The world of Star Wars may never be the same after audiences are introduced to Disney+’s Star Wars: Vision, a collection of short Star Wars films from seven of the world’s largest animation studios, including Studio Trigger and Production I.G.
Featuring an array of voice actors for it’s English dubs, Visions combined the artistry and boldness of anime with in-depth storytelling and emotion. One of the actors who is part of the ensemble is Masi Oka, who helps bring epsiode five “The Ninth Jedi” to life as Ethan who is gifted a lightsaber.
The Koalition spoke to Masi about voicing the character, the choices Ethan makes, Masi’s love for Star Wars and more.
“I think it’s every fans dream to wield a lightsaber, so just to be able to experience that I was super excited about. I think I like the idea that he came in thinking one thing and being a one rod and then realizing that when you believe in yourself anything can be possible.”
“For me as an on-camera actor you bring our own interpretations to it, you definitely come in [approaching the emotion and the feeling and matching the Japanese version], but because the original Japanese lines already existed and they already sync to the Japanese animation to have to be cognizant about trying to match that as well. It’s about coming in with a choice but being flexible and working with the director to make it work.”
In “The Ninth Jedi” many generations after the Jedi Order became mostly extinct, Margrave Juro – the Jedi ruler of the planet Hy Izlan – invites seven Jedi to his aerial temple in order to receive lightsabers; whose design has been lost to time. Juro’s droid gifts the first lightsaber to a Jedi named Ethan
Despite only being thirteen minutes, the episode takes viewers through Ethan journey as he faces betrayals and triumphs as he discovers the true meaning of being a Jedi. For Maski, “being a Jedi just means being one with yourself in many ways; one with nature.”
Masi’s background in steeped in Star Wars, working behind-the-scenes capacity as a digital artist on the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy during his time at Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects company George Lucas founded. Working on Visions as an voice actor gave Masi the opportunity to revisit his childhood love and culture.
Even after Ethan’s story has concluded Maski would love to see more of Ethan’s growth.” I would love for [Ethan] to go on his own journey. Have is own mentor and have his own master and see his ascension towards being a real Jedi.”
“I hope [fans] get a love for more of the Japanese anime because anime has been around for a long time and is part of my childhood culture growing up being Japanese with both anime and Star Wars. I hope people fall in love with anime more. I also hope fans see the unlimited potential of the Star Wars universe. Just bringing two different cultures together, two different creative worlds together; you’ve created this amazing possibilities of new ways of opening up the Star Wars franchise. I hope people get the Star Wars world is unlimited just as your potential is.”
To learn more about Ethan and Masi’s interpretation of the character, check out our full interview.