STAR WARS EPISODE VII Samurai Kylo Ren, Bandai Meisho MovieRealization

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STAR WARS EPISODE VII Samurai Kylo Ren, Bandai Meisho MovieRealization

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Samurai Kylo Ren, Bandai Meisho MovieRealization

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While The Hidden Fortress and Seven Samurai are the most referenced Kurosawa films in Star Wars, they are not the only ones. While Star Wars had plenty of inspiration from westerns, especially in regards to the franchise’ criminal underworld, a scene in 1961’s Yojimbo was referenced in A New Hope. Ben Kenobi dispatching a pair of criminals (who brag about their heinous crimes), including cutting off the arm of one, references Yojimbo’s Kuwabatake Sanjuro in a similar scenario. Star Wars also references its sequel, 1962’s Sanjuro, when Han, Chewbacca, and their passengers hide under the floorboards of the Millennium Falcon, just as several samurai do in Kurosawa’s film. Themes of youth versus experience and everything that comes with it hang on every frame of this story. It makes sense since this might be director Otsuka-san’s final film for Trigger,” Rimes says. “In many ways, this is a love letter from him, the older master, to the newer, younger generation of artists starting up.”

The influence of Japanese culture on Star Wars is obvious once you start looking for it. Even if you weren’t aware of Lucas’s fondness for samurai movies or his admiration for Toshiro Mifune, you might already have noticed parallels with Japanese culture in the costumes of many of the characters: Queen Amidala’s dress sense seems to take its cue from Japanese Kabuki costumes… (Left-hand photo: nautiljon.com) Jedi garb is strikingly similar to traditional samurai robes… And Darth Vader’s helmet bears more than a passing resemblance to samurai armour. Star Wars in Japan today As the Jedi trained in the ways of the Force and held dear their Jedi code, so did the samurai warriors of feudal Japan with the bushido code of conduct. Bushido translates to “way of the warrior” and established moral standards for the samurai class. Lucas has also said that the idea of telling the story from the perspectives of C3PO and R2-D2 was sparked by Hidden Fortress. "I decided that would be a nice way to tell the Star Wars story, which was to take the two lowest characters, as Kurosawa did, and tell the story from their point of view, which in the Star Wars case is the two droids,” he explained in a 2001 interview. The war-torn general, of course, is analogous to Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi with the princess a clear influence for Lucas’ Princess Leia.We’ll find out about further adventures of our hero in the Visions novel Ronin , but this tale is about a man with a strong sense of justice and right and wrong,” says Rimes. “The way he’s animated and performed in both original Japanese and the English dub shows that he really carries the weight of his own past with him on his journey toward self-discovery -- and he’ll dispense some eye-popping, lightsaber-clashing justice along the way if he must.” With Star Wars merchandise and marketing up and down Japan, as you can see from the gallery below, there’s no shortage of exposure for our favourite intergalactic saga in the Land of the Rising Sun! Under the impression that Star Wars would be a children’s film, Mifune reportedly turned down the role because he was afraid the franchise might cheapen the image of samurai culture. Mifune’s daughter claims that Lucas then offered the much-loved Japanese actor the role of Darth Vader (a part now synonymous with the voice of James Earl Jones), but that he declined this too. Toshiro Mifune The tone of the preview event frequently tipped in one direction: Rebel Moon is a rebuff of many things that have gone right and many things that have gone wrong in Snyder’s career. Star Wars is the holy grail of many filmmakers who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, but with Disney taking that franchise in its own direction, Snyder is ready for something of his own. So, before I get too carried away in my excitement, let me introduce you to a few things you might not have known about Star Wars and Japanese culture. Star Wars was inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa

While Ronin looks to be a character study though The Duel’s singular lens, it’s also something else. Ronin will reflect parts of Candon’s own story, as well. “A Star Wars movie made me ‘get’ representation, and I’ve tried to honor that feeling in this book for my own sake and for other people,” Candon says. “Besides being Japanese, I'm also a chronically ill, queer cyborg, and all of that showed up in some regard.” Rian Johnson paid homage to Kurosawa's influence in The Last Jedi by showing Luke drawing his saber on Ben Solo from three different perspectives, just as Rashomongives several conflicting accounts of a murder. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni's wildly popular Disney+ series The Mandalorian has drawn numerous comparisons to the samurai manga Lone Wolf and Cub, and Filoni's work on Clone Wars and Rebels also bears the influence of the genre that's Japan's answer to the Western. The weapon of choice for the Jedi is the lightsaber, an elegant weapon for a more civilized age, as Obi-Wan tells Luke. The lightsaber resembles a samurai’s sword, but there’s more influence here than just appearance. The actual fighting style is largely derived from kendo.Star Wars would not be what it is without Akira Kurosawa. The legendary director was one of the major influences on George Lucas’ vision of a galaxy far far away, and to this day his work continues to permeate Star Wars films and television projects. With Star Wars Visions making its grand debut this week, I decided to look at how specific films from Akira Kurosawa’s career helped shape the world and characters of Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress By the time Lucas created Star Wars, Kurosawa was already a well-known filmmaker, especially of jidaigeki or “period dramas.” These Japanese period films were often set in the feudal Edo period and featured adventurous samurai, shogun warlords and innocent peasants and others of “lower classes” caught between them and other warring factions. Specifically, Star Wars has been heavily influenced by Japanese culture, especially samurai history and other iconography of the feudal Edo period that lasted from the early 17th century through the mid-19th century. During this period, the country was ruled chiefly by a shogun, or “supreme military leader” that presided over classes of samurai, artisans, merchants and farmers.

