Lucas often credited Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (1958) as one of his influences on Star Wars. So when the master Japanese filmmaker, then about 70, ran out of money on his latest samurai epic, Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola convinced 20th Century Fox to provide finishing funds. In exchange, they received executive producer credits. Again, Lucas probably didn't do much work on the actual movie -- who would want to meddle with Kurosawa's creative process? -- but the fact that it is available to see is partly thanks to him.