Obi-Wan Kenobi's Deborah Chow On Which Westerns Influenced The Show

It's a well-known fact that many films have drawn inspiration from westerns and samurai movies. While that may be obvious in, for instance, Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, there are other projects equally inspired by the works of Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa, such as the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

The Star Wars franchise has a long history of being inspired by spaghetti westerns from the '60s and '70s. For example, the original trilogy owes a large debt to films like Once Upon A Time in The West and Fistful of Dollars. Director George Lucas drew inspiration from those films' editing and themes: rough-edged antiheroes, bounty hunters, lonely desert landscapes, and the hero's journey.

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That influence carried on to future installments like Obi-Wan Kenobi, which debuts on Disney Plus in May. During a recent interview with Total Film, director Deborah Chow detailed some of the inspirations for the series, revealing that, due to the darker nature of the series, she looked into "gritty, poetic" modern westerns like 2006's The Assassination of Jesse James and 2005's The Proposition. Chow was also influenced by Kurosawa, who was the main source of inspiration for Leone's westerns and Lucas' A New Hope.

"There’s such a strong correlation for me between the Jedi and the Ronin – particularly in this period where all the Jedi are being hunted," said Chow of how the stories about wandering samurais impacted her work on Obi-Wan Kenobi. "I was really looking at what you do if you’re the last samurai. You’re more than just a warrior. There’s also an ethical code that goes along with it, in a world that’s vastly changed. That really had a pretty big effect on what we were trying to do."

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The series follows Obi-Wan's journey from being one of the last Jedi in the galaxy to becoming the beloved zen old master that audiences met back in the late '70s. Starring Ewan McGregor as the title character, Obi-Wan Kenobi will explore darker themes than its predecessors and delve into the horrific reign of the Galactic Empire.

In addition to McGregor, who will reprise the role he first played in 1999's The Phantom Menace, the forthcoming series will see the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, whom he last portrayed in Revenge of the Sith. Christensen recently explained that, in preparation for the role, he binged some of the animated Star Wars offerings to re-familiarize himself with the Star Wars universe, as he hadn't played the character in over 15 years.

Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on Disney Plus on May 27, 2022.

MORE: Star Wars: How Ahsoka Tano Became Such An Iconic Character

Source: GamesRadar

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