George Lucas is well known to be a fan of Kurosawa's work and has attested to its influence upon Star Wars — in particular, the influence of The Hidden Fortress. Kurosawa references have crept into other parts of Star Wars, too.

I was looking at this image of the Knights of Ren from Rey's vision in The Force Awakens:

Knights of Ren

Exactly seven Knights of Ren appear in the vision, as confirmed by the novelization of the film. These figures and their pose remind me somewhat of the Seven Samurai of the eponymous Kurosawa film:

Seven Samurai

Are the Knights of Ren, as seen in The Force Awakens, intended to be a reference to the Seven Samurai?

  • 8
    It may be a reference to the Knights of Ni, though. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:43
  • Weren't Seven Samurai the Good Guys? :) j/k, awesome question. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 14:09
  • 1
    Holy crap, one of the best films ever, ever, ever.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Most probably.

In the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Press Conference, Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of The Force Awakens, admitted that Kurosawa is one of his most influential film makers:

Mindy Kailing: Is there any movie that you look to or thought about when you were writing this one?

Lawrence Kasdan: Oh yeah. All the movies of Akira Kurosawa have influenced me throughout my career; that's because he was the Shakespeare of cinema: he did comedy, he did action films, he did Shakespearean drama, and all of life is contained in each one of his films. Seven Samurai may be the greatest film ever made, it's... you know, it's a personal drama, it's an action picture. So when J.J. and I were working, we kept referring to that, and then we would talk about the great American movies that we loved and things that had influenced the first Star Wars, which is Howard Hawks, and John Ford, and... you know, all the... Flash Gordon. Because when George [Lucas] made A New Hope, we was influenced very much by Kurosawa and by Flash Gordon and by Wizard of Oz [...]

From Star Wars: The Force Awakens Press Conference (video below; from minute 31:00).

  • As a personal note, I think (and hope) the Knights of Ren will be a pivotal element in the upcoming films; marking a total change of direction from what we've already seen in the SW films. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:18
  • Great work, Alfredo! This statement is certainly very suggestive. Assuming nothing else is dug up, I'll be more than happy to accept this, but I'll give it a day or two. (I also agree with you about a welcome change in direction for the next episodes...but it remains to be seen if they will actually use these characters properly.)
    – Praxis
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:26
  • Thanks. Yeah, I think the inspiration from Seven Samurai is more than obvious; unless he publicly admits basing the Knights of Ren upon the Seven Samurai, this is the best we'll get (until SW VIII/IX come out). Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:31

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