How Princess Mononoke Influenced Star Wars: Clone Wars & The Mandalorian

George Lucas explains how the Studio Ghibli classic Princess Mononoke inspired Stars Wars series like Clone Wars and The Mandalorian.
princess mononoke - star wars

The Studio Ghibli movie, Princess Mononoke, inspired the creation of two popular shows in the Star Wars franchise.

Both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian were influenced by the famous anime movie, George Lucas revealed at the Siggraph Convention during a Q&A. Elements derived from Mononoke have been seen in Dave Filoni’s work for the Star Wars shows, inspiring fans all over to revisit Miyazaki’s masterpiece.


Princess Mononoke is a fantasy anime movie produced by Studio Ghibli that tells the story about the Emishi Prince, Ashitaka, who kills an enraged demon that threatened his village. During the battle, he is cursed by the creature and heads west in search of a cure, and the reason behind the demon’s existence. During his travels, he encounters the Irontown, where iron weapons are being made in a battle against the gods of the forest. Ashitaka soon finds himself in the middle of the conflict between Lady Eboshi and a human girl named San, who lives and fights with a wolf pack lead by Wolf Goddess Moro.

The Legacy Of Princess Mononoke

princess mononoke

Studio Ghibli is one of the most famous and popular creators of anime movies, including many of the titles being released in the west and being dubbed in English. The studio is well-known for giving viewers amazing visuals and rich stories, so it is not surprising that one of the films has influenced the imagination of creators in other productions. The movie has amazing scenery and a complex use of mythology and interconnective relations between humans, nature, and the lore involved. The movie also tackles the question about progress and the end of the old to replace with the new, but all these themes captivate the audience in an immersive world.

Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano is one of the Togruta Jedi that many fans will know from The Clone wars series, however, what many may not know was that the inspiration for the character came directly from Mononoke. Dave Filoni has previously stated to a crowd at the Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016 that “Ahsoka’s inspiration came from Mononoke”. The inspirations can be seen in the various action sequences that can be comparable to those of San’s in the movie. Its clear that San was the primary contributor to the creation of Ahsoka as even original concepts show the character having a skirt that shared similarities to the design of San’s, which shows a greater visual tie.

Although there are a lot of similarities, Ahsoka does develop into her own character since the influences of San are merely how the character began, before her own path was created over time. At the Star Wars celebration Europe, Filoni also commented that a potential ending for Ahsoka was also largely inspired by Princess Mononoke. The concept involved forest wolves, which would save Ahsoka from the events of Order 66, which involves the clones killing all Jedi that occurred before the rise of Darth Vader.

The Mandalorian

With Ahsoka being influence in the animation series by Mononoke, its no surprise that Dave Filoni would also carry that inspiration in to the Mandalorian. With the chance to flesh out the character in her live action debut, Filoni used the elements of Mononoke in the 5th episode of season 2 that further cements that fact San is the archetype for the Jedi. Similarities between the conflict between San and Lady Eboshi can be seen with Ahsoka versus Magistrate Elsbeth.

Magistrate Elsbeth also shares similarities to Lady Eboshi as both have tragic pasts that seem similar. Scenes in Mandalorian also may remind viewers of visuals in Mononoke, such as the devastation of Planet Corvus that looks familiar to the smoking forests and Iron Town featured in Mononoke.

Filoni loves many parts featured in Mononoke as the epic battle between San and Eboshi also is the inspiration for the fight between Ahsoka and Elsbeth. The use of rooftops by Ahsoka in both versions of the character is one trait also seen used by San. Although the episode may have had other sources of inspiration, Princess Mononoke is being saluted and honoured more than others. With many productions being inspired by others, its great to see an amazing anime movie inspiring additions to a franchise as epic as Star Wars.

Have you seen Princess Mononoke? What do you think about the affect it has had on Star Wars? Let us know your opinion and keep following The Illuminerdi for more facts in fiction.


Sorce: SlashFilm


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Bryn Darby

Long time fan of Tokusatsu fan since Power Rangers was first released in the 90s. Whereas most Superhero fans grew up with DC Comics and Marvel, my childhood was surrounded by releases from Saban Entertainment such as Beetleborgs, along with anime, and other various fads of the generation. Anime is also a great passion with Digimon, That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime, and Demon Slayer being significant favorites. It was the love of both Power Rangers and Digimon that led to the path of becoming a Senior Writer for The Illuminerdi.