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Adam Frazier @AdamFrazier
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Boba Fett has always been one of my favorite #StarWars characters, so I put together a thread on the character's genesis and why fans have gravitated to him over the years.
The 1979 Kenner #BobaFett action figure, more than any film appearance, is responsible for the bounty hunter's popularity; American media scholar Henry Jenkins suggests children's play helped the character "take on a life of its own."
The character's origins begin in March 1978, when Joe Johnston designs a SuperTrooper / SuperCommando in white armor that would become the iconic bounty hunter.
Shortly thereafter, legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie expands on Johnston's initial sketch and brings the character to life with paint.
June, 1978: Moving into the fabrication phase, a costume fitting and screen test is conducted of the white SuperTrooper armor.
July, 1978: Moving past the SuperTrooper look, a costume fitting and screen test for Boba Fett (First Prototype) is conducted. Notice the ears painted on the helmet, a design element that would be revisited for Captain Rex in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
August, 1978 - Kenner releases its Jan/Feb 1979 product calendar, featuring a kit-bashed 3.75" Boba Fett action figure with rocket-firing action.
Sept, 1978 - Boba Fett makes his first public appearance at the San Anselmo Country Fair parade.
October, 1978: Boba Fett (Second Prototype) visits Kenner HQ in Cincinnati, where toy designers take reference photographs of the design for both the 12" and 3.75" toy.
October, 1978: A mail-away promotion for a rocket-firing Boba Fett appears on the card backs of Kenner Star Wars action figures.
November 17, 1978: Boba Fett makes his television debut on the Star Wars Holiday Special.
In early 1979, a Boba Fett action figure arrives in mailboxes, without rocket-firing action. After concerns of children swallowing the small removable rocket, Kenner retools the design to make it safer. Here's the evolution of the 3.75" figure:
Summer of 1979, the Boba Fett action figure makes its way to store shelves, a year before The Empire Strikes Back opens in theaters. Note how the card art is pulled from the photos at Kenner HQ.
That year in-between made Boba Fett a fan favorite – not his appearance in the films. Certain folks take issue with Fett being so popular when he contributes very little to the film series, but they're missing the point.
Fett's fandom came out of kids having a cool, mysterious character they could get creative with during playtime. Fett could be any gender, any color, any species, any affiliation. He was the star of a million Star Wars standalone stories before ESB was even released.
There's plenty of room in this giant universe for standalone movies dedicated to beloved characters. That's always been appeal of Star Wars for me – every character has a story, no matter how insignificant they are to the overall narrative. I mean, look at my boy Dengar!
Some of my favorite Star Wars stories are about Cantina creatures, Jawas, Droids, Pilots, and Bounty Hunters. For those wanting fresh, new stories, we're getting a Rian Johnson trilogy, a new film series from Benioff/Weiss, a live-action TV series, and a new animated series!
We're lucky that the #StarWars universe is so vast, so unbelievably cool to explore, that there's something out there to delight everyone. Star Wars is for everyone, and I can't wait to see what James Mangold does with Fett and how he grows the character and the universe. /end
Oh and one last thing - if you're wondering how they could possibly make a movie about Boba Fett, check out some of his Expanded Universe stories! There's so much rad stuff out there for fans to enjoy!
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