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Star Wars: Rogue One borrows from Akira Kurosawa

Rogue One Baze Chirrut
As you probably know, George Lucas was strongly influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress when he began working on his incredibly popular Star Wars saga. Although Lucas has by now sold the franchise rights to Disney and new people are working on new films, it seems like Lucas’s influences also transferred to Disney as part of that $4 billion deal.

A photo article at Entertainment Weekly discusses various new details that have been revealed about the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One, and among the characters revealed are the very starwarsianly named Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus (pictured above, from EW), two characters apparently based on the two peasants in Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. If this sounds like a déjà vu, it’s because also the original Star Wars film had two characters based on those same two peasants: everyone’s favourite robots R2-D2 and C-3PO. According to the film’s director producer Kathleen Kennedy, the characters are “inspired, again, by what inspired George in The Hidden Fortress. You could even say to some extent it’s, you know, R2 and C-3PO, a little bit of that.”

Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen will be playing the role of Imwe, who is described as “a blind warrior monk who is not a Jedi but follows the path of the Force”, while Chinese actor, screenwriter and director Jiang Wen will appear as Malbus, who is “Chirrut’s Force-doubting rough-and-tumble protector”. Entertainment Weekly’s photo article has more about both characters, including Chirrut Imwe’s apparently interesting weapon and Baze Malbus’s firepower.

Did you watch last December’s new Star Wars film and will the Kurosawa link get you to the theatres this December? And if you know your Star Wars inside out, can you explain to us regular people how this film ties in with the rest of the Star Wars universe?




This is the story of the Rebel spy who got the plans for the Death Star that led to the story of Star Wars: A New Hope (the original Star Wars movie).


Vili Maunula

Thanks! I wasn’t expecting to get this quick, concise and to-the-point answer to my question. This places it perfectly into a wider context for those of us who just vaguely remember the earlier films.



Is Kathleen Kennedy the director? According to imdb its Gareth Edwards.

I had a bit of a mixed reaction to the recent Star Wars film – it was kinda fun to watch at the time, but I found it such a blatant (and fairly humourless) remake of the original it was ultimately disappointing. I thought an opportunity to do something new and interesting was missed. And I can’t say the new characters were very inspiring. Lucas always seems to have had a weakness with casting, there have been some read duds in his films and it seemed to carry through to the new film.


Vili Maunula

Ugetsu: Is Kathleen Kennedy the director? According to imdb its Gareth Edwards.

Kennedy is indeed the producer, not the director. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing these articles while watching a football match!

My reaction to last year’s Star Wars film was similar to yours. I suppose keeping so close to the originals was a very calculated and safe move. It will be interesting to see whether they have the courage to deviate further from the formula in the future, now that they have shown that they can handle a Star Wars film with respect to the originals.



Abrams explained the rationale for the similarities between A New Hope and The Force Awakens. It was a deliberate attempt at reconnecting with the vibe of the original films that most felt Lucas had moved away from with his prequels.


Greasy Rat

Let’s hope they have something new to add, while still having interesting and likeable personalities.

Kamatari Fujiwara and especially Minoru Chiaki are a tough double act to follow, because no matter what Matashichi and Tahei did, I just couldn’t hate them.

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