If you are someone who follows trends in pop culture and comics, you know that manga and anime are destroying American comics and cartoons in viewership and sales. Mainly because people are more interested in their stories and art styles. They tend to be more engaging and have a wider appeal than the American offerings of the last few years.
Disney is trying to leverage the platforms to boost up Star Wars. Much like they are trying to use Instagram Influencers and TikTok celebrities to boost up their parks.
Previously, during the Investor Day presentation, it was revealed that Lucasfilm was working on a new show for Disney+ called “Star Wars Visions” which would include 10 “anime-inspired” short films from Japanese animation studios. Anime.
Now it appears that they are trying to go after manga too with a new series that’s part of the High Republic push they are trying to make. The new manga series is called The Edge of Balance! with Viz.
The new series is written by Justina Ireland and Shima Shinya, and will have art from Mizuki Sakakibara. It seems like they want a Japanese author to work with the American one to try and ensure it actually reads and feels like manga. Plus they went with a known manga artist as well.
They are trying to do this “Transmedia” push across various genres and age groups in books and media. Like they already did with ‘Shadows of the Empire‘ decades ago.
According to Screen Rant:
“Justina Ireland is one of the architects of the High Republic transmedia initiative.”
So she was one of the people that felt that “diversity,” “actual ending” and “feelings” were above “relatable characters.” Characters make the story.
“Not pro-war” is also above “space and lightsaber battles.”
Ireland promises the manga will feel “authentically Star Wars and authentically manga.”
Well I’m not holding my breath on the “authentically Star Wars” part, at least if the white board was part of deciding the story.
I still can’t get past “dinosaurs” being high on the “Star Wars Wishes” list right above “representation and diversity” which has always been in Star Wars.
Frankly, when you hear the discussions about it, it sounds like they want to change what we know and what has been established for decades. They tried and failed with the sequel trilogy, so now they are going into the past to change it there. The Lucasfilm Story group, which includes Pablo Hidalgo, have had members openly mock Star Wars fans for years. They want to keep doing what they’re doing, but now in the past. With the High Republic instead of the Old Republic. Because High is bigger and better, just like Starkiller Base isn’t a Death Star because it’s bigger.
Meanwhile, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are capturing the attention and rebuilding the Star Wars fandom with “authentically Star Wars” shows like “The Mandalorian” and beloved classic characters.
Most people don’t read all the peripheral books and things, so if it isn’t a game, a show or a movie the audience is limited.
So they are trying to expand their audience and capture two of the most popular cultural outlets — manga and anime.
Good luck there.
I do want good Star Wars again, so I’m secretly hoping they don’t disappoint. I’ve gotten too afraid to hope much with the story group people anymore.
No release date has yet been set for the manga.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
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