REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: Visions,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Star Wars Visions #1 - But Why Tho

Star Wars: Visions #1 is written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki, with VC’s Joe Caramagna providing lettering and Aki Yanagi providing an English translation. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Prior to the events of “The Duel,” the mysterious Ronin and his droid companion B5-56 traveled to a snow-covered mountaintop. There they encounter trouble in the form of a roving horde of bandits, and a mysterious companion who’s completely blind. As Ronin fights his way through the bandits, he learns more about the blind traveler and their surprising connection to his past life.

It’s not a surprise that Visions resonated with so many Star Wars fans, especially where “The Duel” is concerned. Not only does it pay homage to the influences that shaped the Star Wars universe, particularly the work of Akira Kurosawa, but it also provided plenty of fresh takes on that universe. And while other projects have expanded upon the world of Visions, this comic is special as it features an artist who actually worked on “The Duel.”

Okazaki delivers the same stunning imagery that was in “The Duel,” rendered in stark black and white, save for golden blaster bolts and the fiery red of the Ronin’s lightsaber. He also delivers an opening sequence that rivals the action within that short, as Ronin makes short work of the bandits attempting to kill him and his blind companion. There’s even a cool sequence where B5 unleashes a literal army’s worth of firepower against the bandits – I love it when droids save the day in Star Wars and this is no exception.

And what’s really impressive about the art is how Okazaki puts a new spin on Star Wars staples. The bandits are shown wearing pieces of Stormtrooper armor, while the Stormtroopers themselves resemble Samurai. And eagle-eyed fans will notice more than a few familiar aliens from the Star Wars universe within its pages. Okazaki even sneaks in a homage to his other famous work, Afro Samurai, as the blind man the Ronin encounters bears more than a passing resemblance to Afro.

But it’s not all just pretty pictures. Okazaki also takes a peek into the mind of the Ronin, and why he’s hunting down his fellow Sith Lords. The answer is simple, and yet at the same time it speaks volumes: he seeks penance for his former actions. Redemption in the Star Wars universe has always been a tricky thing, since most characters like Darth Vader or Kylo Ren die right after committing one good act and other characters like Asajj Ventress don’t even get the chance to. Okazaki delivers a surprising twist at the end of the story that hints at Ronin finding a different path to redemption, and a measure of closure for his past actions.

Star Wars: Visions #1 serves as a compelling prequel to “The Duel,” thanks to the stellar work of Takashi Okazaki. If you loved “The Duel,” or Visions in general, you owe it to yourself to pick up this comic. I can only hope that Marvel commissions similar one-shots or ongoing series to expand upon the other shorts.

Star Wars: Visions #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars: Visions #1
5

TL;DR

Star Wars: Visions #1 serves as a compelling prequel to “The Duel,” thanks to the stellar work of Takashi Okazaki. If you loved “The Duel,” or Visions in general, you owe it to yourself to pick up this comic. I can only hope that Marvel commissions similar one-shots or ongoing series to expand upon the other shorts.

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