Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As a big fan of John Carpenter's classic of urban terror Assault on Precinct 13 I always wondered (together with the rest of the characters) why Napoleon Wilson is called that way. It is made clear that this isn't his real name and he is asked repeatedly about it, just to defer the answer with a simple

I'll tell you some time.

Now of course I understand that this might be a delibrate mystery that adds much to the fascination of his character and that there is most probably no in-universe answer by-design.

Yet the even more interesting question would be for the out-of-universe reasons for this unusual name (i.e. what drove Carpenter to call him this way) and if this was inspired by anything or a reference to anything (apart from Napoleon Bonaparte, of course). Knowing that the movie and Carpenter himself was to a large degree influenced by Rio Bravo and Howard Hawks in general (like the other recurring theme of Wilson repeatedly asking for a "smoke", as Wikipedia says), this might be the first place to look for. Yet, not having much knowledge about the works of Howard Hawks, this doesn't help me that much either.

So is there any information what inspired the name of Napoleon Wilson or was it just an arbitrary random decision?

share|improve this question
And let's ingore that fact that even I don't know the reason for my own name. ;-) –  Napoleon Wilson Jan 26 at 18:23
+1 for now but I sense an iso-cube for you in the future !!! –  Dredd Jan 26 at 22:33
@Dredd I didn't get that. –  Napoleon Wilson Jan 26 at 22:46
@NapoleonWilson, he's admonishing you on your bad form [ ;) ] and threatening you with incarceration, punk! –  John Smith Optional Jan 26 at 23:10
lol, very good question actually, but your profile pic showed you as a convict so playing mind games with you! –  Dredd Jan 27 at 1:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.