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The longest, strangest Star Wars mystery seemingly comes to a close

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Who played BoShek?

The Star Wars universe is loaded with characters both well-known and decidedly less so, but none are more mysterious than BoShek, who makes a short appearance in the very first Star Wars film. Bill Jensen, a self-described investigative journalist, has made it his quest to find out just who played the smuggler. In an update to his website, the writer reveals that he has finally uncovered the name of the uncredited actor: Frances Alfred Basil Tomlin.

BoShek "was the man who could have been Solo," Jensen wrote in the post. For those unfamiliar with the character, his brief role was serving as a pilot-for-hire on Mos Eisley. Approached by Ben Kenobi — along with Luke Skywalker, C-3P0 and R2-D2 — for a ride to Alderaan, BoShek turned the man down. Instead, he referred Kenobi and his crew to someone better suited for the task: Chewbacca, the co-pilot to Han Solo.

Even though he was included in merchandising, the man who brought BoShek to life was not named in the credits of A New Hope. Jensen goes in-depth on how he made that discovery, nearly 30 years after the film premiered.

His fascination with BoShek stemmed not just from that the character appeared uncredited, he wrote in the post, but that none of the people directly associated with the franchise that he spoke to could remember the actor's name. Copious talks with Lucasfilm executives, discussions with Star Wars scholars and emails to industry insiders later, Jensen came into contact with Tomlin's daughter. Photographic evidence led the writer to conclude that the actor did indeed portray the mysterious BoShek.

Why Tomlin, who has since passed away, wasn't credited in the first place is hard to say. We've reached out to Disney, which now owns the hugely successful Star Wars franchise, for confirmation of the actor's involvement.