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Star Wars: Visions: Season 2: Episode 4: I Am Your Mother

What is it ? : A young Twilek girl, Anni, watches an advert by Wedge Antilles for a family race at the local pilots academy which she attends, hearing her mother listening to loud music in the next room while working, she quickly hides her datapad and goes to see what's happening. Her mother is working on their droid, Z-1, which appears to be a kind of Astromech dog droid, it malfunctions and shows a hologram of Anni and her mother playing at Star Wars in the cockpit of their ship, with Anni being Red-2 and them performing a manuever called the Ryloth roll.
Her mother offers her a packed lunch, but it has come out wrong and melts into a mess, when they hear a horn outside and Anni has to rush off to her academy, just as her mother realises too late that she forgot her lunch.
At the academy, Anni makes excuses for her mother not being able to attend the Family Race, so she'll need to sit it out, even when another student, Julan Van Reeple, insults her mothers ship.
The race is about to begin, when suddenly items drop from the sky, underwear and other debris as Anni's mother lands their ship to deliver lunch to Anni, before noticing she's interrupting the race, which she'd never been told about. Asking why, Anni tells her it's because she's embarrassing, their ship is embarrassing, their broken droid is embarrassing. Hurt, her mother decides they'll take part never-the-less, and as the race begins their ship hurtles along belching smoke behind it.
As they argue, the Van Reeple ship knocks them off course and they smash through a roadside sign into a tunnel.
Asking X-1 to help start the ship, they realise that it is outside, so Anni's Mother climbs out to help the droid, while Anni takes the controls. Anni isn't sure she can do it, but her mother reassures her, she's got this, calling her Red-2.
They rocket out of the tunnel, with Anni's mother and X-1 dangling behind on a cable. Joining the race once more, they see the Van Reeple's firing a laser at other racers, and soon it's only Anni and the Van Reeples left in the race.
They're about to fire on her, when she performs the Ryloth Roll and dodges out of the way, the stunning manoeuvre distracts Julan and she crashes their ship just short of the finishing line, and Anni wins.
She and her mother celebrate, and she apologises to her mother. Who tells her that even if she is embarrassing, she is her mother.

High Points : A shorter episode that the last few, and it's better for it. There's a lot of story in here, and it's really enjoyable. Along with so many jokes, the insult of the Van Reeples which gets censored out by the Wookiee delivering the worst word of it (and the fact that the subtitles correctly point out that the Wookiee is responding in Shyriiwook). The Van Reeples laser being in the form of a Tiny Death Star, all of the lines delivered by Wedge as a over the top celebrity version of himself (and the fact that Denis Lawson returns to voice the character). It's a funny episode.
But it's more than that, the characters feel fleshed out, the interactions make sense, they've got history and we feel as if we could easily watch the kids at the school interacting a month ago, or a week in the future. This is an important moment we're watching, but it's not all they exist for.

Low Points : I'm not going to criticise much of this at all, as it's a very cliched story (teenager embarrassed by parent comes to appreciate how cool they really are), it's done well and the short run time means it never outlasts it's welcome.

So what do you really think ? : Now this is the Aardman animations episode, the people who make Wallace and Gromit, and like much of their other work (Chicken Run, etc) many of the characters in this have what we Brits call a "Northern" accent (even though I'm Scottish so far more northern than the north of England where these accents come from). Now that might be weird to people for Star Wars characters to sound like they're from Manchester and the surrounds, but as Doctor Who pointed out a long time ago "Lots of planets have a north", which works for me.

Final Words : As should be obvious I really liked this one. I'm a massive Aardman fan, and they haven't let me down. This is fast, fun, and kind of irreverent, and sparks joy in me.
While I expected this to be the high point of this season, and it is so far, I was equally ready to be disappointed so watched it with some trepidation. It might not be for everyone, but it's what I expected Aardman to do, and I'm really glad that Lucasfilm has allowed these studios to play in their sandbox, when it creates little gems like this. It's definitely an advantage of the Visions series, that they can try so many things, and while not every episode will be liked by everyone, the different style probably mean that someone adores each and every episode.

Score : 9.25/10

Comments made about this Article!

09/May/2023 16:17:04 Posted by

I recognized the claymation style having seen commercials for Chicken Run and Wallace & Grommit. The overall silliness was a turn-off for me.

I admit the timing of this episode was good - a mother-daughter episode arriving in time for Mother's Day.

If there's a highlight, it's Wedge Antilles' appearance. I understand he said more in this episode than in all the movies. That's one of the downsides for the reboot that happened when Disney took over. All the good stories are now Legends and considered non-canon. That includes the Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron novels, where Wedge was a key character.

12/May/2023 07:43:14 Posted by Freddy

Aardman definitely has their style, and recognising it instantly settled me into what kind of thing I was going to be watching. But I completely understand that if you're not used to them it would be jarring and seem like a very silly take on Star Wars.

And yes, getting Wedge back was really good, Denis Lawson seems to be an all round good guy, and willing to dip his toe into silliness, so it was nice to see him here playing a rather different version of Wedge.

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