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toshiro mifune

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George Lucas Once Begged This Japanese Actor to Play Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader

When thinking of timeless samurai movies, two people should immediately come to mind: Akira Kurosawa, the legendary director, and Toshiro Mifune, the iconic leading man.

With Kurosawa’s artistic vision and Mifune’s brilliant performances, they produced such classics as “Seven Samurai“, “Yojimbo“, and “Hidden Fortress“, titles widely regarded as some of the greatest films of all time. Together, they defined a genre and propelled Japanese cinema onto the global stage, influencing a new generation of directors, such as Clint Eastwood, Antoine Fuqua, and George Lucas. In fact, Lucas was so inspired by the venerable pair that he based “Star Wars” after their films and even begged Mifune to accept the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “A New Hope“.