1. Director Joe Johnston designed Boba Fett’s armor
While visual effects artist Ralph McQuarrie was a prominent concept artist for the original Star Wars films, he was not solely responsible for Boba Fett’s appearance. Instead, the task fell to a young art director named Joe Johnston, who would later go on to direct such epics as Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
According to an interview with StarWars.com, Johnston worked alongside McQuarrie to create the new character. Additionally, George Lucas had an early vision for Boba Fett to be part of a clone army of super troopers. The army details of the character changed due to budgetary issues, causing Lucas to soon reimagine Boba Fett as a bounty hunter.
With this new detail in place, Johnston oversaw the core concepts of the bounty hunter’s design while McQuarrie provided illustrations for the character, the two collaborating back and forth. As a result, Johnston took on the task of designing the costume, which was initially all white until Lucas provided direction that it should look more beaten up and battle-worn.
Johnston ended up painting the all-white suit himself with model airbrush paint, working to make it look dented without damaging it so that it was more suitable to Lucas’ vision, eventually producing the iconic Boba Fett look audiences know and love today.
Though Johnston could not predict audience reactions to his design, according to that same interview with StarWars.com, he did have strong feelings about the mystique and mystery of Boba Fett’s helmet, saying, “I never felt that you should ever see his face.” Johnston’s vision ultimately laid important groundwork for the character for years to come.