Why Flesh and Blood Is A Must-Play Trading Card Game, Star Wars: Why Toshiro Mifune Turned Down Obi-Wan Kenobi Role. He was a total badass and a force of nature. Lucas himself has confirmed this story; in the Star Wars DVD director’s commentary, he mentions that Mifune was actually the inspiration for Obi-Wan Kenobi with his … This documentary covers the career and life of this screen icon. Toshiro Mifune, for decades Japan’s foremost movie star, died Wednesday. | EU Privacy Preferences. Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars series, and Ray Park who played Darth Maul, joined the group on stage and talked about their respect for Mifune senior and other elements of Japanese cinema and culture. GET EVEN MORE EXCLUSIVE NEWS! While this documentary covers Mifune’s entire career, it emphasizes his association with the great director Akira Kurosawa. His parents were Methodist missionaries working there. | Do Not Sell My Personal Information More in line with the original samurai influences of his Jedi concept, Lucas allegedly first turned to the definitive cinematic samurai himself, Toshiro Mifune. Mifune: The Last Samurai, a new film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, explores the accidental movie career of Toshiro Mifune, one of the true giants of world cinema. So then, there was talk about him taking the Darth Vader role as his face would be covered, but in the end he turned that down too.”. This is both a Star Wars and an Akira Kurosawa/Toshiro Mifune appreciation post. George Lucas considered Toshiro Mifune, who played the general in The Hidden Fortress, for the analogous role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (Credit: Criterion) A long time ago… Yet, ever the film fanboy, Lucas was undeterred in his desire to have Mifune be part of his experimental effort and subsequently offered him a role in which his face, much like Kurosawa’s famous influential “fortress,” would be safely hidden underneath the visage of a black helmet as the villainous Darth Vader. Legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, best known for his collaborations with director Akira Kurosawa, could have been in the original Star Wars. Instead Wozniak talked about technology, Japan and his vision for Tokyo Comic Con. How are Samurai films and a car crash responsible for Star Wars? Joined onstage by Star Wars onscreen alumni like Ian McDiarmid and Ray Park, Mika reportedly revealed the reasoning behind his fateful rejection of the Obi-Wan role. Lured by gold, two greedy peasants unknowingly escort a princess and her general across enemy lines. The legendary Toshiro Mifune stars in a film that would go on to influence a classic episode of Star Wars Rebels. The role went to Sir Alec Guinness. Mifune was a lifelong smoker. Yes, I want to receive emails from The Hollywood Reporter about the latest news, products and events that they feel might be of interest to me. IF YOU WORK IN THE INDUSTRY, LET US KNOW! Mifune grew up with his parents and two younger siblings in Dalian, Liaoning, China, and, from 4 to 19 years of age, in Manchuria.In his youth, Mifune worked in the photography shop of his father Tokuzo, a commercial photographer and importer who had emigrated from northern Japan. Star Wars may feature spaceships and aliens, but (pushes glasses ... Sign In Sign Up. Terms of Use | The other half of that DNA are the Samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, more often than not, starring Toshiro Mifune. The legendary leading man of Akira Kurosawa turned down offers from George Lucas, said his daughter at an event with Steve Wozniak to announce Tokyo Comic Con. Toshiro Mifune, the legendary actor and star of numerous Akira Kurosawa films including Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon, turned down the roles of Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, worried that Star Wars was going to look cheap, according to his daughter Mika. The man who turned down the role of both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in George Lucas' Star Wars was a titan of Japanese cinema. See more ideas about Movie stars, Cinema, Toshiro mifune. Toshiro Mifune stars as a famous general who uses a couple of clownish peasants to help him transport a gold shipment and a volatile young princess through enemy territory. He was considered early on by George Lucas for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Last September, meanwhile, the Venice Film Festival observed the fiftieth anniversary of Kurosawa Akira’s Akahige (Red Beard), for which Mifune … As she recalls: “I heard from my father that he was offered the role of Obi Wan Kenobi, but he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which George Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style.”. The story of the original Star Wars film was partly based on Kurosawa's 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress, which starred Mifune. Toshiro Mifune, the legendary actor and star of numerous Akira Kurosawa films including Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon, turned down the … The Ahsoka Tano episode, The Jedi, riffed on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, with Mando as Toshiro Mifune… Indeed, the franchise has Toshiro Mifune to thank for that fact, regardless of his non-participation. A daily briefing on what matters (and what's interesting) in Hollywood. It was previously seen on Cinema Blend and during a longtime tenure…, Star Wars: 10 Obi-Wan Kenobi Facts You Might Not Know, Star Wars: The Questions the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Show Needs to Answer, Star Wars: What We Might See in the Obi-Wan Movie, Star Wars: Best Darth Maul Moments from The Clone Wars and Beyond, Best Starter Decks for The Digimon Card Game, Wonder Woman 1984: DC Comics Easter Eggs and Reference Guide. Star Wars Bits: Toshiro Mifune Turned Down Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, J.J. Abrams Wants Ava DuVernay to Direct a Star Wars Movie. Soul Ending Explained: What Happens Next to Joe? Had things gone differently with Toshiro Mifune, Star Wars would have had a different Obi-Wan Kenobi… and Darth Vader! All rights reserved. Sitemap | Toshiro Mifune (三船敏郎, Mifune Toshirō, April 1, 1920 – December 24, 1997) was a … Editorial Reviews. It seems that the prolific Japanese screen legend who popularized the image of the samurai on a global scale by starring in films such as Yojimbo, Rashomon, and Seven Samurai was afraid that his presence in an inauspicious science fiction effort like Star Wars would damage the movie-shaped image of the honorable samurai. The film stars Toshiro Mifune as General Makabe Rokurōta and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki while the role of the peasants, Tahei and … Describing a sentiment completely foreign to modern society, actor