“The victory belongs to the peasants, not to us.”
The heroes in Akira Kurosawa’s landmark action film are battle-hardened warriors now roaming the countryside as rōnin — samurai without a master to call their own.
That’s part of the reason they come to fight to protect a village against the bandits plundering their crops.
But there’s something bigger at play for these men, who realize deep down in their souls, that most of them won’t survive the siege.
They fight because it’s the only path they know, and the only way they have left to live a life of honor.