Toshiro Mifune plays Obi-Wan
Kenobi by Steve Payne
says: what if George Lucas had brought Japanese influences to the
foreground of the movie "Star Wars"? Please note that the opinions expressed
in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1976, on March 22nd
the filming of the planet Tatooine scenes for the cult movie "A New Hope"
began in the Tunisian desert.
Seeking to replicate the plot and characters of the
jidai-geki film "the Hidden Fortress", Director George Lucas had cast an
Asian actor, Toshiro Mifune (pictured) for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
to view Sources of Star Wars on Youtube
Financial backers had strongly urged Lucas to cast a
white actor for
the principal roles. But greatly impressed by his masterful portrayal of the
"roving warrior" archetype General Rokurota, Lucas had disregarded that
advice, choosing instead to focus on the artistic depiction of a Jedi
Knight. In any case, he had already offered the role of Han Solo to the
African American actor Billy Dee Williams who was also considered for the
secondary role of Lando Calrissian.
Fortunately, Lucas sustained the financial support of the backers by
persuading Christopher Lee to play the part of Grand Moff Tarkin. Having
examine the script, Lee had been initially dismissive, instead recommending
that Lucas approach another English actor, his friend Peter Cushing. However
the inclusion of Mifune changed his mind, having seen a fresh and compelling
opportunity to participate in a neo-classic movie rather than the American
space opera film that the plotline had initially suggested to him.
says to view guest historian's comments please visit the
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A Selection of Other Contemporary
Steve Payne, Editor of Today in
Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History
That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting