The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett pay homage to many classic Westerns, from The Great Train Robbery to The Magnificent Seven.
The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett may be set in a galaxy far, far away, but both Star Wars franchises draw strong inspiration from classic Western films. Like many westerns, The Mandalorian is about an isolated character who wanders around and often gets into trouble. The Book of Boba Fett, closely related to The Mandalorian, continued this Western influence, portraying Tatooine as a threatened frontier of lawlessness.
Both Star Wars series contain homages to classic Western films, in addition to explicit thematic inspiration from the Western genre. This takes the form of everything from similar plot elements to direct visual references. Westerns are one of the popular texts that inspired George Lucas to create Star Wars, along with classic sci-fi serials and samurai movies, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett continue that tradition with references to several Western classics .
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Both The Mandalorian and The Boba Fett Book cite George Roy Hill's revisionist western classics Jawboy and The Sundance Kid. The Mandalorian's first episode ends with a shootout, similar to Butch Cassidy's ending, The Mandalorian Butch and Sundance and IG-11 decide Shoot instead of being captured when outnumbered. This iconic scene is also referenced in Episode 7 of The Book of Boba Fett, with the Walled Freetown set being particularly similar to the famous doomed showdown.
1953's Shane is integral to the creation of Western anti-heroes, similar to Boba Fett and Din Djarin in their respective Disney+ series. The Mandalorian season 1 episode 2 is similar to Shane, where Coyle thanks the Mandalorian for "bringing peace to my valley", similar to Shane's line in the ending scene where he promises a child " No more guns in the valley.” Like Shane, Din had to leave to fulfill his promise, as he was not fit to live in the peaceful world he had created.
A Fistful of Dollars
Sergio Leone's spaghetti western was a major inspiration for The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, including numerous references to them. Episode 3 of The Mandalorian included a metal vest very similar to the one worn by Clint Eastwood's "Nobody" in "Handfuls of Dollars." is the first film in Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy. Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth, who appeared in The Mandalorian season 2, also wears a similar makeshift metal vest made from recycled Mandalorian armor. Timothy Olyphant, who starred in the 2000s Western series Deadwood, could also be seen as another nod to Westerns as Vanth. ).
The Magnificent Seven
One of the most sweeping tributes to the Western genre occurs in The Mandalorian Episode 4, which is essentially taken from the classic western The Magnificent Seven. As in the film, Ding helps an impoverished village fend off local raiders, including training them for combat. There was also a tribute to the film in season 2 of The Mandalorian, when Ding commented on "good shot" and Boba Fett said "I'm aiming for another one", a nod to The Magnificent Seven A riff on very similar conversational exchanges. Since Seven Heroes is a Western remake of Akira Kurosawa's epic Seven Samurai, this episode is actually a tribute to multiple Star Wars inspirations.
The Wild Bunch
The Mandalorian also pays homage to Sam Peckinpah's gory western The Wild Gang. In the first episode, Ding installs a massive laser turret and starts firing at his attackers. Here's a visual reference to the Battle of the Bloody Corridor Scenes from The Wild Bunch, where Peckinpah's anti-heroes destroy enemies in a similar fashion.
For A Few Dollars More
The second film in Leone's Dollars trilogy can also be considered an inspiration for the pilot episode of The Mandalorian. Leone's film stars two bounty hunters who join forces before ultimately betraying each other. This is similar to the dynamic of The Mandalorian and Taika Waititi's IG-11 in Episode 1 of The Mandalorian.
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Many comparisons can also be made between The Mandalorian and another Sam Peckinpah western, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Ding's relationship with Griff Calgar is as much friend and foe as Garrett the lawman is to Billy the outlaw. The Mandalorian also borrows from Peckinpah's old gunslinger's theme of trying to find his place in a changing world, which is also a core element of Jaw Cub and The Sundance Kid.
The Great Train Robbery
One of the clearest homages to the Western genre in The Book of Boba Fett comes in episode 2 of the series, when Bob Fett joins the Tusken Raiders in robbing a van laden with contraband. train. Train robberies are a staple of Western cinema, stemming from From the first example of the genre, the 1903 short The Great Train Robbery. The Book of Boba Fett even includes similar elements, such as Fett traveling along the top of a train.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The final film of Leone's "Dollars" trilogy is his most influential film, best known for the long and drawn-out three-way confrontation at the film's climax. Both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett have their take on this iconic scene from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In episode 6 of The Mandalorian, Ding finds himself in a similar impasse after being betrayed at work. Episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett also featured a three-man shootout between Cobb Vance, Cad Bane and Cobb's lieutenants, with many close-ups mimicking Leone's command lens.
Another film that defines the quintessential Western duel is 1952's High Noon. The meeting of Boba Fett and Cobb Vance in The Book of Boba Fett takes place on a public street where all the townspeople are hidden like Gary Cooper and Ian in High Noon • The meeting of Macdonald's characters. However, the significance of the two battles are diametrically opposed: Cooper's Marshal Alone because he's been abandoned by the cowardly townspeople, Boba Fett fights to protect the community he's built. It's an example of how Western homages in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett use imagery and plot elements from classic Westerns to create new meaning.