Doctor Who’s Shocking Connection To Star Wars Is A Beloved Bounty Hunter

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

William Russell Doctor Who

As much as we would have liked to see it, there was no explicit crossover between Doctor Who and the Original Trilogy of Star Wars films. Certainly, it would have been fun to see Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor running around the Death Star or trying to bluster through a conversation with Grand Moff Tarkin. However, Star Wars and Doctor Who do share one strange connection: the outfit worn by the reptilian bounty hunter Bossk seems to have been recycled from the Time Lord’s earliest onscreen adventures.

The Bossk Connection

Star Wars Bossk

Most Star Wars fans have never connected the character’s outfit to Doctor Who, and there are several reasons for this. For one thing, Bossk simply isn’t onscreen that long, so it’s not like there was plenty of time to scrutinize this saurian’s sartorial choices. For another thing, his outfit looks similar enough to the Rebel Pilot uniforms that even those who do take a second look at what he is wearing might assume his Empire Strikes Back costume was simply recycled from A New Hope.

It’s The Same Uniform

Doctor Who Bossk Uniform

However, he’s not wearing a previously-seen Star Wars uniform…instead, this bounty hunter is wearing an outfit that had last been seen onscreen in a vintage Doctor Who episode. Looking at the pictures side by side, it’s obvious that Bossk is wearing the same uniform as a minor human character from the serial The Tenth Planet. Among fans of that timey-wimey franchise, this series is famous for being the last one to feature William Hartnell, better known to modern fandom as the First Doctor. 

The Iconic Bossk Look

Star Wars Bossk

While Star Wars had to eventually cave in and begin replacing its original cast during the Sequel Trilogy, Doctor Who introduced the handy narrative trick of having the Doctor periodically regenerate into brand new bodies, allowing different actors to consistently play the same character. To our knowledge, the unique space suit worn in that earlier series has never appeared again in Doctor Who. However, it popped up years later in The Empire Strikes Back, giving Bossk a very distinctive look compared to the other “bounty hunter scum” the Imperials hire in that film.

Recycling Or Homage?

Star Wars Bossk

While the later Star Wars character is undeniably wearing the same kind of outfit as the character from Doctor Who, it’s not immediately clear if Bossk is wearing literally the same outfit as the earlier actor. Some fans think they must be the same outfit because the Star Wars films were largely shot in England where Doctor Who was filmed, and each franchise used the same prop house. Other fans think that Bossk’s outfit may be a deliberate homage, as Doctor Who was an established pop culture phenomenon well before the time The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters.

A New Doctor Who Companion?

Doctor Who

In case you were wondering, the outfit in question is a modified High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suits popularized by the British Royal Air Force before appearing in Star Wars and Doctor Who. Look closely and you’ll notice that other characters in a galaxy far, far away are wearing different versions of this same jumpsuit because of its futuristic look. However, in a weird twist, “a long time ago” may never have had this futuristic fashion if Bossk hadn’t gotten his wardrobe ideas from old episodes of Doctor Who.

Now, we’re probably all thinking the same thing, so we’re just going to ask. Will one of you petition Disney to make Bossk the next Doctor Who companion so we don’t have to do it?