Before audiences were introduced to the most notorious bounty hunter in the galaxy on-screen, BOBA FETT had a radically different color scheme that aligned him with the Galactic Empire. Hasbro’s “Prototype Armor” Action Figure gives fans a glimpse…
The first glimpses into exactly who Boba Fett was when the bounty hunter was featured in an animated segment of the largely lampooned and infamously hard to find Star Wars Holiday Special that aired in 1978. The purpose of the televised special was meant to appease the long wait between the initial release of Star Wars and its highly anticipated sequel The Empire Strike Back. Although it’s been retconned and ignored as part of actual “Star Wars” canon, it introduced the gunslinger…riding a dragon no less!
Before the prequel series revealed even more than we ever wanted to know about The Fetts at home (in the age of cloning, no less) Boba Fett was establishing a mystique for himself that would follow him right up to the character’s fully realized introduction in “Episode IV”. The bounty hunter’s origins immediately took on a near-mythic level! So many fans began to speculate about the man hiding behind the mask, especially when kids all around the country collected their eligible tokens to send away for the 3 ¾ Kenner action figure that fired a missile from its pack!
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you might ask) Kenner had to jettison the firing jetpack and limit the figure’s “special features”. It would seem that Boba Fett was definitely one of the characters in George Lucas’ Star Wars saga that would enjoy a narratively rich evolution that goes all the way to the drawing board as is evidenced in the BOBA FETT (Prototype Armor) Action Figure part of Hasbro’s STAR WARS The Black Series collection of 6” highly detailed and heavily articulated figures.
The armor worn by Boba Fett was first suggested as a preliminary design meant for the Imperial Stormtroopers; a variation of the faceplate can be seen among the sketches workshopped for Star Wars: A New Hope. When the bounty hunter was taking shape for his inclusion as part of the drama developing as part of the backdrop for Episode IV he was interpreted as a type of “super stormtrooper”, an agent on the Imperial payroll that would be employed to hunt our heroes across the galaxy. Many of Ralph McQuarrie’s design influences were retained.
Keeping with the design style and palette of the stormtrooper garrison, it seemed appropriate that if Boba Fett was little more than an elite agent of the Empire at the time, he would follow the same suit. His initial armor, as vetted for the film’s screen test, was the mostly white version, that is interpreted for the Prototype Armor action figure; this was before the Mandalorian armor was given it’s more battle-hardened gunmetal grey with orange and blue highlights. The action figure does present the armor detail rather beautifully in this rawer form.
It’s very easy to see why the Mandalorian anti-hero has developed the following that he has through the years as part of the saga. We now have a fuller and richer context for the background of this character, and especially the instrumental role Fett plays in aspects of Star Wars lore such as The Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire. His “father” Jango Fett provided the template DNA material that leads to the creation of the Republic army; all of which traditionally wore white plated armor. It’s no surprise that Boba Fett’s prototype look was cast in ivory.
BOBA FETT (Prototype Armor) | STAR WARS The Black Series | available through retailers on Amazon $24.99