Many a Star Wars fan celebrates May 4 as a kind of informal holiday. Based on the iconic line, “may the force be with you,” the day recognizes just how popular the film series is, especially after its successful relaunch with 2015’s The Force Awakens. Even serious fans of the film may not know these facts about their favorite franchise.
George Lucas drew on many inspirations for his original Star Wars movie. His most significant movie influence was Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film The Hidden Fortress. Kurosawa’s movie tells the story of two peasants who escort a princess and general behind enemy lines. Lucas used the movie’s point of view, which is told from the lens of the two peasants, to inform his perspective in 1977’s Star Wars. Lucas knew the scope of his story was grand, but chose to focus on the two droids since they had the least power of any character in the film.