Star Wars and Kurosawa and the Cantina

This is a very misleading post title. I suck at titles and having to think up blog post titles would be too stressful if I didn’t just go with the first thing that came to mind.

It’s very commonly known that George Lucas was influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films when creating the original Star Wars trilogy. In particular, The Hidden Fortress, which has a sword wielding general escorting a defeated princess through enemy territory. So my title is misleading because I’m not going to add to this discussion too much.

I’m writing this historical novella which opens at a noodle stand in a little town. By the way, if you’ve ever been to any country in Asia, you know the food stand/restaurant/tavern is everywhere.  I’m loving how fun it is to write this story, but then I got worried. Butterfly Swords has an early scene set at a dusty roadside tavern. Am I being too cliche?

Then I started daydreaming of a space story that I drift to off and on in my head. Where do I open that story? A space tavern.

Which takes me back to the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Soup stand, tea stand, and then a spectacular tavern battle.

Serenity – The Maidenhead tavern where River gets triggered.

By now I’m feeling better. I think back to my trips backpacking through Europe. The only places we knew to go that weren’t in the tour book were bars and cafes. All you had to do was order a drink and no one could say you didn’t belong there. That’s where stuff has to happen in an adventure story.

So I’m going to relax and embrace the cliche. I’ll ask for forgiveness once the story is finished.

Excited about "Red Cliff"

Set in the Han dynasty, this movie centers around the high drama of the Battle of Red Cliff, the definitive showdown between three warlords that ushered in the Three Kingdoms period. The battle and characters were romanticized in Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the scope of this movie is breathtaking.

This movie has already been released in China, Australia and international markets to mega-blockbuster returns. It’s been compared to The Lord of the Rings. The U.S. release is scheduled for later this year, but I haven’t been able to hunt down an exact date.

I can’t wait to see it in the theatres here. Other than being a fan of Tony Leung and a sucker for the epic, sweeping historical, I’m also hoping this is another sign that mainstream audiences are ready for Asian historical romances. *fingers crossed*

Larger than life characters, intrigue, and lines like “The thought of going to battle against you is unbearable.” This is the sort of passion that inspired my stories. 🙂

Red Cliff trailer from YouTube – English subtitles