginative digital worlds on film, to the point that one of their films, The Adventures of Tintin, was entirely animated. They’ve even opened a separate animation branch, Wētā Animation, though it has yet to bear fruit.

It would be fascinating to see Wētā tackle an expressive but photorealistic Star Wars film through both animation and VFX techniques. It would put the two crafts in conversation with each other, something the franchise has already been doing in other mediums. The Clone Wars tv series and Star Wars Jedi video games are both fully animated projects that use mocap to strengthen their animation, so why not try that in a short film? It sure would be an exciting way to launch that quiet animation division.

Square Enix Image Studio Division

Image via Square Enix Image Studio Division

We couldn’t make a wish list for Volume 3 and not include at least one anime studio. It’s the one piece of connective tissue across Visions thus far, even if Volume 2’s anime shorts were from non-Japanese studios. For Visions’ third go-around, we want to bring it back to Japan while embracing the country’s impact on video game animation; enter Square Enix, whose gorgeous CGI animation style has captured the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Kamikaze Douga’s Volume 1 short The Duel was animated in 3D, but filtered through an analogue, hand-drawn aesthetic. Square’s more traditional approach to 3D anime would feel like new territory for Visions while still being apt for the assignment. Fans of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts know that this company is no stranger to heavily choreographed action set pieces as well as heartfelt stories of found families. We’re sure Takeshi Nozue and crew would rise to the occasion.

The Lego Group

Image via Brickfilm Day

Before Animal Logic and Atomic Cartoons became the go-to animators for licensed tie-in movies, LEGOs came to life through humble stop-motion YouTube videos. The Brickfilm, a term coined by animator Jason Rowoldt, is a genre that has expanded significantly since its origins in the ‘70s, to the point that there is an online community keeping the medium afloat to this day. Lucasfilm would be foolish to not recruit some of these talented animators and co-produce a LEGO Star Wars Visions short.

As much as CGI makes for a fun LEGO adventure, it’s time we go back to basics: physically hand-adjusted, traditionally animated lego minifigs, digital mouth animation cycles and all. Most people would be excited to see existing LEGO Star Wars sets in action, but we think it would be more interesting to see what a proficient group of Brickfilmmakers could come up with when given creative freedom. You can do a lot with an endless supply of bricks and a boundless imagination.


And these nine studios are just the tip of the iceberg! There are countless talents we want to see helm a Star Wars story, from death-defying lightsaber duels to heartfelt stories of friendship throughout the galaxy. One can only hope that Visions Volume 3 arrives sooner rather than later.

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