Where'd you get a name like Napoleon Wilson?

I"m a huge fan of John Carpenter’s film, Assault on Precinct 13, and recently picked up a DVD copy. I was interested in listening to the commentary as I’m very interested in Darwin Joston’s character, Napoleon Wilson. I had hoped that Carpenter would spend some time talking about the characters in his commentary, but instead he spent the film talking about camera angles. Frankly, I don’t give a shit. How about saying a word or two about the people? Nope, not gonna do it.

So, my curiosity remains unresolved and I turn to the teeming masses. Was there any ever back story discussed about Napoleon Wilson? I assume "Napoleon " was a nickname – anyone know how he got it?

topic hijack

I have been disappointed with John Carpenter DVD commentaries. The one on Big Trouble With Little China was just him and Kurt Russel reminiscing for 2 hours and not talking about the movie.

Unlikely as it seems, he might have got the name from a Disney movie.

There was a movie called Napoleon and Samantha about two young kids who had a pet lion. The movie was released in 1972 and it was broadcast on television in 1975. And the boy, played by Johnny Whitaker, was named Napoleon Wilson.

So it’s possible Carpenter heard the name and decided to reuse it.

After all, there is virtually no possibility that he might have come across the name “Napoleon” anywhere else.

That’s sad. I was hoping there was some interesting little character back story he made to develop the character when the script was written. I know he pulled another character name for Darwin in The Fog from the Dr Phibes movies (he played an unnamed coroner named Dr Phibes as revealed in the credits), so that may well be the answer.

I disagree. It’s very possible he might have gotten the name Napoleon Wilson from some other source or just made it up himself. The connection with the Disney movie might just be a coincidence.


My whoosh was up above yours.

Sez u.

But seriously. The name Napoleon is not all that weird (and certainly not new), and Wilson is not weird at all. Why does it need any explanation?

Napoleon Hendrix, SFPD Homicide Detective

Bunch of people here. Could have been named after somebody, he could have just liked the name.

Because it’s a running joke in the movie.

“How’d you get the name Napoleon Wilson?”

“I’ll have to tell you some time.”

The implied hint is there’s a story behind it. Like Lt Bishop and Chaney, I wondered what it was, hence the thread. However, I think Little Nemo nailed it.