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?