Anime and Star Wars would seem to be a natural fit. The obsession with technical detail, the overarching heroic themes, and the fact that George Lucas cribbed most of the first movie from a Japanese classic all lines up, yet there’s only been a handful of official manga. Fortunately, Paul Michael Johnson is there to fill in the gap.
Johnson ultimately wants to create a Star Wars anime series, telling the story from the Empire’s point of view. While he’s been working on it for a while, his latest seven-minute piece of footage is pretty amazing. Johnson manages to combine the two forms in such a way that this feels less like a fan film and more like an animation test from a studio. We can almost imagine Lucas watching this and thinking that it could use more Ewoks.
Johnson appears to be doing this mostly out of love, but one hopes that Disney sees this for the opportunity it is. They’ve been doing some interesting Star Wars cartoons lately, but this is a chance to deliver something every Star Wars fan didn’t know they wanted.