The first and most notable flourishes were the notes of music in the “Fallen Jedi” opening title screen, which were reminiscent of the score Kurosawa commissioned for “Seven Samurai.” Listen to it again and you can almost close your eyes and hear the influence. Another moment I quite liked is when Ahsoka and Sabine (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) light off into the forest to take the map back. It has all the energy of the moment in “Seven Samurai” where Kyuzo vows to take the guns from the bandits in the film. He turns and races into the forest at full tilt, just as Ahsoka and Sabine do here.
The other big one is actually in the character relationships. Ahsoka and Sabine seem to share a similar master-apprentice relationship to Kambei Shimada and the incredibly young and naive samurai Katsuhiro (Isao Kimura) in Kurosawa’s film. Katsuhiro gets into trouble because of his relationships and is terribly naive about the larger battle in the film, and there are glimmers of that in Ahsoka and Sabine’s interactions.
“‘Seven Samurai’ is really my favorite,” Lucas confirmed in that same Criterion Collection interview. “Then maybe ‘Yojimbo,’ then maybe ‘Ikiru,’ then maybe after that it’s ‘The Hidden Fortress.’ It’s not at the top of my list, but I was impressed and I liked it.”
If its influence on “Star Wars” and such a sterling recommendation from the master Lucas himself isn’t enough, just be sure to watch “Seven Samurai” for yourself. It’s a masterpiece and a classic for a reason, and it’s going to continue to influence “Star Wars” for generations to come. Watch “Yojimbo,” “Ikiru,” and “The Hidden Fortress,” too. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll find moments from all of them in your favorite far away galaxy.
New episodes of “Ahsoka” premiere on Tuesday nights on Disney+ at 6:00pm Pacific, 9:00pm Eastern.