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5 methods Japan influenced ‘Star Wars’



“Star Wars” is a cultural juggernaut, a mass media energy encompassing movie, tv, books, comics, toys and way more.

While “Star Wars” has a number of reference factors, together with previous sci-fi film serials like “Flash Gordon,” the novel “Dune” (spice, anybody?), and World War II dogfights (try 1955 movie “The Dam Busters” for proto-Death Star destruction motion), Japan has had an outsized affect on the galaxy far, distant.

Here then are 5 methods Japan has influenced “Star Wars.” We’ve tried to maintain spoilers to a minimal, however there could also be some reveals.

1. The movies of Akira Kurosawa

This is the Obiwan Lucas was in search of. Photo: Toho

t’s no secret that George Lucas was a giant fan of Japanese movie director Akira Kurosawa. So a lot has been mentioned in regards to the connection between Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress” and “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.”

We’ve talked about it earlier than, so we received’t go into too a lot element right here. But the parallels are placing: each characteristic a bickering pair of commoners embroiled in an journey with a sassy younger princess and a weathered basic, performed by Kurosawa common Toshiro Mifune. Lucas even approached Mifune about taking part in Darth Vader when casting the primary movie.

The connections go deeper, although. Lucas (together with Francis Ford Coppola) produced Kurosawa’s 1980 movie, “Kagemusha,” a couple of warlord’s doppelgänger getting thrown into the thick of issues. This story thought additionally made its method into “The Clone Wars,” particularly within the fourth episode of the fourth season, “The Shadow Warrior” (additionally the English translation of the Japanese phrase, kagemusha), with Jar Jar Binks taking part in the double.

Kurosawa’s arguably most well-known movie is “The Seven Samurai.” It was the inspiration for “The Mandalorian” episode, “Sanctuary” within the first season. Hiding from the Guild, Mando leads a bunch of mercenaries to repel raiders from attacking an area village, a transparent parallel to the film. Not coincidentally, that is additionally the premise for Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Rebel Moon,” which began life as a “Star Wars” mission.

2. Lone Wolf and Cub


This is the best way. Photo: Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima, Futabasha

“Lone Wolf and Cub” was a manga collection that ran from 1970 to 1976. It was additionally made into quite a few movies (recut and launched abroad as “Shogun Assassin”) and tv collection. It’s the story of Ogami Itto, the previous executioner for the shogun, who’s compelled to go on the run together with his younger son, Daigoro, after being framed for against the law he didn’t commit.

The similarities to “The Mandalorian” are quite a few, with Grogu following Mando in a floating cradle. Although Daigoro doesn’t have supernatural powers, he’s typically introduced into the fray. The scene in “The Book Of Boba Fett,” the place Luke gives Grogu the selection between the lifetime of a Jedi and being with the Mandalorian, is sort of shot for shot from the primary “Lone Wolf and Cub” movie.

3. Samurai and bushido

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