Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Could Amazon have the next Game of Thrones-sized hit on their hands? Adapted from a beloved book series (check), Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is a sprawling fantasy epic (check) set in a world where magic exists (check) and only certain women are allowed to access it. There’s prophecies and perilous journeys, magic and dueling kingdoms, and a host of powerful women, led by Rosamund Pike’s Moiraine Damodred, a member of the Aes Sedai.
The Aes Sedai is an order of women who can bend the elements with their magic, and they’re tasked with finding the latest reincarnation of the Dragon, a prophesied figure who can save humanity from an evil force known as the Dark One. Moiraine is sent on a voyage to Two Rivers to find the Dragon Reborn, where her fate intertwines with five young men and women — one of whom is the aforementioned Chosen One — and they embark on a trek to save the world from darkness.
It sounds like a lot. After all, there are 14 books of source material to pull from. But at its core, The Wheel of Time is a tale of good vs. evil. And there’s a charismatic cast of young heroes to root for: Madeleine Madden’s Egwene al’Vere; Marcus Rutherford’s Perrin Aybara; Barney Harris’s Mat Cauthon; Zoë Robins’s Nynaeve al’Meara; and Josha Stradowski’s Rand al’Thor. It’s only a matter of time before they become household names.
Star Wars: Visions
Release date: November 22
Where to watch: Disney+
It’s no secret that Japanese cinema has long influenced the Star Wars saga. Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 samurai classic, The Hidden Fortress, initially inspired George Lucas’s galaxy far, far away, and in the decades since, the richness of Japanese folklore and animation has continued to energize a generation of filmmakers at the Star Wars helm. (In turn, the interstellar space opera has left its own monumental impact on anime; there’d be no Gundam without it.)
So in some ways, Star Wars: Visions feels kismet. The ambitious, animated anthology series is a chance for some of Japan’s greatest storytellers to leave their mark on a beloved franchise. But it also feels a bit like reclaiming a lost legacy. The best part? They’re not beholden to the ironclad continuity of the Skywalker Saga, so expect Visions to bring to life exciting new characters and unexpected stories, while imbuing each episode with its own artistic and cultural lens. Every episode, nine in total, comes from a different creative team — including studios like Studio Trigger (Kill La Kill, Promare) and Science SARU (Space Dandy, Devilman Crybaby) — which will make Visions a must-watch for animation fans and Star Wars devotees alike.