Hero Column -Chirrut Imwe-

We all have our eyes on Chirrut Imwe, the new hero from the Star Wars series. Have you all experienced the glory of Chirrut?

The newest installment of the Star Wars series, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” has already grossed more than 1 billion dollars in the world box office, and its popularity is still going strong to this day. This movie is an original spin-off, taking place shortly before “Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope”.

Chirrut is a blind priest soldier who aids the main character and guides his companions with his spiritual devotion and exceptional martial arts skills.
The film takes place in a world in which the Jedi knights and the source of their power, “the force,” have become obsolete. However, Chirrut refuses to abandon his faith in them. He firmly believes that power dwells in those who believe.

Chirrut’s pure heart, depth of devotion, and conviction of faith that remains steadfast in spite of opposition from society makes him not unlike the samurai who played an active role from the end of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji era. For instance, he bears a striking number of similarities to Katsumoto from “The Last Samurai# and Himura Kenshin from “Rurouni Kenshin”. Chirrut, although blind, is a master of martial arts, and fights with increasingly sharpened senses in battle. Many would agree that this brings to mind the character of “Zatoichi”.

The original foundation of the Star Wars narrative is said to be the “hero’s journey.” In this type of bildungsroman, the role of the “wise sage” who provides advice and guidance to the main character is very important, and Chirrut’s presence absolutely serves to fulfill this role.

Furthermore, the actor playing Chirrut, Donnie Yen, is a Hong Kongese superstar and martial arts master. Yen, who carries on his shoulders a part of the long history of Chinese martial arts and Hong Kong film, by playing characters which closely resemble Zatoichi and The Last Samurai, has produced what feels like a sort of fusion of Chinese and Japanese cinematic contexts. 
He manages to combine the individualities of the religion, culture, handicaps, etc., of a variety of cultures into a single character. This phenomenon moves the viewer deeply. It is perhaps the very essence of political correctness.

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*The “Hero Database” is based off of FRI’s quantitative investigations, and and is a database which makes assessments using the “13 personality traits” and “six attributes of a hero.”

(Article by: Nanae Kan)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

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