Star Wars: Visions season 1, episode 9 recap – “Akakiri” best served cold

September 22, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Disney+, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“Akakiri” lends another striking visual style and some subversive twists to a well-worn storytelling structure.

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3.5

Summary

“Akakiri” lends another striking visual style and some subversive twists to a well-worn storytelling structure.

This recap of Star Wars: Visions season 1, episode 9, “Akakiri”, contains spoilers.


It’s only fitting that the final episode of Star Wars: Visions feels a lot like the first, despite having a different art style and themes. There’s just a sense of Japanese cultural and media traditionalism here that merges well with Star Wars tropes and the underlying message of revenge being cyclical and all-consuming. It feels, for want of a less simplistic term, like a good, old-fashioned samurai story.

Star Wars: Visions season 1, episode 9 recap

The samurai here would be Tsubaki, an itinerant Jedi whose powers are on the fritz and who is nursing a great deal of personal pain. He also has previous with Misa, whose people he has helped in the past. Their latest predicament, though, is much direr – a Sith hidden within the royal family has usurped the seat of power, Misa has been exiled, and the two will have to work together to save the day.

But the most compelling question that “Akakira” asks is whether that’s possible without tremendous personal sacrifice – and it turns out not to be. The vaguely comedic journey to the palace gives way to a much more serious duel between Tsubaki and Masago, an opponent he is outmatched by. As this mission for vengeance begins to result in more and more bodies being piled on the ground, the collateral damage caused by a desire for vengeance has to be considered, both by the audience and by Tsubaki himself, who eventually has no choice but to abandon his personal principles and give himself to Masago, to the Dark Side, consumed by a desire that the Light can’t grant him.

There’s obviously a fair amount of subversion in this episode; good doesn’t triumph over evil, and the wandering warrior betrays his charge. Since Star Wars typically plays in the shallow end of the morality pool, this is welcome, and a strong way to close out an anthology series that has enthusiastically played with different themes and ideas that are atypical for the franchise. The visual style here, while not as striking as the one in the premiere, is nonetheless evocative, and the series ends as it began – as a showcase for new, artistic interpretations of one of popular media’s most iconic and enduring franchises.

You can stream Star Wars: Visions season 1 ,episode 9 exclusively on Disney+.

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