Where is the Japanese Inspiration in Star Wars?
Star Wars Day has come once again this year! While you celebrate this special holiday, read on to learn more about a topic that many people might not know about this famous franchise – the deep connections that it has with Japanese culture! There are many common points between Japan and Star Wars that helped to create the unique settings, characters and fashions of the galaxy far, far away.
For example, the iconic helmet of the memorable Darth Vader was modeled on the helmet worn by the Sengoku-era warlord Date Masamune as a part of his jet-black armor. Japanese cultural sensibilities are also reflected in the clothing of many other characters in the Star Wars universe. George Lucas especially took inspiration from the works of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
Jedi, the chivalrous warriors who are one of the most important parts of the Star Wars story, also have deep connections to Japanese culture. For example, their style of sword fighting with their famous light sabers greatly resembles the Japanese art of kendo. The usual fighting style of the Jedi involves both duelists using a single light saber with no shield for extra protection.
Kylo Ren’s helmet that appeared in Rise of Skywalker (2019) was originally broken, but the shattered pieces of were reattached with red paint in a similar method to the Japanese traditional technique of “kintsugi.” This topic about the appearance of kintsugi in the Star Wars universe was featured in a previous article on this blog!
Make This Year’s Star Wars Day A Fun Time!
On May 4th, this year’s Star Wars Day, a new documentary series covering the recent hit Star Wars spin-off drama series ‘The Mandalorian’ will be released! This series, called ‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian’, will be viewable on the subscription streaming service Disney+. If you are interested in purchasing some Star Wars-related goods to celebrate the occasion while watching this documentary, check the link below to browse plenty of hard to find merchandise!