We all know George Lucas for his Star Wars franchise, but did you know he worked as an executive producer on a Japanese movie?
That's right, folks! In 1980, Akira Kurosawa directed a film set in 16th century Japan called Kagemusha, whose title literally means "Shadow Warrior". Both George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg were credited as executive producers in the film's international release, which was distributed by 20th Century Fox, while the film's original distributor was Toho Studios.
Now, on with the film's plot; a low-class criminal was hired to impersonate a dying warlord in order to prevent his opponents from starting a war with the clan. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai, who worked with many of the greatest filmmakers in the history of Japanese cinema.
Did you think George Lucas did well with working on this Japanese classic?
I think he did well; it may be the only time Lucas worked on a Japanese movie, but the movie was very popular. What's even better was that the movie was released the same year as the more popular original Star Wars classic The Empire Strikes Back, which was directed by Irvin Kershner. Lucas did admit that he was influenced by Japanese mythology when he began working on the original story for Star Wars itself; the Jedi were based on the ancient Samurai order, while the Sith were based on the shadow ninjas of the time.
What can you say about what Lucas did?