REVIEW: Star Wars Visions – Tatooine Rhapsody (2021)

An Anime on Disney+

Last week, I watched The Duel, the first episode of Star Wars Visions, and continuing from there, I figured we’d look at the second short film today right here in this very review. The Duel was pretty awesome, and I can tell it is going to easily the “the one to beat” in terms of quality of all of these films. Seemingly continuing my theme of watching music – related anime this week, Star Wars Visions – Tatooine Rhapsody takes a look at something we often see in Star Wars, but with little fanfare. What would it be like working as a band in that world?

Tatooine Rhapsody is produced by Studio Colorido and directed by Taku Kimura, a director that appears top have not directed too much anime so far. While the last film was a “what if” sort of scenario (what if samurais in Star Wars), this is a more subdued entry and seemingly could fit into continuity. It stars a rag-tag band of teenage punk rockers as well as fan favorites Boba Fett, and Jabba The Hutt. I guess as much as Jabba can be a fan favorite. I was especially happy to hear Temura Morrison providing the voice of Boba. I wonder if this show is seen as “Canon” and if we’ll ever see any of these characters pop back up. To me, it’s interesting that a Jedi would hide in plain sight as what basically amounts to a sponsored entertainer for The Hutts, makes me assume Sith might have something to say about that sooner or later.

“During the Clone Wars, a Jedi Padawan named Jay attempts to escape from the war, only to stumble upon a Hutt named Gee. Gee offers to take Jay in if he becomes the lead singer of Gee’s rock band, Star Waver, and Jay accepts. Years later, during the reign of the Galactic Empire, the members of Star Waver are hunted by the bounty hunter Boba Fett.”

While not as deep as The Duel, this episode was pretty fun and actually had the time to produce an actual song we heard the band play. Most of the time when you have an anime about a band, you rarely actually hear that band’s music for whatever reason. Not everything needs to be a thorough look at the themes of Star Wars, so having what basically is a “fluff” episode was fine. I only wish the episode placement would have put this later in the season as it comes across as a bot of a let down after what many have called “the best episode” of Star Wars Visions.

Tatooine Rhapsody is animated very well, running at a far smoother resolution than the 3D animation in The Duel. I don’t mind 3D anime as long as it’s done well, but I saw some folks criticize it due to that. The only thing I could see people take issue with is that the art design is what I would consider to be “Chibi”, meaning a “small” or “cute” for the most part (for you non weebs). Thanks to its connotations of smallness and cuteness, the word chibi is also used describe a certain type of anime character. If you have ever seen something like Hello Kitty or even Teen Titans Go, you know the art style. It’s only really jarring when you see a very gruff voiced “chibi” Boba Fett which seems weird for some reason.

I enjoyed this a lot, despite it being just kind of there. it has solid animation, catchy music, and a real uplifting story. It’s sad we don’t get more of a resolution, but that’s always the issue with an anthology series to some degree. Perhaps this will be like The Duel and get another chapter in form of a book or something in the future? I suppose time will tell. Star Wars Visions show right out of the gate that anything can happen and we may see some real creative stuff here. Stay tuned for more reviews in this series!

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