George Lucas borrowed heavily from several Kurosawa films, among other sources. The roots of plots, factions, characters, and names across the Saga can be easily traced to films such as Hidden Fortress. Instead of peasants bumbling into a samurai adventure to save a princess in feudal Japan, we have droids bumbling into a Jedi adventure to save a princess in the Galactic Empire.
/Film takes a look at several of the inspirations for Star Wars, for both the OT and the PT, including the characters, their motivations, their code of conduct and even their language and names. So if you don't want to be a chuu baka, check out the article. There are a few tidbits that even veteran Star Wars aficionados may not know.