'Westworld' Season 2's Shogun World Means a "Whole Episode in Japanese"

The sophomore season of Westworld will still mostly be about the Wild West theme park, which makes sense, given that it’s the name of the show. However, the Season 1 finale teased the existence of another park inhabited by robotic samurai, and Season 2 will indeed travel to Shogun World. It’s not going to be the whole season, the showrunners say, but we’ll spend enough time in Shogun World that there is going to be an entire episode that’s mostly in Japanese.

In a new interview with access-machine Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy previewed what viewers can expect from Shogun World come Season 2. Earlier promotional materials hinted that Shogun World was even more violent than Westworld, and the pair say that’s essentially true, but it’s more that it’s based on the bloody, stylized tradition of Japanese films like the works of Akira Kurosawa, Sonny Chiba, and Quentin Tarantino’s riffs on the genre. Shogun World is a fully realized, totally distinct, and very immersive, uh, world.

“We wanted to feel like our story dropped into a totally different world,” Nolan said. “Basically, we have a whole episode in Japanese.”

“It’s not our world. It’s their world, and it’s thrilling to walk through,” Joy added.

Why not visit Shogun World?


As with Westworld, Shogun World isn’t 100 percent historically accurate (the park is a composite of different iconic periods of Wild West history and iconography). The Japanese park is largely based on the Edo period (1603 through 1868), but the creators took liberties with the specifics.

While we’ll get a good sense of Shogun World — which Nolan and Joy created in a change from the original Westworld movie, which featured exclusively European-inspired parks — the pair want to “gently temper expectations.” The show is still Westworld, after all.

“Most of our season is spent in Westworld — the eponymous Westworld. But we do get a chance to glimpse some of the other worlds. And we have a couple of episodes that are spent in Shogun World with one of our storylines, while our other storylines continue elsewhere,” Nolan said. “So I say we’re trying to temper expectations, except to say that I think the stuff we did for Shogun World is spectacular.”

Westworld Season 2* premieres on April 22.