The Belt of a Gunslinger - Exploring Han Solo's Iconic Look
STAR WARS™ Imperial Officer Hat
Imperial Officers were high-class soldiers who held various positions of responsibility, authority, and duty within the various branches of the Galactic Empire's military. Common traits among those officers were ambition, ruthlessness, and strong approval of the Emperor's plans to destroy the rebellion. Shop Now!
Han Solo's large hexagonal belt buckle is one of the most recognizable aspects of his traditional uniform. Worn front and center in five of the six films Han Solo appears in - it's one of the defining traits of his look. For 1977's STAR WARS, costume designer John Mollo created a style for Han Solo that recalled the gunslingers of the Spaghetti Western genre. He wore an old shirt & vest with a pair of military striped pants, and riding boots. But, what really anchored the design was this particular piratical cowboy's gun belt. Carl Schmidt of Bapty & Co Ltd. crafted it alongside Roger Christian who, as Star Wars' set decorator - had been tasked with creating Han Solo's DL-44 Blaster along with all the other weapons needed for the film. That belt and buckle design became iconic, and has been worn in that configuration for nearly all of Han Solo’s appearances over the years.
Part of what goes into developing a successful costume, particularly for high adventure, superheroic, or science fiction stories is crafting something that can be dynamic when framed on screen. Han Solo's costume consists of mostly dark pieces broken up by his shirt and gunbelt with the belt's buckle acting as a kind of focal point and image break. Think of it like Batman's yellow utility belt, an artist's tool to add something visually dynamic to break up a silhouette & catch the eye. Han Solo's belt buckle acts exactly in that fashion on screen, and in real life.