Star Wars director pays respect to Tokyo

18 Dec

Today is 2015 December 18th…the day that the latest Star Wars movie premieres in Japan.

Poster in a train station in Tokyo advertising the new Star Wars movie.

Poster in a train station in Tokyo advertising the new Star Wars movie.

Star Wars has a lot of inspirations from Japanese movies and Japanese culture.
For instance, click here to see some photos my daughter took of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and lightsabers done up to more closely resemble the samurai and katana swords that they were modeled after.

Well, members of the cast and crew of the latest Star Wars movie were recently in Tokyo to promote the movie.
Actor John Boyega (who plays the new character “Finn“) expressed how excited he was to visit and shop in Tokyo:

Tweet by actor John Boyega on his last day in Tokyo.

Tweet by actor John Boyega on his last day in Tokyo.

And, it turns out, that there is a planet in the new Star Wars movie named in honor of Tokyo.

Tokyo is director J.J. Abrams “favorite city” and he named a planet in Star WarsTakodana” after the 高田馬場 (Takadanobaba) college-town area of Tokyo.

He was quoted in an interview about it:

“There’s a planet in this movie called Takodana and I named (it) after the first time I came to Tokyo (and) we stayed in a hostel in Takadanobaba. So it was a nod to my favorite city.”

— J.J. Abrams

Near Tokyo's 高田馬場駅 (Takadanobaba train station)

Near Tokyo’s 高田馬場駅 (Takadanobaba train station)

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8 Responses to “Star Wars director pays respect to Tokyo”

  1. I. J. Khanewala December 20, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    Come to think of it, why weren’t there more references to Japan in the first 6 episodes? Japanese sci-fi and action movies were famous before episode IV.

    Like

    • tokyo5 December 20, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      What do you mean? I think Star Wars has many “references to Japan”. The outfits, weapons, some characters’ names, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I. J. Khanewala December 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

        Yes, of course. Even the Jedi are Samurai. And, of course, there are references to Kurosawa, and through that perhaps to chanbara eiga and jidaigeki (although, because light sabres do not have a blunt edge, the films recalled by the fights are closer to early Hollywood). Luke practising with his light sabre while blindfolded reminded me of some chanbara eiga. I was thinking more of the Japanese horror and scifi genres: are there references to these?

        Like

      • tokyo5 December 21, 2015 at 12:14 am #

        >Japanese horror and scifi genres: are there references to these?

        Not that I know of.

        Like

  2. CrazyChineseFamily December 19, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    What I remember is that George Lucas created a lot of the Imperial Forces after the Nazi Germany Army. For example when they present themselves to welcome Darth Vader and the Imperator the troops are arrayed just like at the Nurnberg Marchings. Besides that the Stormtroopers share the same name as the German “Sturmtruppen”. also the Officer uniforms resemble the Army uniform back then. Somewhere I had also seen a documentary about it but cant remember the name of it right now.
    Not to say that there is also a lot of inspiration they got from Japan but there is also a hint of German evil power at work :p

    Like

    • tokyo5 December 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      >Lucas created a lot of the Imperial Forces after the Nazi Germany Army.

      Are you sure? I’ve never heard that before.
      The first Star Wars (Episode IV) is almost a complete remake of the Japanese movie “Hidden Fortress” by the director Kurosawa.

      >a lot of inspiration they got from Japan but there is also a hint of German evil power at work

      I didn’t know that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CrazyChineseFamily December 20, 2015 at 12:48 am #

        I know about the movie “hidden fortress”. The uniforms however were coming from the german military, I guess to show straight away who the evil side is.
        Anyways, I cant wait to watch the movie, here it is booked out for the next 2 weeks so I have to wait a while…

        Like

      • tokyo5 December 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        >here it is booked out for the next 2 weeks so I have to wait a while

        Really? I plan to watch it later this week…if I can get tickets. 😉

        Like

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