The Greatest Anime Studio In History Is Teaming Up With Lucasfilm
Studio Ghibli, the legendary anime studio, teased a collaboration with Lucasfilm in a cryptic tweet today.
Studio Ghibli, the legendary Japanese anime studio, teased what appears to be a collaboration with Lucasfilm. In a cryptic tweet posted today, the official Studio Ghibli Twitter account posted a video of both the Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli title cards, which are featured at the beginning of their productions, playing one after the other. The logo video would seem to indicate a shared project, but no other text – or context – was provided.
As you might expect, speculation ran wild on the internet, as fans threw around theories as to what the tweet meant. The official Star Wars Twitter account retweeted the tweet, but the confirmation provides no additional insight.
The most likely scenario is that the two studios are collaborating on the next season of Star Wars: Visions, the anime anthology series that premiered last year on Disney+. The first season featured nine animated shorts, produced by a number of major anime studios, featuring tales set within the Star Wars universe, although not canon to the films and TV series.
Studio Ghibli has produced such classic anime films as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Studio founder Hayao Miyazaki, who provided the creative vision of their productions, retired in 2013 after completing the film The Wind Rises, but came back recently to write and direct one more film, How Do You Live?, which is due for release in 2026. The film is inspired by the 1937 novel from Yoshino Genzaburo.
The studios that participated in the first season of Visions were Kamikaze Douga, Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Production I.G, Science SARU, and Geno Studio (Twin Engine). With an anime house like Studio Ghibli on board, however, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Lucasfilm to give them an entire season of shorts to produce, or even an animated, full-length feature film.
Lucasfilm has delved into animation to provide supporting content to its most popular IPs, like Star Wars: The Clone Wars or the recent Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi. It did produce the 2015 animated fantasy film Strange Magic, an original story directed by Gary Rydstrom and starring Evan Rachel Wood and Alfred Molina, but original animated stories are rare.
If Lucasfilm can in fact lure a legend like Hayao Miyazaki out of retirement for a Star Wars anime project, it would send shockwaves throughout multiple fandoms. Even without Miyazaki’s participation, a Studio Ghibli collaboration with Lucasfilm would be something to celebrate, even for just a few animated short.
Given George Lucas’ admitted influence of Japanese culture on Star Wars (the Japanese classic The Hidden Fortress heavily influenced Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in story structure and characters), having the premier anime studio on Earth explore that more under Lucasfilm’s guidance is very promising.
Even though the official Star Wars account did retweet the Studio Ghibli tweet, it is entirely possible that they could be working on another Lucasfilm property. With word breaking this week that an Indiana Jones series is in development, it could very well be an animated series. However, Indy doesn’t really fit the Studio Ghibli style, and independent animator Patrick Schoenmaker of Frame Order produced a perfect animated Indiana Jones short in the Disney style.