6 Anime That Star Wars Fans Should Watch

Zuleika Boekhoudt
Star Wars Anime
Star Wars Anime

Another year and another Star Wars movie is about to hit the silver screen. And we can’t wait! But while you’re getting ready for The Last Jedi to land, indulge in a few anime series like Star Wars to get you in the mood. So, here are six anime to watch if you’re a fan of Star Wars.

Mobile Suit Gundam

anime like Star Wars Mobile Suit Gundam

In 1979 the world hungered for Star Wars — and Star Wars rip-offs. Japan was as hungry as any nation, just a year earlier Toei had made Message from Space, a blatant (but charming) Star Wars clone. The Mobile Suit Gundam anime would also have more than a little bit of George Lucas inside it. Its story is that of a giant space war featuring young heroes battling against the evil Zeons. Only instead of X-Wings, we have giant robot “mobile suits.” Instead of Jedi, there are “Newtypes“, psychic pilots who dominate the battlefield. Finally, the mobile suits fight with “beam sabers“, which are clearly massive lightsabers.

Director Yoshiyuki Tomino, however, took his giant robot Star Wars into a polemic against war. As the 50-episode series wore on, Gundam became darker as both heroes and villains fell in an increasingly bloody struggle. A lot of work was put into humanizing the character on the Zeon side, making their defeat more bittersweet than heroic. That kind of boldness made Gundam stand out from its inspiration. Decades later Gundam is itself a massive international phenomenon.

[Eric Fuchs, FANDOM Contributor]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

anime like Star Wars Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Corruption, exploitation, blight, and good vs. evil are just a few themes that Star Wars explores. But at its core, the space opera movie series is really a political thriller. In Star Wars Episodes I-III, the emphasis on politics was unmissable as many essential storylines occurred in the Galactic Senate.

In Legend of the Galactic Heroes, instead of Star Wars’ Imperial regime, we have the Galactic Empire. The tyrannical rule of the Empire has pushed much of the galaxy into extreme poverty. But a group of rebels manage to escape and they form the democratic Free Planets Alliance.

For centuries these two interstellar organizations have been fighting each other in a bloody and costly war. But, now it’s time to finish this bloodshed once and for all.

[Zuleika Boekhoudt, FANDOM Contributor]

Space Dandy

anime like Star Wars Space Dandy

The Star Wars universe is fun and imaginative on a conceptual level. While this element of the franchise has not exactly been the forefront of any of the Star Wars films, Star Wars MMOs and multiplayer shooters have seen tremendous success as fans cannot help but imagine what it would be like to live in this extraordinary universe.

Space Dandy takes the most fun elements of Star Wars, dials them up to 11, breaks off the knob, and then jury-rigs the speaker to blast out even more fun.

The anime follows the universe’s worst alien hunter and his motley crew as the romp around space and get into misadventures. Each episode is a visual sensation that makes a viewer wish they could travel the cosmos almost as much as Star Wars does.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

Last Exile

anime like Star Wars Last Exile

One of the most neglected positions in Star Wars has got to be the X-Wing pilots. They were one of the leading reasons that Rebels won several important battles, but instead of being honored as heroes, they were portrayed as sacrificial pawns.

Last Exile resembles much of these X-Wing starfighter pilots but in a steampunk fashion. And, instead of taking place in outer space, Last Exile is set on the fictional planet of Prester.

Just like the planets featured in Star Wars, Prester is embroiled in corruption and the devastation of war between several counties. And freelance courier pilot Claus Valka and his mechanic friend, Lavie Head, are stuck in the middle.

The anime follows this duo as they take the job of delivering a young girl to an air battleship. But to do so, they must venture into the Grand Stream — a dangerous air current that separates the land.

[Zuleika Boekhoudt, FANDOM Contributor]

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

anime like Star Wars JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

The ridiculous and fantastical elements of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure might make the series seem rather dissimilar from the sci-fi-heavy Star Wars (although some would argue that Star Wars is science-fantasy, but midi-chlorians make this franchise distinctly science-fiction), these properties actually have a lot in common. At its core, Star Wars is a multi-generational struggle between the forces of good and evil. This description also covers parts one through four of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

JoJo’s mostly centers on the exploits of the Joestar family as they battle interlocking forces of evil over the course of more than a century. While parts five through eight also center on this struggle, they have yet to be animated and have some thematic elements that decentralize the good vs evil struggle. If you do want to see a truly bizarre take on a classic tale, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is exactly what you’re looking for.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

One Piece

anime like Star Wars One Piece

A key part of Star Wars’ success as a franchise is due to its expansive universe. Star Wars has more (sadly now mostly noncanonical) extended universe content than nearly any other franchise to date. However, One Piece – one of the most successful manga/anime ever – is no slouch in world-building either.

The world in One Piece is one of the densest and most imaginative ever written. One Piece takes the sense of adventure that’s in the background of every Star Wars experience, thrusts it to the forefront, and piles on science fiction and fantastical elements. While it can be difficult for a newcomer to jump into this very established franchise, it’s worth it for Star Wars fans who love the immersive universe that 20 years of world-building offers.

[Lucas DeRuyter, FANDOM Contributor]

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Zuleika Boekhoudt
Zuleika is a fan contributor at Fandom and focuses on Anime. Her anime specialties are horror, gore, and mystery anime. Loves series, movies, and games that have to do with bloodthirsty but equally intelligent psychos.
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