Star Wars Visions is an exciting new step in exploring the potential of Star Wars. Although the episodes aren’t part of the larger canon saga, they are still clearly Star Wars stories.
The first episode introduces one of the most exciting concepts and characters in the wanderer who is called Ronin. Ronin seems to be in reference to the moniker for a wandering samurai without a lord or master. Ronin helps a village being attacked by what look like Imperial bandits and a Sith. But what makes this Ronin so fascinating are the two major reveals in the episode.
The first is when he pulls his lightsaber to battle the Sith to reveal a red blade. Up until this point the other characters had assumed him to be a Jedi as he was challenging the Sith. The other shocking twist comes at the end when he reveals his jacket is lined with red, corrupted, kyber crystals insinuating that he is a Sith Hunter. Although he never explicitly states that he is Sith, his blade seems to make it clear.
The Duel has an upcoming tie in novel, Star Wars Visions: Ronin: A Visions Novel, the novel’s description reveals some surprising lore about the episode. The Duel takes place in an alternate universe where the Jedi serve the Empire. In the world of The Duel, Sith are former Jedi who initially rebelled against their feuding lords 20 years ago when the Jedi were fighting in service to feuding lords.
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The Sith rebels sought to control their own power and fates serving no master, but it failed due to treachery and infighting. The Empire is made up of the unified lords who were once rivals. Although not many details about the enigmatic wanderer are revealed, he is described as a former Sith which makes sense given the color of his lightsaber blade. The Duel doesn’t dive heavily into this lore, but the confirmation that Ronin is a former Sith makes his actions in the episode especially intriguing.
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One aspect of the Sith Hunter that is interesting is he seems to almost mirror Ahsoka Tano. In Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano has long since left the Jedi order and the lightsabers she now possesses are white. Dave Filoni has confirmed that the color of Ahsoka’s lightsabers reflect Ahsoka’s lack of affiliation with the Jedi and the Sith. Dave Filoni has also described Ahsoka’s character as a “wandering samurai character” in The Mandalorian.
These descriptors seem to place Ahsoka squarely in the category of Ronin, but where the Star Wars Visions character is influenced by his time with the Sith and taps into the dark side, per his saber. Ahsoka seems to either tap into the light side of the force or the force in a more balanced or even pure sense neither choosing light nor dark.
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Part of what is so intriguing about Ahsoka is how Star Wars fans have experienced her growth from young Jedi Padawan during The Clone Wars to what Dave Filoni equates to a Jedi master or knowledgeable knight in The Mandalorian and soon the Ahsoka series. Ahsoka is steadfast in her refusal to consider herself a Jedi. While Ronin never directly acknowledges his past as a Sith, his red lightsaber makes the implication clear.
Both Ronin and Ahsoka are moved to help others, with Ronin saving a village from what look like Imperial bandits and a Sith. Ahsoka has been helping others since she left the Jedi order either individuals, villages, or the Rebellion against the Empire. These two characters bring a rare kind of force user into Star Wars. Force users who are not held to the strict ideology of the Jedi or the Sith, instead using their abilities to help others and do what they believe to be right.
Star Wars branching out into force users who are more independent in how they wield the force is an exciting possibility that opens up endless potential in new stories and characters. This will likely be something that the upcoming Ahsoka series will dive into more thoroughly and The Duel tie-in novel Star Wars Visions: Ronin: A Visions Novel could further explore with the former Sith. This is also an opportunity to explore the Force in a new way that isn’t filtered through the lens of the Jedi or Sith teachings.
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Although there are no plans to bring Star Wars Visons into the larger Star Wars canon producers James Waugh and Kanako Shirasaki do hope these stories will inspire future Star Wars stories. Ronin is the perfect type of character to incorporate into the larger Star Wars canon.
Like Ventress and Darth Maul, Ronin was once a Sith, but unlike them he doesn’t seem to have turned to crime after he was ousted. Having a character taking on Sith who is willing to be just as ruthless and use whatever gambit is necessary to defeat the Sith brings a new darkness to what many would consider a protagonist.
This could bring a truly unique and complicated dynamic to the story. A character who would be an enemy of the Sith and likely either an enemy or at the least distrusted by the Jedi would make it hard for a Sith hunter to find allies in other force users. This would likely lead to the character branching out into other areas of the Star Wars universe possibly teaming up with rebel fighters after proving themselves, the criminal underworld, bounty hunters, or the people they help along their journeys.
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Star Wars Visions introduces new characters, stories, and concepts to Star Wars fans in a unique and gorgeous style both in storytelling and the anime itself. Star Wars Visions manages to bring a truly complex character to life in the first episode and the almost mirror image to fan favorite Ahsoka Tano makes Ronin especially interesting.
With this anthology series falling outside of canon, especially The Duel based on the tie in novel’s description, the concepts it introduces are exciting in their potential to become part of the larger canon saga in some capacity at some point in the future. These stories also take a look at quintessential Star Wars ideas like Sith, Jedi, and the Force in an entirely new way that could lead to a new perspective and possibilities, like a former Sith turned Sith Hunter who helps a village being terrorized by the very group he was once a part of.
All 9 episodes of Star Wars Visions are available on Disney Plus now. Star Wars Visions: Ronin: A VisIons Novel is available for pre-order now on Amazon and is scheduled for release October 12, 2021. What do you think about Star Wars Visions? Which episode is your favorite? Would you like to see a Sith Hunter like Ronin incorporated into the larger Star Wars canon? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and check back with The Illuminerdi for more Star Wars and Star Wars Visions.
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