Kurosawa was already a big name in Japanese cinema when he caught the world’s attention with Rashomon, an intricate crime drama which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1951. The New Hollywood wunderkinds – Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg – were entranced by his artistic, philosophical, yet dynamic work. Here was a writer-director from an intriguing foreign culture, but because he was so influenced by John Ford and other American directors, his films were accessible to Western audiences. “Let me say it simply,” summed up Scorsese in 2009. “Kurosawa was my master.” The Elder ," also from Trigger, explores the classic master-Padawan relationship. And the short’s Jedi learner, known simply as Dan, has much to learn. The aesthetic similarities between Star Wars and samurai have even inspired a line of remarkably intricate – and amazingly badass – figurines from Bandai Tamashii Nations, which reimagines the franchise's characters as full-fledged samurai. The figures are designed in Japan by Takayuki Takeya, but Lucasfilm must approve the final design before it goes into production.Nobody knows who he is or where he is from,” adds Shirasaki. “He doesn’t talk about himself. The only one who knows his true identity is his droid and it doesn’t speak, either. As viewers, we are only given the same limited amount of information about the protagonist that is given to the other characters of this short.” StarWars.com: As with most Star Wars projects, The Mandalorian has managed to keep some pretty big surprises close to the chest -- what was it like partnering with Lucasfilm on such a top-secret production?

Trigger’s “THE TWINS” follows dark side siblings Karre and Am, an almost flip-version of the Skywalker saga’s well-known brother and sister. This is no hero’s journey, however. When the story begins, the twins already hold great power. Still, always in motion is the future, especially for Karre. “ Along with his sister Am, Karre was created by dark side forces who plan for the powerful twins to rule the galaxy ,” Shirasaki says. “However, Karre makes his own choice to free himself from a life that had been designed by the people around him.” The Sith in Star Wars could also be considered “masterless” as they serve none but themselves and their own desires rooted in greed, hatred, fear and want for power. And while the Jedi “serve” and respect the Force, the Sith see the Force as a tool to be melded and weaponized for their own ends. In the broadest possible sense, the world of Star Wars and medieval Japan fascinate fans for similar reasons. Both take us to distant worlds of long ago. They show us cultures with customs and values that are foreign enough to spark wonder, yet familiar enough to invite our curiosity. For now, however, the Rebel Moon machine is running full steam ahead. Reportedly the real “rebel moon” isn’t the moon in either part 1 or part 2 — it’s something that would emerge in a proposed third film, or even a project beyond that. The Hidden Fortress is perhaps the most important film on this list, as its plot structure and characters serve as the major basis for Star Wars: A New Hope. The 1958 film focuses on peasants Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) who are roped into escorting Makabe Rokurōta (Toshiro Mifune) and Princess Yuki (Misa Uehara) as they attempt to smuggle gold from Yuki’s Akizuki clan through Japan. George Lucas used The Hidden Fortress as the base for his original outline of A New Hopeand took to the idea of telling the story through the eyes of two lowly protagonists.Taking inspiration from Samurai lore and films that inspired Star Wars itself, along with a mashup of newer forms and other genres, " The Duel" follows a Jedi known simply as Ronin. Because so many Japanese collectibles are different than anything else in the world and limited in production – most are not licensed for sale anywhere but Japan – they attract collectors looking for the unusual," Sansweet elaborated. Star Wars: Visions, coming to Disney+ this September, will feature a collection of animated Original Short Films created by some of the world’s biggest anime studios. Each story promises to be a unique take on the galaxy far, far away, including new interpretations and remixes of Star Wars mythology. Kamikaze Douga’s The Duel, helmed by director Takanobu Mizuno, focuses on Jedi and Sith, but with an alternate history pulled from Japanese lore -- and it has become the inspiration for a new Star Wars novel unlike any other in recent memory. He is a strong believer that you can choose your own destiny and forge your own path,” says Shirasaki. While not as similar as the Jedi and samurai, there are certainly parallels between the ronin and the Dark Side-serving Sith of Star Wars lore.



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