How Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name Inspired This Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Character

by Craig Garrett
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Clint Eastwood’s prolific performance in A Fistful of Dollars influenced the coolest sci-fi character around, Boba Fett. Eastwood’s character, the Man with No Name, was a mystery man who rode into town, did his job, and rode out again without ever revealing his past. This enigmatic figure captured the imagination of audiences around the world, and when George Lucas was looking for inspiration for Boba Fett, he turned to Eastwood’s performance. Like the Man with No Name, Fett is a mystery man who does his job and doesn’t reveal his past. And like Clint Eastwood, Boba Fett has become an icon of pop culture.

After a small part in 1956’s Revenge of the Creature, Clint Eastwood became a household name on Rawhide. He played Rowdy Yates on the popular tv series before an Italian Western shot him to superstardom. In A Fistful Of Dollars, Eastwood’s character was based on Akira Kurosawa’s samurai film, Yojimbo. Film studio Toho sued the creators of A Fistful Of Dollars, claiming the films were too similar. Learning of the Western’s samurai roots is eye-opening.

How Classic Westerns influenced George Lucas

When George Lucas was crafting the Star Wars Saga, it took many cues from Eastern culture as well as classic films about the Old West. “There were quite a few films made about bounty hunters in the Old West,” George Lucas told CBR in 2021. “that’s where that came from. When I was writing the early scripts for Star Wars, I wanted to develop an essentially evil character that was frightening. Darth Vader started as a kind of intergalactic bounty hunter in a space suit and evolved into a more grotesque knight as I got more into knights and the codes of everything. He became more of a Dark Lord than a mercenary bounty hunter. The Boba Fett character is really an early version of Darth Vader. He is also very much like [ Clint Eastwood ] from the Sergio Leone Westerns.”

Boba Fett takes many cues from Clint Eastwood

Boba Fett first appears in live-action in the 1980s The Empire Strikes Back. He is a bounty hunter like many Clint Eastwood characters. Not only that, but he wears a cloak similar to the poncho Eastwood often sports in westerns. Just like The Man with No Name, Fett says as little as possible and is willing to play both sides. Fett is hired by Darth Vader to find the Millennium Falcon. He tracks the ship to Cloud City, where he captures Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia.

Fett’s next appearance is in Return of the Jedi, where he fights Luke Skywalker above the Sarlacc pit. He is then presumably killed by Han Solo, who accidentally knocks him into the pit. However, the quiet character made an impression. So much so that he was immediately brought back in other media, like cartoons. However, Fett made his return to live-action in a season 2 episode of the wildly popular The Mandalorian tv series. He has since even gotten his own limited series, The Book of Boba Fett, which dropped in 2021. That series doubled down on Star Wars’ Old West inspirations. Fett wears a poncho over his body armor, just like the iconic Clint Eastwood character.

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