REVIEW: Star Wars Visions Episode 7 – “The Elder”

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As studio TRIGGER’s second entry into the series, Star Wars: Visions Episode 7, “The Elder,” is vastly different than its first entry, “The Twins.” Directed and written by Masahiko Otsuka, features a score by Michiru Oshima, and character design by Kamome Shirahama. This short is the strongest as depicting the bond between master and student.

In Star Wars: Visions Episode 7 a young Jedi and his Master Tajin land on a planet to investigate a village that has had a mysterious outsider show up. Pulled by a bad feeling, the two search for the mysterious elder. While the Sith were said to have been destroyed long ago, the elder unsheathes his two blades and the bulk of the episode becomes a fight. First between Dan and the elder and second between the elder and Tajin.

With percussion and wind instruments fit for a Kurosawa film, the battle in the rain is one of the most beautifully animated sequences I’ve seen TRIGGER create. There is ferocity and terror in the elder’s power that is wonderfully brought to screen when the color palette is muted and the only colors are the light from the lightsabers and manifestations of the Force. Visually, the design of the characters elicits a visceral response. From Dan, we see a young Jedi we want to protect. On the other hand, Tajin’s design is wise and somehow inviting despite the aloof tone of voice. And finally, the old man with sunken eyes, yellow irises, and teeth that showcase his age the most pressed into his wrinkled skin twisted in a smile are some of the most intimidatingly terrifying visuals. the

From the designs to the action, it has to be said that Star Wars: Visions Episode 7, in line with the samurai epics of Japanese cinema, showcases a fight that very much isn’t just a fight. Instead, the action sequence is teaching, from master to apprentice and in this case audience. It is a way to explore the impermanence of power and why exactly it’s the sith’s biggest flaw. In this way, Star Wars: Visions Episode 7 is one of the best examples of the light and the dark and ultimately the teachings of the Jedi.

Power isn’t bad, it’s what we can use to protect people. But we have to use our power in a way that not only protects but circulates through the world. We need to pass it down. We need to help guide the next generation to reach our strength and surpass it. Holding onto power is the sith’s greatest flaw. But it’s the final sentiment from Tajin that makes this short compelling. He implores his apprentice to keep his kindness. Which, for those who have watched even the smallest parts of Star Wars series that showcase the Jedi, isn’t always the case.

Overall, Star Wars: Visions Episode 7 does a lot of heavy lifting. It teaches the audience about the Sith, the Jedi, and the way of the Force. And it does it all through action sequences, small moments between characters, and a wonderful display of a healthy master-student relationship we haven’t seen in the series so far.

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

Star Wars: Visions Episode 7 — "The Elder"
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Overall, Star Wars: Visions Episode 7 does a lot of heavy lifting. It teaches the audience about the sith, the Jedi, and the way of the Force. And it does it all through action sequences, small moments between characters, and a wonderful display of a healthy master-student relationship we haven’t seen in the series so far.