Oh, how different things could have been for the Star Wars franchise had the pieces fallen in place for Zack Snyder. Had they gone his way, fans may have well seen a Snyder Star Wars film that was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. While a samurai Star Wars is no longer in the cards (we think), Snyder’s Seven Samurai space adventure may still be a go.
At the time, Snyder’s representatives steadfastly denied that Zack Snyder had any affiliation to a Star Wars project. But in a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Snyder finally confessed that yes, plans for him to take on a samurai Star Wars film had been in the works and though time has passed on that project, he is still working on a non-Star Wars version of the film.
According to Zack Snyder, his Star Wars film would not have included any of the Skywalker Saga characters but instead would have been a one-off, much like Solo: A Star War Story or Rogue One. His idea, which was to take place after the events of Return of the Jedi, was to have a group of new Jedi warriors on a Seven Samurai-like mission. “My idea was just: give me the keys and I’ll take her for a spin…it was that sort of middle Star Wars time, after they had done the prequels and before the sale. I was just like, ‘You know what? I can fix that,’” he said on the podcast via Slashfilm.
Zack Snyder also says that his initial idea is not completely dead. “Yeah, we talked about it, but it never…I’ve been working on it, just away from the Star Wars universe, just on my own as a sci-fi thing,” he said. “It’s still a sci-fi thing, it’s the same story, it’s just kind of – let Star Wars be Star Wars. And the 11-year-old me still wants to make that. Now I just know how to, so maybe we’ll see that someday.”
Seven Samurai in Space. While the Zack Snyder idea is definitely intriguing, and after what the latest sequel trilogy has given fans, this idea set in the Star Wars universe has some merit. And it actually would have had ties to George Lucas’s original story and who Lucas wanted to star in his original Star Wars film.
It is a well-known fact, one that Lucas himself has since acknowledged, that Star Wars was influenced by Lucas’ hero, Kurosawa, and his Japanese films, most notably Seven Samurai (a film that also inspired the 1960 John Sturges hit, The Magnificent Seven). In fact, Lucas loved his movies so much that he even tried to get actor Toshiro Mifune, a Kurosawa film veteran, to star in Star Wars as Obi-Wan Kenobi. According to Mifune’s daughter Mika, her father was first asked to play Obi-Wan, and then she said he was offered the part of Darth Vader. George Lucas really wanted Mifune to be part of Star Wars. Zack Snyder could help realize on this dream.
Apparently, Vader’s helmet was designed with Mifune in mind, and that if Mifune had taken the role, his face would have been seen, unlike the final version of Vader. Unfortunately (or not), Mifune turned down the role because he thought the movie was going to be a kid’s movie, which held no interest for him.
As for Snyder’s reworked idea, chances of it actually coming to fruition, if he truly wants it to happen, are quite good. Snyder has one of the bigger movies on the market right now with the release of his new zombie flick, Army of the Dead, which followed his epic recut of Justice League. His standing with Warner Bros., now in question, could hinder his desire in making his samurai space movie a reality.
Just think of how things could have changed the Star Wars landscape if his Zack Snyder idea had taken hold. It may have changed the direction of the sequel trilogy for the better. Then again, as she was then and as she is now, Kathleen Kennedy was running (or should that be ruining) the Star Wars ship, so who knows what could have been.
If any more news surfaces concerning Snyder’s possible attempt to bring the seven samurai into space, we’ll be here to pass it along.