He was the man who could have been Solo.
I have always been intrigued by BoShek. When Ben Kenobi enters the cantina on Mos Eisley looking for a pilot to take himself, the boy and two droids to Alderaan, his first choice is a smuggler sporting arched eyebrows, killer muttonchops, and a black and white space suit more akin to an astronaut than a fighter pilot. While we cannot hear their dialogue, it is obvious that Kenobi asks him for a ride to Alderaan–and for whatever reason, the space pilot says no.
Was his ship out of commission? Did he have another charter later that day?
Whatever the reason, BoShek turns down the offer, but smoothly motions over his shoulder to the furry beast behind him, in my mind saying something to the effect of “Sorry, I can’t help you. But why don’t you give him a try?”
That furry beast, Chewbacca, then brings Kenobi and Skywalker to the table, Han Solo sits down, the rest is history…and BoShek faded forever into the darkness of the Mos Eisley bar.
So as I sat with my daughter in the Anaheim Convention center listening to Tom Spina and Pablo Hidalga’s fantastic panel “Secrets of the Mos Eisley Cantina,” I was shocked to discover that we had no idea who the actor was who played BoShek.
What? BoShek even has his own action figure. But we don’t know the name of actor who played him?
If these two Star Wars scholars—Spina, of Tom Spina Designs, an incredible designer who had recently recreated the Cantina scene for a Volkswagen commercial, and Hidalgo, Creative Executive at Lucasfilm—did not know who BoShek was, it was pretty safe to say the internet didn’t either. But the crowd can be very powerful when tapped.
I make my living as an investigative journalist. I write and produce true crime stories for places like Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Magazine, and I am on the Warner Bros. syndicated show Crime Watch Daily. Many of the stories I tell are of the unsolved murder and missing persons variety. I am also one of the country’s experts on citizen detectives—individuals who team up online to solve crimes. The last time I was at a conference, I was presenting a panel called “Citizen Dicks: Solving Murders With Social Media.”
So as I sat with my daughter listening to Spina and Hidalgo’s panel, I felt I had found my sense of purpose in the Star Wars universe. Since Star Wars has neither had a journalist nor a detective onscreen, this could be my best chance to make a contribution.
I was going to find BoShek.