Continuing Laughing Place’s individual episode reviews for Lucasfilm’s new animated event series Star Wars: Visions on Disney+, episode 2 is entitled “Tatooine Rhapsody” and was crafted by Studio Colorido (creators of A Whisker Away).
I think I understand why “Tatooine Rhapsody” was chosen by the powers that be at Lucasfilm to come second in the Star Wars: Visions sequence on Disney+: because it takes such a sharp left turn from the dead-series nature of “The Duel” and ventures far more toward the relatively light-hearted nature of George Lucas’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In fact, a lot of the imagery and design choices are taken right out of that movie, the podracing arena in Mos Espa being the most prominent example. The story here focuses on a young ex-Padawan who (presumably after Order 66 occurs, though these short films aren’t intended to fit into any larger Star Wars chronology) joins a band of misfits whose only goal in life is to become the galaxy’s most popular rock n’ roll group. Does rock music exist in A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Well, we’ve arguably seen hints of it before, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. The point is to have fun and tell a brief and amusing tale about loyalty among friends.
The lightsaber-wielding Jay (voiced by Hiroyuki Yoshino in the Japanese audio track and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the English dub) falls in with the wayward Hutt Geezer (Kōsuke Gotō / Bobby Moynihan) droid K-344 (Masayo Fujita / Shelby Young), and multi-torsoed alien Lan (Anri Katsu / Marc Thompson), who are performing a concert in a small venue when notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett (Akio Kaneda / Temuera Morrison) comes looking for Geezer in service to Jabba the Hutt. If you’re noticing some familiar names in that list of characters, you’re not the only one– “Tatooine Rhapsody” is indeed the closest Visions comes to tying in to the existing Star Wars canon, and an argument could be made that there’s no reason that these events couldn’t “actually” have happened sometime after the rise of the Empire.
I, for one, never thought I’d seen Boba Fett crowdsurfing (even unintentionally) in any officially released Star Wars media, but those kind of outside-the-box antics are what makes this short stand out to me– especially after having seen the rest of the series, which is mostly concentrated on the concerns of Force wielders rather than underworld dealings and quirky shenanigans like those depicted here. The visuals are brighter and more cheerful than that of “The Duel” and this film has a shorter, breezier runtime as well, almost urging the audience not to take it too seriously. The low-stakes conflict is resolved swiftly and easily, and viewers are likely to be left humming the catchy tunes performed by Jay and Geezer’s soon-to-be-famous rock band, Star Waver. It’s a pleasant, charming diversion that goes by quickly, so how can I complain?
My ranking so far:
1 – The Duel
2 – Tatooine Rhapsody
Star Wars: Visions is available to stream in its entirety exclusively on Disney+.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.