How do you appear in one of the biggest movies of all time without anyone, including the people who worked on the movie, knowing your name? You’d have to ask BoShek, the gloriously sideburned human hanging out in the cantina in Star Wars. For nearly 40 years, no one has known who played this character. Now we do.
After discovering that even Lucasfilm had no idea what the name of the actor portraying the space pilot was, Billy Jensen—who in full disclosure is my pal and co-founder of my late lamented former site Topless Robot—set out to solve the mystery of the actor’s identity. After all, it may not mean much to say BoShek has an action figure. (If you appeared on a single frame of a Star Wars film, you have a figure.) But BoShek was weirdly instrumental in that he directed Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Chewbacca and Han Solo, which made, well, the entire trilogy possible.
The saga of Jensen’s search—which includes scouring tape of other things the actor may have been in, where they might have been filmed, and contacting other people who worked on the cantina scene in A New Hope—is a fascinating and very fun read. It’s also extremely satisfying, because he actually found the answer, and now he’s working with Star Wars scholar Tom Spina to give the late actor the credit he deserves.
If you have the time, definitely give it a read. If not for me, then for BoShek.
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