10 Times Star Wars Became A Full-On Western

Warning: This article contains story spoilers for The Book Of Boba Fett.

Art imitates art, this has been the case for all of history such as books retelling the stories told in hieroglyphics as new stories. Books reinterpret those stories into new ones and even movies take other films and tribute them by remaking them into something different, starwars being not different.

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Much of George Lucas’ love for Flash Gordon can be seen in starwars but one of the biggest inspirations are Westerns. From classic spaghetti Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s all the way to the 1990s, Westerns have been the blueprint for characters, stories, and even themes of the starwars universe.


Cantina Scenes (Various)

Split image of Obi-Wan and Luke in the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope and patrons around a table on Canto Bight in The Last Jedi

So many times across the Star Wars timeline, the hero/heroes enter some shady cantina on a planet they are traversing. Whether it’s the famous Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine or the casino-centric metropolis on Canto Bight, it’s a common staple of Star Wars.

It’s also a staple of westerns with the main characters going into some tavern or saloon. From the colorful background characters to the music to even the occasional fight breaking out; this is something that is still seen in Star Wars in shows such as The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian With No Name (The Mandalorian)

Din Djarin turning in bounties in The Mandalorian

Though it was later revealed that his name is Din Djarin, The Mandalorian first established its titular character as a lonely and nameless bounty hunter. This is akin to Clint Eastwood’s famous character from For A Few Dollars More; even Pedro Pascal’s performance is reminiscent of that classic Western character.

The inspiration from the spaghetti western is even clearer in the first episode of The Mandalorian. In it, “Mando” teams up with another bounty hunter which works at first until they double-cross each other. A similar dynamic was seen in For A Few Dollars More.

The Scourge Of Skywalker Ranch (A New Hope)

Luke Skywalker finding the ranch on fire in Star Wars A New Hope

One of George Lucas’ biggest inspirations, when he created A New Hopewas John Wayne’s The Searchers. One of the most direct parallels is when the young hero discovers his homestead ablaze with his aunt having been killed by the culprits that razed it.

Star Wars: A New Hope features a scene nearly identical when Luke Skywalker returns to his ranch to discover it in flames. The biggest difference is that Luke loses both his aunt and his uncle from him, leaving him entirely alone.

Han Shot First (A New Hope & Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Split image of Han Solo killing Greedo in A New Hope and Han Solo confronting Tobias Beckett in Solo A Star Wars Story

The introduction to Han Solo is like any typical gunslinger. It’s a lawless time with a character trying to survive with other scoundrels after his head from him. Han Solo pulling out his iconic DL-44 to blast Greedo from under the table is taken straight out of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly when Angel Eyes kills a man in a nearly identical fashion.

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Though the scene was altered for the multiple releases of the Special Edition, many fondly remember that Han Solo shot first. So much so that the scene was then tributed by Ron Howard in Solo: A Star Wars Story by having Han quickly shoot his mentor turned traitor.

Anakin Slaughtering The Tuskens (Attack Of The Clones)

Anakin slaughtering Tusken Raiders in Star Wars Attack Of The Clones

In The Searchers, John Wayne’s Ethan gets his revenge by taking on the tribe of Native Americans that 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 chief.

A similar event happens in Attack Of The Clones when Anakin Skywalker discovers his dying mother 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)

Luke Skywalker convincing Han Solo to save Princess Leia in Star Wars A New Hope

At first, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo have a more complicated relationship with Han being a rather condescending big brother figure for Luke. Luke hires Han to take him on his journey from him but they end up bonding and taking on the forces of evil together.

The relationship between Han and Luke is rather similar to another one of many famous John Wayne movies: True Grit. In that, the young Mattie hires John Wayne’s Rooster to help hunt down the people who killed her father. Rooster and Han share that same rugged scoundrel personality with a heart of gold that helps Mattie and Luke on their personal journey.

Boba Fett And The Tuskens (The Book Of Boba Fett)

Boba Fett finishing his Gaffi stick in The Book Of Boba Fett

One of the most surprisingly progressive things done in recent starwars history is showing Boba Fett’s time with the Tuskens after escaping the Sarlacc Pit. He starts as their prisoner slave but becomes a member of the tribe and valued friend who helped them advance with speeders and take on a train.

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Many fans instantly compared this story in The Book Of Boba Fett to Dances With Wolves starring Kevin Costner. In that movie, a Civil War soldier forms a bond with a Native American tribe and slowly becomes one of them over time. This inspiration helped turn Tuskens from mindless savages into a more complex and endearing tribe of warriors.

Teaching The Village To Fight Back (The Mandalorian)

Din Djarin and Cara Dune working with villagers to fight a rogue walker in The Mandalorian

It’s the classic tale of a defenseless village being victimized by an external threat so an external aid comes to fend off the said threat. In The Mandalorianit’s Din Djarin and Cara Dune helping a settlement on a peaceful planet, teaching them to use what they have to fight and win their home back.

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 that has a nearly identical concept but that Western was actually a remake of the Japanese film called Seven Samurai.

The Train Robbery (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Tobias Beckett and Han Solo battling stormtroopers aboard a transport train in Solo A Star Wars Story

Train robberies have been a staple in Westerns for many decades, even in the underappreciated sequel Back To The Future Part III. So it makes sense that Star Wars would tackle a train sequence at some point as well and it came in the outlaw-centric Solo: A Star Wars Story.

A young Han Solo, Tobias Beckett, and their crew take on 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 Book Of Boba Fett)

Cad Bane speaking with the Pikes in The Book Of Boba Fett

Since his introduction in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, most fans already noted his resemblance to Lee Van Cleef in his many Western movies. That’s just the beginning because he usually played an evil killer or bounty hunter, and Cad Bane is one of Star Wars’ most deadly bounty hunters.

With the Western style of Jon Favreau’s shows, fans welcomed Cad Bane with open arms as he made his return in The Book Of Boba Fett. From his cowboy appearance to having a showdown with Marshal Cobb Vanth to his final duel with Boba Fett; it all resembles classic outlaw versus villain tropes in classic Westerns.

NEXT: 10 Essential Episodes Of The Clone Wars With Cad Bane


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