Lop & Ocho
Episode 8 of Star Wars: Visions begins with a resource-rich planet called Tao forming an alliance with the galactic empire. Unfortunately, in doing so, Imperial industry starves the planet of its natural resources, leaving things on a precarious knife-edge.
One of the Empire’s laborers, Lop, manages to escape, rushing through the streets to escape their tyrannical grip. Boss Yasaburo begrudgingly agrees to take the kid on and she grows up with their family.
We then skip forward 7 years later. Yasaburo is determined to hit back against the empire, causing an explosion to try and stop the imperial plight. However, he ends up butting heads with his daughter, Ocho, who believes they should embrace the Empire. As the two argue out in the open, numerous soldiers arrive on speeder bikes to break up their verbal spat.
As Ocho and Lop drive up to the Imperial HQ together, it turns out she’s been working with them this whole time. Ocho is invited along to discuss the redevelopment of the planet, which she gladly decides to take up. Symbolically cutting her hair, she embraces the imperials and turns away from her Father’s teachings. An incredulous Lop grabs her sister’s severed ponytail and hurries back home to see Yasaburo.
Once there, Yasaburo teaches Lop about an ancient blade and the legend of the Jedi. This weapon represents child and parent, with Yasaburo embracing the girl as his own child. He entrusts her with taking up the family legacy, although the future of this world remains in dire peril.
Unfortunately Ocho strikes down Yasaburo, leaving it to Lop to try and avenge him and bring the girl back from the brink. Determined to do just that, Lop and Ocho square off against one another. When Ocho leaves though, everything is left on a precarious cliffhanger.
The Episode Review
Although the worldbuilding and general ideas are good, the cliffhanger ending and a lack of resolution to what’s going on here is a little disappointing. That’s a shame because the art style works really well against the story and the narrative beats are pretty compelling.
Ending aside, the chapter does well to effectively build up this world and craft a story around a familiar theme of man VS nature. It’s something that certainly bleeds echoes of Final Fantasy VII and Shinra, although as a minor gripe it would have been nice to see a little more of the larger world itself.
Despite that, this penultimate chapter of Visions does well to keep things interesting, with lots of promise for the final episode to come.