The fourth short film in Lucasfilm’s innovative animated project Star Wars: Visions on Disney+ is entitled “I Am Your Mother,” and was created by Aardman Animations, the British studio behind the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit series, Chicken Run, Early Man, and Pirates! Band of Misfits, among numerous other beloved works. As a big Aardman fan already, this was the short I was most looking forward to from this batch of episodes. It definitely lived up to my expectations, and it was a blast to screen it a few weeks early with a big crowd of enthusiastic fans during Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London, England.
“I Am Your Mother” is the story of a mother-daughter pair of Twi’leks– namely Kalina Kalfus (voiced by actress Maxine Peake from The Theory of Everything) and Annisoukaline “Anni” Kalfus (Bridgerton’s Charithra Chandran). Anni has been attending a flight academy hoping to become a pilot, while her mom Kalina supports her by working hard as a maintenance woman– not to mention making her lunch. The short takes place on the day that the academy hosts a “Family Race” announced by none other than Wedge Antilles himself (Denis Lawson, reprising his role from the original Star Wars trilogy and 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker). But Anni doesn’t invite her mother to take part in the race, going so far as to not tell her about it whatsoever. When Kalina hears about the race she shows up uninvited and proceeds to be mocked about her spaceship by the not-so-nice Dorota and Julan Van Reeple (Harry Potter’s Daisy Haggard and Victoria’s Bebe Cave, respectively), who serve as the admittedly very cartoonish villains for the piece.
But cartoonish is definitely the house style for Aardman, and this short is chock-full of breakneck action and laugh-a-second hijinks, especially once the race begins. I’ve seen this short three times now, and there’s so much to look at that I think it would likely take me another dozen views before I feel like I’ve caught anywhere near close to everything there is to see. The Star Wars Easter Eggs come fast and furious scattered throughout the background, and it’s clear there are some fans of the franchise among the writers and animators involved. Plus there’s a touching arc of a relationship between our protagonists, with Anni learning to embrace her mother’s more embarrassing aspects along the way. All that said, the past few decades have shown that you can’t really go wrong with Aardman, and that tradition continues here in this ten-minute short. Also I’m giving them bonus points for it not focusing on the Force, Jedi, or lightsabers.
My Vol 2. ranking so far:
1 – “I Am Your Mother”
2 – “Screecher’s Reach”
3 – “In the Stars”
4 – “Sith”
Star Wars: Visions is now available to stream in its entirety, exclusively via Disney+.