With the release of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett just around the corner, Star Wars executives took advantage of Disney+ Day to drum up some excitement around the character and his new series. To do so, Lucasfilm put together a documentary-style short film called Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett. The film covered some of the earliest details about Boba Fett, including one very interesting fact about George Lucas’ original intent for the character: he wasn’t supposed to be a bounty hunter at all. He was a stormtrooper.
When Star Wars: A New Hope came out in 1977, it was an unexpected hit. Even George Lucas – the film’s creator, writer and director – was surprised with how well it did. So, when The Empire Strikes Back was greenlit, it had to be bigger, better and more ambitious. One of the benefits of success was a larger budget, so Lucas planned to add in a version of advanced Stormtroopers, and that brainchild was where Boba Fett originated.
Art Director Joe Johnston, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie and Lucas all worked together to design a suit of armor for the “Super Troopers” or “Super Commandos.” What they came up with was what Star Wars fans know as Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor: T-shaped visor, weapons, gadgets and all. Except, the whole suit was white because it was intended to be part of the Empire’s war machine.
The plan was to make a hundred of those white Super Trooper suits. Unfortunately, the budget became an issue, and it wasn’t possible to make the additional suits. However, they still had the one suit, and its design was on-point. It simply had to be used for something, so Lucas designed a new character to occupy the suit – Boba Fett.
Fett’s character had to be cool enough to fit the suit, so Lucas contrived the mysterious, bounty hunter persona. While paying homage to Westerns, he gave Boba Fett a gunslinger attitude, an Eastwood-style cape and spurs through the use of foley sound effects. Running with the idea, Johnston painted the white suit and it became the iconic, green Mandalorian armor that fans still love today.
Lucas was interviewed during the special, and looking back on the creation of the character, he remembered thinking: “This is a good character. People like the bad guys.” He was absolutely right because four lines of dialogue and six minutes and thirty-two seconds of screen time later, Boba Fett had become a Star Wars legend. Now, over forty years later, he’s finally getting his own series on Disney+, which premieres on December 29th of this year.
KEEP READING: Under the Helmet Proves Boba Fett Beat All Odds to Become a Star Wars’ Badass
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