Every Western Movie Referenced In The Series

As a spin-off of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett continues the noble tradition of the Space Western, combining thematic and archetypical elements of both the science fiction and Western genres to deliver a distinct method of storytelling. With its dramatic stand-offs in the streets of Mos Espa, a pulse-pounding train robbing sequence across the Dune Sea, and unique focus on tribalism with the Tusken Raiders, the series doesn’t just borrow aspects of Western movies — it pays homage to them with direct references.


Whereas The Mandalorian spent a few episodes on the sand-swept planet of Tatooine, this series is set almost exclusively on the Outer Rim world, making it a perfect backdrop to incorporate scenes specifically lifted from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Dances With Wolves, and High Noon. Every Western movie referenced in The Book of Boba Fett makes it a natural successor to The Mandalorian as well as iconic in its own right.

Dances With Wolves (1990)

Streaming On Netflix

Easily regarded as one of the best installments of the series, Episode 2 focuses on a tribe of Tusken Raiders saving Boba Fett’s life and the legendary bounty hunter repaying their kindness. Struggling to heal wounds from his time spent in the Sarlacc’s stomach, Fett nevertheless learns the ways of Tusken culture and earns their begrudging respect by adopting their fighting style and acknowledging their claim to the desert.

One of the biggest influences for this storyline comes from the Western movie Dances With Wolves, starring Kevin Costner as a veteran of the Civil War who, like Fett, desires to leave his old life behind him and winds up being welcomed into a Lakota tribe. Fett’s time among the sand people helps him prize the value of family, loyalty, and community over isolation, deception, and pointless violence.

Unforgiven (1992)

Streaming On Prime

For fans lamenting that The Book of Boba Fett doesn’t show enough of the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter as a “stone-cold killer”, there’s one scene in Episode 2 that showcases the gritty brutality with which Fett etched his legacy. It takes place at none other than the bar adjoining Tosche Station and involves a series of Nikto sand riders that Fett dispatches in short order with little more than his fists and a gaffi stick.

Clint Eastwood evokes a similar scene in Unforgiven, whereby his similarly fashioned outlaw-turned-antihero William Munny enters a saloon and guns down first its unarmed owner, then a series of other rapscallions that enter the fray. Like Boba Fett, Munny remains cold and ruthless throughout the onslaught, drawn into the violence he swore he’d left behind. Like Fett, he also pauses briefly to pour himself a stiff drink before executing one last opponent.

The Great Train Robbery (1903, 1979)

Streaming On Prime

An iconic moment in the series occurs towards the end of Episode 2 when Boba Fett, fresh from his brawl at Tosche Station (and with speeder bikes in tow) leads the Tusken Raiders to stop the train that’s been carrying contraband for the Pyke Syndicate through their territory. Not only is the entire sequence pulse-pounding from start to finish, but it also conveys the unique way that Fett and the tribe work together as equals to stop a mutual threat.

Train robberies are a trope in many Western movies, but there’s none quite so famous as The Great Train Robbery, the very first Western made in 1903 that focuses on a band of outlaws who rob a train and try to escape across the mountains before being apprehended by the locals. A remake (starring Sean Connery and set in Victorian England) was released in 1979, and features a similarly exhilarating fight like the one in The Book of Boba Fett on top of the rail cars.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)

Streaming On Prime

It only makes sense that the quintessential cowboy figure in The Book of Boba Fett would take on its most murderous gunslinger in a stand-off scene straight out of one of the most famous Westerns of all time, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. There are three figures in its final scene with fingers poised on the triggers of their side irons, but only one walks away, mirroring the exact same situation between Marshal Cobb Vanth, his deputy, and Cad Bane in Episode 6 of the Disney+ series.

Much like Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Marshal Cobb Vanth has established himself as an opportunistic rogue who also has a strong moral compass. He once helped himself to Boba Fett’s armor, but only in the capacity of doing good by the citizens of Freetown. Like The Man With No Name taking on Lee Van Cleef’s villainous Angel Eyes though he is not altogether a trustworthy man himself, Marshal Vanth has to stand in the way of Cad Bane because it’s still the right thing to do.

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

Streaming On Hulu

Cad Bane is one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy, with a reputation every bit as dangerous as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand’s. When he arrives on Tatooine to intimidate Marshal Cobb Vanth into letting the Pyke Syndicate’s spice business continue, he makes one of the most chilling entrances of any character in The Book of Boba Fett, mirroring the arrival of one of the cruelest bad guys in Westerns.

Henry Fonda’s Frank, a similarly black-clad assassin and the emissary of a greedy rail baron, made waves in 1968 when Once Upon A Time In The West followed his reign of terror on the small town of Flagstone. Like Cad Bane, he was an amalgamation of charm and malice, capable of incredible feats of brutality. Bane’s presence reminds fans what the stakes are, and his confrontation with –and subsequent gunning down of– the marshal indicate that no character is safe from his quick draw.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Streaming On Prime

The exciting finale of Season 1 pits Boba Fett, Din Djarin, Fennec Shand, Black Krrsantan, Drash, Skad, Peli Motto, and the people of Freetown against the nefarious Cad Bane and the Pyke Syndicate’s soldiers, with each fighter taking up strategic positions all around Mos Espa until they’re finally cornered and Fett has to come up with a creative solution.

In The Magnificent Seven (a classic Western remade in 2016), seven legendary gunslingers are enlisted by a small town to prevent continuous raiding by the much larger cadre of Calvera and his banditos. Much like Fett and his gang, the deadly gunsels must fight alongside the town to ensure the freedom of its citizens. When the day is won, the survivors enjoy the praise of the village, but at a great cost. When Fett walks along the streets of Mos Espa after his victory, he is embraced by the people as a leader who won’t abandon them even when outnumbered and outgunned.

High Noon (1952)

Streaming On Prime

One of the most important battles in the Season 1 finale isn’t fought by two opposing sides, but one representative from each; Daimyo Boba Fett and master gunman Cad Bane, settling a vendetta long in the making between protege and mentor. Fans know the moment will arrive, and the suspension and tension crackle in the air like the hum of Din Djarin’s dark saber.

Their climactic showdown, in which each bounty hunter squares off against the other down the main street of Mos Espa, is reminiscent of the final duel between Marshal Will Kane and the outlaw Frank Miller, two nemeses who spend the entirety of High Noon closing in on one epic stand-off. None of the townspeople will risk their own safety to help the marshal in his hour of need, and like Fett, he assumes the danger on their behalf. Kane and Fett are both older and rattled with the suspicion that they might not be as fast as they once were, but they need to prove to their respective towns that they can protect them against paradigms of evil like Miller and Bane. It’s important for Fett to beat Bane in order to truly leave his former life as a bounty hunter behind, bring peace to his past, and become a hero to the people.

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