When Sci-Fi Meets The Old West

While it may not be immediately apparent if you focus on its setting, real fans know that the Star Wars epic has drawn a lot of inspiration from classic stories set in the old west. While there are plenty of other cultural and historical sources to be found across all the Star Wars films, from WWII to traditional Buddhist monks, you don’t have to go deep to find your classic cowboys.

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“Han Solo’s character was modeled partly after the lone, rogue gunslinger archetype of Western films. ‘Han Solo’s a riff right out of the old West,’ [Laela] French [senior manager of archives and exhibits at Lucas Museum of Narrative Art] says. ‘He uses a blaster like a gunslinger. His shirt style is called the Custer shirt—if you go to any western clothing store today, you’ll find a Han Solo-esque cream-colored shirt. Even his vest has sense of the old West to it.’ To update the look and make it seem original to the Star Wars universe, Mollo, who won an Oscar for his work on the films, added red and yellow striping down the side of Han Solo’s leggings, and didn’t include a cowboy hat.”

Did you know that George Lucas drew many ideas from old west, gunslinger flicks? Are you a fan of Star Wars as well as classic cowboy movies?