REVIEW: Star Wars Visions Episode 6 – “TO-B1”

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Star Wars: Visions Episode 6, “TO-B1” is a heartwarming short produced by Science Saru. As one of my favorite studios in anime, Science Saru has brought to life dark stories like Devilman Crybaby (2018) and heart-wrenching dramas like Japan Sinks: 2020. With “TO-B1,” we see a short that thrives on adorable art (much different than what I’ve come to expect from the studio), warmth, and love. With techy beeps and a sci-fi score that feels light and airy as opposed to the epic orchestral scores we see in the series, Star Wars: Visions Episode 6 is the most unique among the series.  This short is directed by Abel Gongora and written by Yuichiro Kido.

One part Nausica, one part Astroboy, and all Star Wars, Star Wars: Visions Episode 6 is about adventure and making the world a better place. In the episode, TO-B1 (Jaden Waldman) is an adorable droid under the care of Professor Mitaka (Kyle Chandler), a scientist working hard to bring to terraform their planet. TO-B1 is a little boy enamored with the Force and becoming a Jedi as much as he is a droid. On the other hand, Mitaka is a father figure who is about grounding TO-B1. He makes sure to let him know that being a Jedi isn’t all the adventure and glory that TO-B1 thinks it is. When a Sith Jedi-hunter finds the two, Mitaka puts his life on the line and TO-B1 finds himself on the way to becoming a real Jedi by finishing Mitaka’s work.

Gongora and Kido have wonderfully crafted a Pinocchio story into one that has even more heart and love involved. In the short’s final act, Science Saru stretches their animation style to the max with an action sequence that feels like the best of Astroboy and Star Wars combined. While the studio has always expertly crafted action, the rounded and adorable art style works to great effect and makes “TO-B1” not just unique to Star Wars: Visions but to the Science Saru catalog as well.

Overall, Star Wars: Visions Episode 6 may be one of the best shorts in the series for children, but it also has enough elements that hold an adult viewer’s attention that help it perfectly stick an all-ages landing.

Star Wars: Visions is streaming now exclusively on Disney+.

Star Wars: Visions Episode 6 — "TO-B1"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Overall, Star Wars: Visions Episode 6 may be one of the best shorts in the series for children, but it also has enough elements that hold an adult viewer’s attention that helps it perfectly stick an all-ages landing.