Skip to content

‘Star Wars: Visions Volume 2’ Executive Producers Talk Casting International Talent & Potential Of A Star Wars Anime Series – Interview

Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 follows up an incredibly bold and exciting concept inside the Star Wars universe with a new, global twist. This time, animation studios from all over the world are bringing their own unique style and perspective to a Star Wars story.

I had a chance to speak to the producers of this exciting season and discuss the challenge of coordinating with different international studios and creators. We discussed the decision to have the local voice cast perform in English instead of casting a separate dub crew. They also break down the impact that these decisions have in the actual story. Does the actor’s accent play a part in the shorts? Does it introduce a larger thematic element? Executive producers James Waugh, Jacqui Lopez and Josh Rimes dive into all this in the interview.

Check out the full interview with Waugh, Lopez and Rimes about Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 below:

Star Wars: Visions Volume 2
(©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.)

First of all, James, Jacqui, and Josh, I’m so happy to be here! It’s such a pleasure to be here with you guys. First things first, I gotta say Star Wars: Visions is one of my all-time favorite Star Wars projects. And having seen Volume Two, I’m completely blown away! It lives up to the hype, it lives up to just how amazing the first season was and how it’s a beautiful tapestry of animation and Star Wars coming together. So congrats; honestly, it’s amazing.

Jacqui Lopez: Thank you so much. Wow, that’s so nice to hear!

My first question is about the casting for these global shorts. I noticed that the voice actors were actually from the home countries of their animation studios. So instead of getting an English dub, you guys went with the actual actors from their home countries. I wonder what was the decision behind that instead of going with an English cast?

Lopez: You know, it sort of happened organically. What was nice, or I should say, easier about season two is that most of the filmmakers did speak English. So in early talks, I think it was only Studio Mir that wanted to tell their story in Korean. Director Geun isn’t bilingual, so for him, he needed to tell his story in Korean to be true to his vision. But we sort of left it open, and these other filmmakers were used to working in the English language and sort of wanted to. But it was great to get some national actors from their countries.

Yeah, I’m curious how the casting decisions were made. What was it like leaving it up to the studios to get their dream castings? Or did you guys have any actors in mind?

Josh Rimes: Yeah, it was a bit of both. We worked with all the studios every step of the way through all facets of production. But when it came to casting, we’ve done this before for Visions, Volume One, and obviously, we have amazing casting in our animated projects. So we had our casting manager, Lindsey Hopper, help out. We helped out, but also, the studios had very strong points of view early on, you know? Actors they liked from their home country throwing out ideas with us; so it was very easy and organic. And I think, with streaming with entertainment, everything is so global now. So there are breakout stars from every region, from every continent, from every country. And it was pretty amazing to get talent from all those places.

(©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.)

Did the actors do their dub and their home language as well?

Rimes: Only Spain, right, Jacqui?

Lopez: Only Spain.

That’s actually something that I’m always fascinated by as someone who watches anime. I’m part of the anime community, and I’ve been watching anime for years, and I know there’s an endless debate about sub or dub. Do you feel like there’s something where audiences can watch their home version as well and maybe get something else out of it?

James Waugh: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think there was a very conscious choice with Volume One. And, you know, to your point, that is such an argument within the anime community. But I do think you get nuanced differences. I do think there’s a sort of auditory expectation that’s slightly different from Japanese culture when it’s done with Eastern actors versus what’s expected in the West to hear. And so there are nuances in tone, et cetera. I think for Volume Two, we really just wanted to honor and celebrate those regions as much as possible. And we wanted to encourage our partners to really shine a light on some of the amazing talents in their region. Whether or not we’re going to sub and dub at the same time – obviously, we did that only in one short, but it was important to have that sort of grounded feel that it was germane to the country the short was from.

Yeah, because I found it very interesting because of how accents can have an effect on viewers. I know personally my family’s from Colombia, which is in Latin America. So when I saw “In The Stars” and heard that similar Latin American accent hit me on a different level. So it was even more emotional for me. Do you feel like there is a potential for a level of effectiveness that can be elevated for viewers who grew up with two languages, with English and their family’s native language?

Lopez: I do. And you know, what’s interesting about it is, you know, for Punkrobot, it was very important that it was Chile, you know? It couldn’t be Argentina, or it would have been just that slight difference. And I would say that’s true. And, you know, I would say that is true with Ireland; they have their very familiar accents. And Aardman, they usually use Northern England, not so much London accents. So it just places it authentically. I feel that as well, just to hear those accents, even in”Sith”, you know, she sounded very Spanish to me, and that fits with her look and with the colors in that short, it just places it very authentically.

(©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.)

Waugh: You really wanted this volume to be a celebration of not only Star Wars, not only animation but of the cultures that these studios resided in. And I think an honest reflection of this culture is also those voices that are grounded and rooted within the country they’re from.

Absolutely! And outside of the Star Wars world, inside the anime community, we’re seeing a major rise in success in theatrical films and series. As an excited anime fan myself, I know I’m not alone when I say is there a potential path to maybe a full series or a full film with the Japanese animation style within Star Wars?

Waugh: Sure! I mean, honestly, of course, we would love to do that. We have an appetite for that, right? I mean, how cool would that be? So I think the way you phrase that question, is there a path? Absolutely. And I think we get excited about those ideas just as much as anybody else, as fans of the medium. You know, I think we are reacting to the audience, and we’re reacting to what fandom wants, what the broad audience wants, and whether or not we can do that is always dependent on the response. And, you know, I tend to find over the course of my career that if people watch it, people want it, there’s always a path. Because there’s certainly a passion on our side to try to bring those type of things to life.

Visions Volume Two, again, is just absolutely beautiful. I was completely blown away as someone who’s followed Star Wars and animation for so many years. I want to thank you guys so much because I really do feel like this might be the best Star Wars project in the modern era. It really is that good. Congrats!

Lopez: Thank you!

Waugh: Wow, thank you!

Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 is now available to stream on Disney+!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: