This Is George Lucas' Favorite Akira Kurosawa Film Of All Time

If you love "Star Wars," you owe a great deal of thanks to Akira Kurosawa. Series creator George Lucas has been open about how Kurosawa's work helped shape the landscape of the "Star Wars" universe, particularly the Japanese auteur's film "The Hidden Fortress." In fact, learning about how much "A New Hope" drew from "Hidden Fortress" in terms of plot and structure during college not only led me to discover more of Kurosawa's work, but it's also the reason I decided to get into seriously writing about film!

With the impact "Hidden Fortress" had on "Star Wars," you'd think it would be Lucas's favorite Kurosawa film. However, during a video interview for the Criterion release of "The Hidden Fortress" Lucas revealed what his favorite work of Kurosawa's is — and it happens to be one of the director's most influential films, as well as a film that would inspire future "Star Wars" projects.

Lucky number seven

Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" was the film that Lucas listed as his all-time favorite, along with a few other selections.

"My favorite of all time is Seven Samurai, then maybe Yojimbo and Ikiru, and Hidden Fortress. It's not at the very top of my list, but I was impressed and I liked it. It's really his visual style to me that is so strong and unique...and again, a very powerful element of how he tells his stories."

"Seven Samurai" has often been referred to as Kurosawa's masterpiece, with its simple yet iconic story of seven warriors gathering to defend a village from bandits, and its influence continues to be felt to this day. It gave birth to the Western as we know it with "The Magnificent Seven." And even future "Star Wars" projects drew influence from it, including "The Mandalorian" episode "Sanctuary" – the sequence with Din Djarin and Cara Dune training the residents of Sorgan to do battle is lifted right from Kurosawa's film.

Rebel with a cause

The influence of "Seven Samurai," as well as "Star Wars," will soon be felt in an upcoming sci-fi blockbuster. Zack Snyder is currently prepping to shoot "Rebel Moon" for Netflix — a film that will see a mysterious girl uniting a group of warriors to topple a mad tyrant. When describing the project, Snyder had this to say:

"This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan. It's my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure. My hope is that this also becomes a massive IP and a universe that can be built out."

Ironically, Snyder developed "Rebel Moon" as a feature film set in the "Star Wars" universe prior to Lucas selling the franchise to Disney. But it goes to show that Kurosawa will continue to serve as a major influence for filmmakers whether they head to a galaxy far, far away or develop original ideas.