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Disney Has Submitted This Star Wars: Visions Short For Oscar Consideration

It seems that Disney is gunning to net the "Star Wars" franchise its first win at the Academy Awards since "The Empire Strikes Back." Though the acclaimed franchise has maintained a massive level of popularity and praise (as well as controversy) for over 40 years now, the series' mainline films aren't generally Oscar winners. This is despite the fact that the very first "Star Wars" film, "A New Hope" won seven Oscars in one year back in the day, while its sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back," earned one of its own (via In a far away galaxy). Since then, however, the "Star Wars" brand has been left woefully bereft of Oscar wins.

However, Disney is looking to change that by submitting one of the 9 shorts from its recent collaborative anime series, "Star Wars: Visions" for Oscar consideration. "Visions" marked new territory for the franchise, as Disney enlisted the help of several popular Japanese animation studios to create independent shorts within the "Star Wars" universe. Now, Disney is capitalizing on the venture even further by taking on the Academy's "Animated Short Film" category.

The Village Bride could be the winner Star Wars needs

The short in question, according to Collider, is Kinema Citrus' "The Village Bride," which follows a lone Jedi freeing the nature-attuned people of a remote planet from a ruthless warlord. Like many of the other shorts in "Visions," "The Village Bride" only relies on the sparsest bits of "Star Wars" imagery. It features some "Phantom Menace" era battle droids and a Jedi Knight, but eschews mentioning any major struggle between the Empire, Rebels, the Republic, or any other iconic "Star Wars" conflicts. It even goes out of its way to put its own spin on popular "Star Wars" tropes, arming its Jedi protagonist with a yellow, katana-style lightsaber instead of a blue or green one.

In order to make the short eligible for the 94th Academy Awards, which require all entries to play in film theatres or qualify at a film festival, Disney screened the one-time Disney+ exclusive at its El Capitan Theater between September 21 and 27. Of course, this still does not automatically guarantee "The Village Bride" a nomination, let alone a victory. However, the series received generally positive reviews  (the series currently holds a 70% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes), which could result in an arguably overdue Oscar for one of the world's favorite franchises.