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PT If it hadn't been Alec Guiness...???

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Hoggsquattle, Jan 25, 2012.

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  1. Hoggsquattle

    Hoggsquattle Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 7, 2009

    When putting together Episode IV, George Lucas' first choice for Kenobi was Toshiro Mifune.
    If he had castifune, I am curious to know what Japanese actors would have been in the correct age range to play young Kenobi when Lucas was casting Episode I?
  2. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    I think the casting of Mifune as Obi-Wan is one of those SW myths based around early mumblings - supposedly GL considered the entire cast as being Japanese at one point, just as he also thought the principals should all be dwarfs at another (Hobbit/LOTR infuences). Much the same as the "Luke was a girl at one point" idea - something that never made its way into an actual script draft, just a McQuarrie painting.

    Once the pre-production & casting of the film was actually underway, I'm not sure if Mifune was even considered (he might have been, but I doubt it, given the language barrier).

    Anyway, IF Toshiro Mifune played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the OT, he could have looked something like this:

    [image=] [image=]

    So, from a quick Google search, this guy might have been right to play Obi-Wan in the PT:

    [image=] [image=]
  3. Hoggsquattle

    Hoggsquattle Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 7, 2009
    Greetings Darth Nub.

    I'm pretty sure it was more than myth - I have a recollection of Lucas himself saying it.

    Whether he got very far with the idea before Fox put the foot down he didn't say, only that the idea ended when they did.

    Hiroyuki Sanada would have been pushing 40 in 1999 so he was too old.

    But he does bare a resemblance. Did you find him by searching Google with an image of Mifune?
  4. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Nah, I just searched "young Japanese actor", I think.

    Pushing 40 mightn't have necessarily been the wrong age for Obi-Wan anyway, had things gone differently with the original casting - it could have resulted in GL sticking with his initial idea of Obi-Wan being the sole Jedi on the mission to Naboo in Ep1.
  5. QsAssistant

    QsAssistant Jedi Master star 2

    Apr 13, 2011
    hmmm... I didn't know Lucas even had the idea. I know at one point he was going to make the guy who played Tarkin Obi-Wan.
  6. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 29, 2000
    Not to be racist, but Japanese ages are frequently hard to determine for Westerners; I thought that guy was a little bit younger than me from his pictures. Him being forty at the time isn't that big a deal-Qui-Gon was Liam Neeson's senior by a decade, for example, and Ian McDiarmid was only in his mid-thirties for Palpatine in ROTJ. The actor ages do not have to match their characters if they look the part.

    Edit: Obi-Wan is actually a few years younger than Ewan McGregor; the character is supposed to be 25 or so in TPM, and Ewan was 29 in 1999.
  7. Nagai

    Nagai Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 15, 2010
    He does not look that old so who cares.
  8. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    "Do not be fooled, young padawan.
    A true Jedi must dress like a member of Sprockets."
  9. OBI-GYN_Kenobi

    OBI-GYN_Kenobi Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 25, 2002
    Thank God Lucas settled on Alec Guiness instead!

    Anybody else playing Obi-wan Kenobi would be like, well, Charles Laughton playing Col. Nichelson instead of Alec Guiness in The Bridge on the River Kwai.....

    *(true story) :cool:
  10. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 16, 2010
    Uh, Jet Li maybe?


    OK, so he's Chinese and maybe a bit older than the ideal for Obi-Wan, but think about the duel scenes... he'd really have kicked arse. :D
  11. JediofJade

    JediofJade Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 1999
    Takeshi Kaneshiro would have been the right age at the time of filming.
  12. -NaTaLie-

    -NaTaLie- Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 5, 2001
    I gathered from "The Making of Star Wars" that at some point Lucas was toying with an idea of a multicultural cast: Japanese Ben and Leia and black Han Solo (the latter later transformed into Lando). I'm happy with the way everything turned out in the end, of course, but I sometimes wish Leia was indeed Japanese - if nothing else, it would made it a lot harder to maker her Luke's twin sister!
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