Visions is The Perfect New Star Wars Property


The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: Visions #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Introduced in the Star Wars: Visions animated series on Disney+, fan-favorite character ‘Ronin’ returns at Marvel’s Star Wars: Visions #1 (by Takashi Okazaki and Joe Caramagna of VC). Okazaki worked on the Disney+ series as a character designer, which has a second season in the works. Immersed in the culture of feudal Japan, The Ronin offers a character that is the perfect blend of something new yet familiar.

Ever since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, fans have wanted something new from the Star Wars ownership, while at the same time worrying that the new Star Wars the content will not be recognizable to the dedicated fan base. It’s a balancing act that Disney has teetered on, struggling with how to create new stories with old characters. But with Star Wars: Visionsand specifically The Ronin character, Disney has a bona fide win on the board.

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Who is Ronan from Star Wars: Visions?

In The duel in Disney+, the Ronin is portrayed as a wandering force user similar to the masterless samurai of feudal Japan and a survivor of a Sith civil war. Along with his fellow astromech droid, B5-56, the two stop at a small town besieged by a group of marauding Stormtroopers led by another Sith. The comic simply offers another adventure in the Ronin’s life. Both stories are engaging, but for Star Wars, they’re pretty straightforward. However, the characters and concepts are much richer, offering a host of potential expansions and new lore.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of The Ronin is that he’s a nice guy with a red Sith lightsaber. Little is known about The Ronin, but at the end of The duel, we see that he has been collecting red kyber crystals, the power source of any lightsaber. His aesthetic is almost exactly that of a traditional samurai, from his wardrobe to his sword scabbard (which also houses a secret second lightsaber blade). The comic is a new story and is pretty much in tune with what we see in the episode, but it does take some visual liberties with aspects of The Ronin. In particular, his movements and the dynamics of his lightsaber.

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Star Wars: Visions advances through character and concept

both in The duel and the comic, Okazaki has taken familiar characters and concepts, but built on them in a way that makes them new to Star Wars Galaxy. All Stormtrooper armor is incomplete and patched with bamboo limbs and grayish metal pieces. One of the best designs is the mini-pistol protocol droid wearing the traditional Japanese hakama. Okazaki also introduces a new Sith, Lord Kouru, in The duel who wields a parasol, similar to weapons seen in Japanese action movies. In the comic, he joins the Sith lineup with a homepage of 18 other new Sith, each with their own unique red lightsaber, including kyber-powered machetes, bo staffs, and glowing red palm blasters. All from battles in The Ronin’s past, defeated and added to his collection of kyber crystals.

Along with the characters, Okazaki coyly plays with the concept of good and bad; Jedi and Sith. He creates a strong sense of ambiguity, and shoots the whole world back to the Akira Kurosawa movies that influenced George Lucas so much when he created Star Wars. Because of this, the comic establishes a heightened sense of tension as The Ronin encounters a stranger on the road who wishes to join his company for the night. The Ronin deduces that the Stranger is a Jedi and that he is there to kill him, and in a dream scenario, he envisions the two locked in battle. But instead, the two part ways destined to meet again.

One curious thing at the end of the issue is that Ronin refers to his droid as “master”. Using the theme of the Ronin juxtaposed with the theme of the Jedi, and even the Sith, it’s interesting that Okazaki leaves this open to the reader’s interpretation. Another new twist on a traditional concept of Star Wars. It has not been announced if this is a one-shot or if there will be a second issue, or possibly an ongoing series. But even more so than another animated episode featuring these characters in season 2, the visions comic book lends itself to truly branching out, moving away from the Skywalker lore and creating something entirely new that lives within this galaxy that fans love. Okazaki manages to bring diversity in both culture and concept into a single number, something Star Wars wrote the book and will continue to do so with ideas like visions.

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