Warning: This article contains story spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
Art imitates art, this has been the case for all of history as the books telling the stories told in hieroglyphs as new stories. Books reinterpret these stories into new ones and even movies take other movies and pay homage to them by turning them into something different, star wars not being different.
Much of George Lucas’ love for Flash Gordon can be seen in star wars but one of the biggest inspirations are westerns. From the classic spaghetti westerns of the 1950s and 1960s through the 1990s, westerns were the model for the characters, stories, and even themes of the star wars universe.
Cantina Scenes (Various)
So many times throughout the Star Wars timeline, the hero or heroes walk into a sleazy canteen on a planet they’re passing through. Whether it’s the famous Mos Eisley canteen on Tatooine or the casino-centric metropolis on Canto Bight, it’s a Star Wars staple.
It is also a staple of westerns with the main characters entering a tavern or saloon. From the colorful background characters to the music to the occasional erupting fights; it’s something you still see in Star Wars on shows like The Mandalorian.
The Nameless Mandalorian (The Mandalorian)
Although it was later revealed that his name is Din Djarin, The Mandalorian first established his titular character as a lone, nameless bounty hunter. It is similar to the famous character of Clint Eastwood from For a few Ddollars Following; even Pedro Pascal’s performance is reminiscent of this classic Western character.
The spaghetti western inspiration is even clearer in the first episode of The Mandalorian. In it, “Mando” teams up with another bounty hunter who works first until they double-cross. A similar dynamic was observed in For a few dollars more.
The Scourge of Skywalker Ranch (A New Hope)
One of George Lucas’ greatest inspirations when he created A new hopewas John Wayne Researchers. One of the most direct parallels is when the young hero discovers his property on fire with his aunt killed by the culprits who razed her.
Star Wars: A new hope features an almost identical scene when Luke Skywalker returns to his ranch to find it in flames. The biggest difference is that Luke loses both his aunt and uncle, leaving him entirely alone.
Han Shot First (A New Hope and Solo: A Star Wars Story)
The introduction to Han Solo sounds like any typical gunslinger. It’s a lawless time with one character trying to survive with other villains after his head. Han Solo pulling out his iconic DL-44 to blast Greedo under the table came straight out of The good the bad and the ugly when Angel Eyes kills a man in an almost identical way.
Although the scene was changed for the multiple versions of the Special Edition, many fondly remember Han Solo shooting first. So much so that the scene was later paid homage by Ron Howard in Solo: A Star Wars Story asking Han to quickly shoot his traitorous mentor.
Anakin slaying the Tuskens (Attack of the Clones)
In Researchers, John Wayne’s Ethan gets his revenge by confronting the tribe of Native Americans who killed his family. It’s a dark scene that shows the hero descending into a more anti-hero state, murdering an entire camp of natives, including the villainous leader.
A similar event occurs in attack of the clones when Anakin Skywalker finds his mother dying in the Tusken Raider camp. When Shmi dies in his arms, Anakin’s dark side takes over and he slaughters the Tuskens, symbolizing the same prejudice for Native Americans for so many centuries.
Luke & Han (A New Hope)
At first, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo have a more complicated relationship, with Han being a rather condescending big brother figure to Luke. Luke hires Han to take him on his journey, but they end up bonding and face the forces of evil together.
The relationship between Han and Luke is quite similar to another of John Wayne’s many famous films: The real courage. In it, young Mattie hires John Wayne’s rooster to help her track down the people who killed her father. Rooster and Han share that same tough villain personality with a heart of gold that helps Mattie and Luke on their personal journey.
Boba Fett and the Tuskens (The Boba Fett Book)
One of the most surprisingly progressive things done lately star wars the story shows Boba Fett’s time with the Tuskens after escaping the Sarlacc Pit. He starts out as their prisoner slave but becomes a valued member of the tribe and friend who helped them move forward with speeders and catch a train.
Many fans instantly compared this story in Boba Fett’s Book at dance with wolves with Kevin Costner. In this film, a Civil War soldier forms a bond with a Native American tribe and slowly becomes one of them over time. This inspiration helped transform the Tuskens from mindless savages into a more complex and endearing tribe of warriors.
Teaching the village to fight back (The Mandalorian)
It’s the classic story of a helpless village falling victim to an outside threat, so outside help comes in to fend off that threat. In The Mandalorianit’s Din Djarin and Cara Dune helping a colony on a peaceful planet, teaching them how to use what they have to fight back and reclaim their home.
Star Wars has always been inspired by both westerns and samurai films. In an ironic twist, this story is adapted from both: most may know The Magnificent Seven which has an almost identical concept but that Western was actually a remake of the Japanese film called Seven Samurai.
The Train Robbery (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Train robberies have been a staple of Westerns for many decades, even in the underrated sequel Back to the future part III. So it makes sense that Star Wars also tackles a train sequence at some point and it came in the centered outlaw Solo: A Star Wars Story.
A young Han Solo, Tobias Beckett, and their crew take a Coaxium transport tram and the result is a train robbery seen in many westerns. Outlaws versus lawmen on a train with environmental hazards every step of the way, but with a sci-fi twist.
The Return of Cad Bane (The Boba Fett Book)
Since its introduction in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, most fans were already noting his resemblance to Lee Van Cleef in his many westerns. That’s just the beginning as he usually played an evil killer or bounty hunter, and Cad Bane is one of the deadliest bounty hunters in Star Wars.
With the western style of Jon Favreau’s shows, fans welcomed Cad Bane with open arms as he made his return to Boba Fett’s Book. From his cowboy appearance to his confrontation with Marshal Cobb Vanth to his final duel with Boba Fett; it all sounds like the classic tropes of outlaw versus villain in classic westerns.
NEXT: 10 Essential Clone Wars Episodes Starring Cad Bane
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