Waugh emphasizes that “the original cast is definitely the Japanese cast. It was done in that form first.” As for getting the English-speaking cast, “We worked very closely with Lucasfilm’s casting department and Disney+.” He confirms that he and his team sat in on the records while picking out actors. They also had certain goals in mind while casting. “There’s certain talent that we wanted to go after, and we wanted to make sure it was a really diverse and representative cast as well. And I think we’ve hit that, but we were really inspired by what was done in the original version.”
He also noted that their approach was based on another high level Disney employee’s previous work with anime: “From an English perspective, it was very much done in the model that Kathy [Kennedy] did, working with Miyazaki, when she partnered with him to bring those West.” Kennedy has run Lucasfilm since Disney acquired it, and thus has played a central role in the development of the “Star Wars” franchise analogous in scope to Kevin Feige’s role with the MCU. She also produced the English versions of multiple Studio Ghibli films, so she was uniquely qualified to guide the “Visions” project.
“Star Wars: Visions” is now streaming on Disney+.