Toshiro Mifune's daughter has said that her father had too much self respect for Star Wars. Toshiro Mifune was born on 1 April 1920 in Qingdao, Shandong, China, to Japanese parents. Yet, whether it’s the thinly-veiled sporadic Japanese terms, the flowing robes, the austere wandering lifestyle or the obvious nods to ancient swordplay seen as obsolete by a world that abandoned them, the Jedi have clearly become the most famous samurai in cinema — they just happen to live in a galaxy far, far away. However, this offer apparently did little to assuage Mifune’s reservations. Toshiro Mifune turned down the chance to play a key role in Star Wars, according to the late actor’s daughter, Mika Mifune. At an event in Tokyo announcing the very first Tokyo Comic Con, the legacy of Mifune was well represented by way of the late screen legend’s daughter, Mika. ... Star Wars, Stream of the Day, Toshiro Mifune World War II films have been part of the DNA of Star Wars films since the beginning of the franchise. So then, there was talk about him taking the Darth Vader role as his face would be covered, but in the end he turned that down too," recalled Mifune. He was 77. Jun 27, 2020 - Explore 野村直樹's board "Cinema Star" on Pinterest. In the Japanese animated series Speed Racer (1967), the hero was named Go Mifune as a tribute to him and the M on the hood of the Mach 5 and Speed Racer's helmet was in tribute to him. Kurosawa's light adventure is probably best known as one of the primary inspirations for George Lucas' Star Wars (1977), but it's a masterful entertainment in its own right. Privacy Policy | THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Mifune junior related the story at an event in Tokyo on Friday with Steve Wozniak to announce the first Tokyo Comic Con. Mifune made 16 remarkable films with director Akira Kurosawa during the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. Toshiro Mifune, the star of so many Akira Kurosawa movies, definitely had it. My top 4 favorite films by the pair, in no particular order, are Yojimbo, The Hidden Fortress, The Seven Samurai, and Stray Dog. After spending the first 19 years of his life in China, as a Japanese citizen, he was … Seven Samurai star Toshiro Mifune turned down offers to play Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. AdChoices Lucas’s Star Wars, by contrast, drew from many sources. Mika Mifune—the late actor's daughter—revealed … More in line with the original samurai influences of his Jedi concept, Lucas allegedly first turned to the definitive cinematic samurai himself, Toshiro Mifune. Mifune: The Last Samurai, a new film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, explores the accidental movie career of Toshiro Mifune, one of the true giants of world cinema. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. | California Privacy Rights With Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara. The genesis of the original Star Wars film has spawned more than its share of mythical legends. An often overly-analytical, sometimes sarcastic writer whose work can be seen on Syfy Wire. The new documentary “Mifune: The Last Samurai” portrays Japanese star Toshiro Mifune, who acted in many of director Akira Kurosawa’s movies. Eh, it would have been a little too on the nose with the homage to Japanese samurai films. Lucas has made no secret of the influence of Japanese cinema, and Kurosawa in particular, on his filmmaking, and was very keen to have Mifune a part of Star Wars, according to his daughter. "If it was today, it could have solved all his worries with special effects and technology," chimed in Wozniak. But apparently George Lucas had an entirely different actor (and concept) in mind … It is the best introduction to his life and work. 100 years since his birth in April 1920, I celebrate his contribution to acting and cinema with a look back at his best roles. 1977: when Star Wars hit the UK – in pictures Read more His voice, his clothes, that helmet... everything about him is iconic. Known best for his frenetic portrayals of sword-wielding samurai, Mifune was a dedicated actor with boundless energy and versatility. Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2015 by Jacob Hall While the legend of the potential casting of the iconic Kurosawa katana wielder is known and hardly breaking news, it seems that we now know why it never came to fruition. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. How did World War II affect the global film industry in the 20th century? "I heard from my father that he was offered the role of Obi Wan Kenobi, but he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which George Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style," said Mifune. However, one of the more intriguing tales surrounds the fact that George Lucas had someone completely different in mind from Sir Alec Guiness to play the sagely hermit-turned-Jedi-mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. According to a famous bit of Star Wars trivia, Lucas even wanted actor Toshiro Mifune, who starred in many Kurosawa films, to act in Star Wars. It narrates the story of two peasants who agree to escort a man and a woman across enemy lines in return for gold without knowing that he is a general and the woman is a princess. Known as the Japanese adventure movie that inspired "Star Wars," Akira Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" is so much more than its legacy. Little-known sci-fi fact: Toshiro Mifune turned down Vader role Darth Vader is the quintessential sci-fi villain now. "To my mind, the technology centers of the world are Silicon Valley and Tokyo, yes Korea is coming on behind, but that's why I wanted to bring Comic Con to Japan," added Wozniak. "At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite cheap as the effects were not advanced and he had a lot of samurai pride. The Hidden Fortress is a 1958 jidaigeki adventure film directed by Akira Kurosawa. He was a Japanese movie star (especially in a lot of Akira Kurosawa's films, which was a huge influence on George Lucas & Star Wars specifically). Bryan Young Author & Podcaster. The event was ostensibly to unveil Tokyo Comic Con, scheduled for December 2016, but no details were announced. It’s certainly an understandable fear since, on paper, 1977’s original Star Wars was an unfeasible, era-anachronistic project that seemed imminently destined for late-night television showings at best. Channing Tatum Joins Sandra Bullock in Paramount Comedy 'The Lost City of D', TV Ratings: 'Masked Dancer' Steps to Solid Opening on Fox, Alice Spivak, Actress and Longtime Acting Teacher, Dies at 85, Armando Manzanero, Latin Music’s Most Enduring Composer, Dies at 85 From Coronavirus Complications, Nick McGlashan, Star of 'Deadliest Catch', Dies at 33. 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