“Anime and Star Wars they have always gone hand in hand, the influence of the samurai on the Jedi is no secret ”, Abel Góngora, director of one of the episodes, told EFE. -‘T0-B1’- from the new Disney + series, ‘Star Wars: Visions’, an animated fiction that invites fans of the saga to “rediscover the galaxy”.
“The exciting thing about Star Wars is the degree of expansion that this universe supposes, so it is very easy to be creative. Also, I think it is a world that goes very well with anime, it is as if it had been created for it, and it is strange that it had not been done a long time ago ”, emphasizes Góngora about the series, inspired by the anime of the years 60, which arrives on the platform this Wednesday.
The anthology, made up of nine short films of between 12 and 20 minutes, made by seven different Japanese animation studios, offers fans original Star Wars stories, told with such different styles of animation that each one is a unique experience.
‘Star Wars: Visions’ is made up of:’ The Duel ‘from the Kamikaze Douga studio,’ Lop and Ochō ‘from Geno Studio,’ Tatooine Rhapsody ‘from Studio Colorfully,’ The Twins’ and ‘The Elder’ from the Trigger studio, ‘ The Village Bride ‘by Kinema Citrus,’ Akakiri ‘and’ T0-B1 ‘by Science SARU and’ The Ninth Jedi ‘by Production IG.
Despite the fact that Góngora was born in Barcelona (1983) and raised in Valencia, his career has passed outside of Spain. After finishing his studies in Fine Arts, He developed his first year of work in the Irish company Cartoon Saloon to later move to the French company Ankama. The latter opened a subsidiary in Japan and this is what prompted him to leave Europe.
Currently based in Tokyo, where he directs Science Saru’s Flash animation team, the studio of Masaaki Yuasa, one of the most respected anime creators today. “When Disney proposed the project, they called several studios, including mine. They offered us to make two shorts and we said yes, because being a tiny studio we couldn’t cover more”, He points out.
What has been most difficult for the filmmaker has not been to adapt the Star Wars iconography to the anime world, but to sift through everything I wanted to tell: “I wanted to tell many things and had to summarize and cut many parts of the storyboard that I made. Adapting so much to a limited time was the most complicated thing ”, he emphasizes.
Also, he confesses that it was the first time he directed something “so important”, so he also had the pressure to “do it well”, since the saga created by George Lucas has many followers. “I had a big responsibility and it was a bit stressful, because I know you are going to look at each image with a magnifying glass.”, He declares between laughs.
The shorts that make up the production are set at different times, since their creators were not obliged to respect the official timeline of the saga. The action of one chapter takes place before the events recounted in ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’, while that of another takes place after “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”.
“At first some ideas were proposed to Disney and they accepted them, they guided us around how they wanted the story and they were reviewing certain aspects such as the ships. But, they did not tell us at any time what we had to do, from the beginning they were very open, it was a very free project ”, recognizes Góngora, who also adds that he did not have communication with the other studios to find out what they were doing .
In this way, the episode directed by Góngora, ‘T0-B1’, which tells the story of a young android who dreams of becoming a Jedi one day while discovering a dangerous truth about his creator, has little to do, for example, with the opening episode ‘The Duel’, is a mostly black and white story about dueling Sith warriors, structured like a classic samurai movie.
“The first time I had contact with the other studios was at the publicity event where all the directors met and we saw the first images of the other shorts. I was the only European, I felt like impostor syndrome – he laughs -. For me that was the first experience knowing what the other directors are doing ”.
Regardless of everything, Góngora feels “proud” not only of having participated in a project of such caliber, but also of the opportunity that has given him to meet great directors and animators such as Hiroyuki Imaishi (Director of the chapter ‘The Twins’ ): “I’ve seen everything that man has done, he’s incredible, an idol for me,” he acknowledges.