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

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

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  1. Hoggsquattle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2009
    star 5
    Hi,

    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 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    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=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qJC_Y9dPNGs/TX-udhpBs6I/AAAAAAAABzo/yLV2uX56o_M/s1600/red-beard.jpg] [image=http://gregtork.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/shogun-toshiro-mifune.jpg]

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

    [image=http://blogs.sundaymercury.net/anorak-city/LOST%20hiroyuki.jpg] [image=http://i2.listal.com/image/24204/600full-hiroyuki-sanada.jpg]

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0760796/
  3. Hoggsquattle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2009
    star 5
    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 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    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 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 2
    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 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    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 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2010
    star 3
    He does not look that old so who cares.
  8. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    [image=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qJC_Y9dPNGs/TX-udhpBs6I/AAAAAAAABzo/yLV2uX56o_M/s1600/red-beard.jpg]
    "Do not be fooled, young padawan.
    A true Jedi must dress like a member of Sprockets."
  9. OBI-GYN_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 3
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Uh, Jet Li maybe?

    *ducks*

    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    Takeshi Kaneshiro would have been the right age at the time of filming.
  12. -NaTaLie- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    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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