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wikipedia -- Lucas needed an established actor to play the important Obi-Wan Kenobi character. Producer Gary Kurtz said, "The Alec Guinness role required a certain stability and gravitas as a character... which meant we needed a very, very strong character actor to play that part." Before Guinness was cast, Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune (who starred in Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress) was considered for the role. According to Mifune's daughter, Mika Kitagawa, her father turned down Lucas's offers for Kenobi and Darth Vader because "he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai... At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite cheap as the effects were not advanced and he had a lot of samurai pride."