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Lightsaber kendo video brings Star Wars’ Japanese influences full-circle

We’ve heard a lot about Star Wars director George Lucas’ admiration for Akira Kurosawa movies and the samurai inspiration that spawned Darth Vader’s costume and helmet for the series.
Here we can see how the Japanese martial art of kendo, influenced the many lightsaber duels throughout the series.

Massive ‘Star Wars’ tambo āto artwork displayed in Japanese village’s rice paddy field

With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of this year, a Japanese village has decided to pay homage to the iconic space film franchise by George Lucas. The Inakadate Village in Aomori Prefecture has created an elaborate display in their paddy field dedicated to the series, with the Star Wars logo prominently displayed with C-3PO and R2-D2. The traditional Japanese art form is formally called tambo āto, where images are illustrated by arranging rice patches in paddy fields.

Enjoy the video above.

Darth Vader to be featured in large-scale Star Wars snow sculpture at 2015 Sapporo Snow Festival

 

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RocketNews 24:

The annual Sapporo Snow Festival held in Japan’s northernmost prefecture has been delighting tourists and locals for over six decades. Each year, artists from around the world are invited to show off their talents constructing enormous structures out of ice and snow.

To commemorate the release of the seventh installment of the Star Wars series, The Walt Disney Company has collaborated with festival officials to design what looks to be the most epic large-scale snow sculpture yet, featuring enormous snow versions of Darth Vader, three Storm Troopers, a TIE fighter, and the Death Star.

Sapporo Snow Festival officials recently announced the collaboration, marking the first large-scale snow sculpture licensed by Lucasfilm. The design will be made a reality in time for the 66th anniversary of the festival, scheduled to take place from February 5 to February 11, 2015.

Darth Vader, lightsaber in hand, stands at the forefront of the design, beside him are three Stormtroopers, blaster rifles at the ready. In the background, a TIE fighter and the Death Star are seen in legendary detail. And just in case the iconic characters weren’t enough of a hint, the words “Star Wars” will be carved out on the lower corner.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will open in theaters December 18, 2015; we’re sure glad we have this snow sculpture of epic proportions to tide us over until then!

“Ashigaru Stormtrooper”: Bandai to release Samurai Stormtrooper collectible action figure

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Freshness:

Bandai has unveiled official images of its upcoming Ashigaru Stormtrooper, and the collectible looks unabashedly badass.The 7-inch figure will launch in May 2015 and come packaged with an old-school E11 blaster rifle and an even more old school Katana. The Samurai connection makes sense when you consider that filmmaker George Lucas took inspiration from Akira Kurosawa epics like Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress when he first developed the script for the original Star Wars.

Retail for the Ashigaru Stormtrooper is listed at 9,504 yen (around $65).

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Bandai   Samurai Stormtrooper Action Figure

Video

CineFix explains how samurai films inspired ‘Star Wars’ in their new web series, ‘Film School’d’

Film School’d is a great new web series created by CineFix that explains interesting and information about films that we love. For their first episode, CineFix explains how samurai films inspired Star Wars, why Jedi are called Jedi, and more.