We’ve gotten a glimpse of Star Wars Visions, the new anime anthology series coming to Disney+ next month, but now we have the first bits of information for its first tie-in novel — a tale that follows a mysterious Sith warrior, with some very interesting twists on the fables of the Jedi and Sith’s creation.
StarWars.com has given us our first look at the cover of Star Wars Ronin: A Visions Novel, Emma Mieko Candon’s story that will tie into one of the shorts included in the Visions anthology: “The Duel,” by Kamikaze Douga’s Takanobu Mizuno. What little was recently glimpsed of “The Duel” teases everything from katana-esque lightsabers to the real star of the show, an astromech droid wearing a preposterously large straw hat. But Ronin will follow an unnamed Sith from the story as they wander the galaxy in a world dominated by a powerful Empire… an empire of Jedi Warriors.
Inspired by the jidaigeki genre of Japanese storytelling — period dramas that typically focus on Japan’s Edo period, telling the story of samurai, feudal lords, and their servants — Ronin follows the otherwise unnamed titular protagonist as he travels the galaxy.
It’s set two decades after a civil war among the Jedi and the lords they serve splintered the religious sect into two groups: one that remained Jedi, and one that renamed themselves Sith, seeking a destiny away from their former masters. After the Sith rebellion ended in defeat and the once-warring lords coming together to forge a new Empire, the Ronin wanders the galaxy in exile, in service to no Sith or Jedi clan — until a bandit claiming Sith heritage crosses his path.
It’s interesting not just for its Japanese-framed take on the Star Wars mythos, but because the world of “The Duel” and Ronin sounds very similar to what was once the foundational lore of how the Jedi came about in the old expanded universe. In the old EU, the Jedi (originally called the Je’daii), a sect of Force wielders from across the galaxy that came together on the planet Tython, called by its strong links to the living Force, founding an Order with two distinct ideological viewpoints, based on the light/dark dichotomy of Tython’s twin moons. These Jedi even wielded katana-esque Force-imbued swords before lightsabers became a thing!
Ronin and “The Duel”’s connections to Tython’s old EU history — itself slowly but surely hinted at in fits and starts in the current Star Wars canon, from The Mandalorian’s recent visit there to mentions in the recent High Republic novel, The Rising Storm — may just be coincidental. But coincidence or not, Candon’s novel and the short itself sound intriguing enough that we’re very excited to see how it explores this new lens on the galaxy.
Star Wars: Visions streams on Disney+ starting September 22, while Ronin: A Visions Novel will hit shelves on October 12.