5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian has brought up comparison to films of the past. And, we believe you’ll like these similar 5 westerns and 5 samurai movies.

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5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

Ever since George Lucas’s classic space western Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, with its dynamic blend of Western shoot-em up action and Eastern philosophical ideologies, the franchise has felt the presence of Eastern and Western cinematic influences. As a kid, Lucas grew up on a steady diet of Spaghetti Westerns and Akira Kurosawa films, both depicting epic battles of good versus evil that established a moral code and cultural mythology all their own.

With The Mandalorian, the flagship series on Disney+, creator Jon Favreau has carried on the tradition of paying homage to the great films of Clint Eastwood, John Ford, Kurosawa, John Sturges, and many more as his nameless bounty hunting protagonist makes his way across a wild galactic frontier. Below you’ll find 5 Westerns and 5 Samurai movies to watch if you love The Mandalorian.


5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau has expressly stated that Mando is a reworking of The Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood’s famously stoic protagonist in Sergio Leone’s The Man With No Name Trilogy, also known as The Dollars Trilogy. In it, Eastwood’s nameless gunslinger maintains the same deadpan humor, laconic word choice, and marksmanship as Mando.

Leone never intended the films -A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly- to be a trilogy, but they were packaged that way for American audiences. They depict Eastwood’s character ending up in a variety of dangerous situations revolving around treasure, bounties, and rival factions, just like each random episode of The Mandalorian.

9 YOJIMBO (1961)

5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

In one of Akira Kurosawa’s most well-known films, Yojimbo tells the story of a wandering samurai warrior (played by his most prolific star Toshirô Mifune) who agrees to contract his services to two rival businessmen in a small town as they quarrel of the gambling trade.

That the unnamed ronin is shrewd, clever, mysterious, and prone to violence indicates he’s a feudal Japanese version of Mando, who was not above pitting Imperial sympathizers against his old bounty hunting guild, or his old crew against each other, if it served his interests.

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5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

To watch Episode 4 of The Mandalorian is to watch a very condensed version of John Sturges classic Western masterpiece The Magnificent Seven. Besides the basic lifted plot of farmers propositioning the territory’s most infamous gunman to stop banditos from raiding their village, there are scenes pulled directly from the film.

For instance, when Mando seeks out ex-Rebel shocktrooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano), it’s reminiscent of Chris (Yul Brynner) seeking out other famous gunslingers to make up his cohort. There are even nearly identical scenes involving him training the villagers to defend themselves with guns and weapons that is taken from the film.


5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

Considered one of Kurosawa’s greatest films of all time, The Seven Samurai was the direct inspiration behind The Magnificent Seven by John Sturges, though with slightly more focus on moral codes, honor, and humor. It concerns a group of poor villagers that seek out seven ronin samurai to help them defend their village from raiders.

The “against all odds” trope is alive and well in Episode 4 of The Mandalorian, where even with two experienced fighters like Mando and Cara, the raiders and their AT-ST represent significant opposition. Even the pull for one of the ronin to remain in the village and live a peaceful farmer’s life is hinted at between Mando and a beautiful widow.

6 PALE RIDER (1985)

5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

In one of his most stirring self-directed films, Clint Eastwood stars as the Pale Rider. The stranger sometimes goes by “Preacher”, and manifests out of the landscape of the Old West to help needful citizens, like some California goldminers feuding with a mining barron and his strip-mining.

Repeatedly we wonder if the Pale Rider is a supernatural being, perhaps reminiscent of the character in Eastwood’s first directorial debut High Plains Drifter. Like Mando, who travels from planet to planet offering aid to those in struggling circumstances, he dispensed justice where it was needed most.


5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

To wit, the samurai film that most assuredly mimics a strong through-line plot point in The Mandalorian is Lone Wolf and Cub. The film chronicles Ogami Ittō (Tomisaburo Wakayama), the shogun’s personal executioner, who goes on the run after a rival clan murders the shogun and blames him for the deed.

Before he can clear his name, they slaughter his family. Only his infant son Daigorō survives, and his father must take odd jobs as a mercenary to keep them both safe. A bounty hunter roaming the galaxy, with the Child in his pram, set against a backdrop of chaos and violence, is The Mandalorian’s direct homage to this classic film.


5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

One of Western director John Ford’s greatest outings with Western veteran John Wayne, The Searchers influences The Mandalorian in plenty of ways. From scenes of sun-kissed rocky outcroppings, to a warrior burdened with conscience in a changing frontier, it has all the classic Western tropes.

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The main plot centers around The Duke undertaking a risky mission to rescue his niece deep into Comanche territory after his brother’s family is killed. Whether it’s Mando gunning down troopers in Episode 3 to get to the Child, planning how to survive a raid in Episode 4, or teaming up with a young and eager gunman in Episode 5, it’s all familiar territory from this classic Western.

3 HARAKIRI (1962)

5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

Harakiri is a film about the dynamics of family honor and how, if followed to the exact letter, the practice of strict adherence often does more harm than good. It focuses on a samurai named Tsugumo Hanshirō who travels to the house of the Ii clan to commit seppuku.

His request is a deception, and as he waits for the senior counselor to grant it, he begins to tell a tale of the inhumanity of adhering to a strict bushido code, which cost him the lives of his son, his son’s wife, and their infant son. As Mando begins to see midway through The Mandalorian, sometimes fiercely clinging to the Mandalorian culture presents more obstacles than it removes.

2 3 GODFATHERS (1948)

5 Westerns & 5 Samurai Movies To Watch If You Love The Mandalorian

While John Ford’s lauded Western The Searchers certainly leaves its stamp on The Mandalorian, another one also bears mentioning. 3 Godfathers follows 3 outlaws taken to shady heists to make a living, until they’re entrusted with the welfare of a baby after its mother passes away.

The 3 men reveal their more altruistic nature as they each take turns seeing to the child’s needs. As they make their way back to civilization to leave the child in better care, they face a litany of obstacles. Not only does the Mando fit into the robbers’ cadre, but so do the companions that join him in taking care of the Child, Cara and Kuill.


In The Tale of Zatoichi, the first installment in a saga of films spanning 26 titles, the protagonist by the same name goes from being a samurai to being an outlaw out of necessity. He frequently dwells in environments within the criminal underworld, and finds a certain amount of comfort there.

When he takes on assignment to kill a rival samurai, the two become unlikely friends, making their inevitable showdown at the conclusion of the film that much more tragic. Zatoichi’s persona, that of a mercenary with a good heart who lives by his own moral code, is definitely inkeeping with Mando’s.

Link Source : https://screenrant.com/star-wars-mandalorian-westerns-samurai-movies-similar/

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