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Star Wars: Visions: Season 2: Episode 7: The Bandits of Golak

What is it ? : A brother and sister ride on a speeder train through mountainous terrain, he goes to get food for them, but she notices that he has a flute she wants to play and uses the Force to grab it and levitate it to her hand.
As he queues, he hears her playing the flute and realises what has happened, and looks around noticing a fellow passenger reporting her use of the Force to a Stormtrooper. Thinking quickly, he distracts the guards by stealing some lollipops from the food vendor and rushing through the carriages. He tries to avoid pursuit by climbing out onto the outside of the train, but gets caught up as raiders attack the train.
The two manage to use the distraction to avoid the Stormtroopers and disembark from the train making their way to a motel, where they eat, but once again the sister uses the Force attracting attention
An Imperial Inquisitor arrives, along with some Stormtroopers, he has heard of the pair of them from their activities on the train, and although they deny being involved, he knows it is them. However as he speaks a bowl of food is levitating over his head, as the brother tries to get his sister to stop.
Before the Inquisitor can arrest them though, the elderly lady hostess of the hotel reveals herself to be a Jedi, and fights the Inquisitor, defeating him. She promises to look after the sister, but the pair must part now, so they say their goodbyes, and he gives her one of the lollipops he stole on the train, much to her delight. . .

High Points : Very reminiscent of other Star Wars shows, this episode combines some of the aesthetics of Book of Boba Fett (the repulsor train and Tatooine landscape), some of the plotlines of Rebels (hiding force sensitive children from Inquisitors), along with a bunch of stuff of its own.
The episode is by an Indian animation studio, and brings a lot of the character of that nation along with it. The packed train being patrolled by Imperial(ist) forces, feels like it's somewhat based on India's history as part of the British Empire, but I have to sadly admit I don't know enough about Indian history to know if the numerous collaborators willing to betray their people for money is something which is part of their national story. But it does feel as if they have their own very particular view of being controlled by a foreign power, and what that does to their populace.

Low Points : One aspect I felt was rushed and felt forced was the sibling relationship between the two leads. While it was well used, they just felt too keen to introduce so many aspects, their shared play as the "Bandit Chief" and a quest for "Sweets and Plunder, as well as the lollipops, the flute, etc. The writers wanted us to be familiar with so many aspects of these characters, only had a short time to do this, so it feels forced and a little bit of an info dump.

So what do you really think ? : A solid episode, but one that really feels self contained. Rather than giving us a wider universe like Star Wars manages to so often, everything here is basically told within this story. We don't need to know what happened to their village to force them to flee on the train (The Inquisitor attacked it looking for the girl), why the Inquisitor is on the planet (looking for the girl), or what happens next (she trains as a Jedi).

Final Words : I'm perhaps reaching for the art connection across all the episodes once again, but rather than just painting, perhaps it's all aspects of art. So the art of dance from The Spy Dancer, the art of music in this episode, but I don't see any such connection in the other three episodes.

Score : 9/10

Comments made about this Article!

12/May/2023 10:52:44 Posted by

The CGI was definitely better in this episode than in some of the previous ones.

I also believed this episode was good enough to serve as a foundation to a Star Wars animation series.

15/May/2023 07:39:52 Posted by Freddy

While I could see how you could base a series on this, perhaps having the Old Lady collecting Jedi Younglings during the rule of the Empire, and every story follows a new set of characters leading up to her rescuing them. Or following the brother as he tries to help other young Jedi in the same situation as his sister.
I feel that the story is kind of done, especially with Inquisitor having been dealt with.

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