George Lucas cited The Hidden Fortress as one of the major
influences and inspirations for his first Star Wars film and though there are some subtle similarities, they are both completely different stories.
Set during a time of Japanese tribal war, a pair of
peasants try to exploit the conflicts for their own gain when they make a discovery of hidden gold. To travel across enemy territory, they use the help of a beautiful mute woman and her
warrior companion, who, unbeknownst to the peasants are actually a princess and her general.
The Hidden Fortress has gone on to become one of Akira
Kurosawa's most famous films, not just because of the Star Wars connection, but also for being a thoroughly enjoyable adventure movie which followed some of his more arthouse, serious,
dramatic pictures (Throne Of Blood, etc).
It's obvious that the two peasant characters were George
Lucas' inspiration for C3PO and R2D2 in the Star Wars films, and the princess and her general would go on to evolve into Princess Leia and Han Solo, but that is pretty much where the
It's very much worth watching for fans of Star Wars
movies, as it shows how George Lucas developed his ideas, but the film is best viewed as a standalone adventure from the Orient.