5 Things We Learned From Under The Helmet: The Legacy Of Boba Fett

The Disney+ original series "The Book of Boba Fett" is coming soon, premiering on the streaming service on December 29, 2021. To celebrate the wild history of one of the most mysterious and beloved "Star Wars" characters, Disney released a new featurette, "Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett." This 21-minute mini-doc, exclusive to Disney+, shows the history of the beloved character with some new behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and more. 

While some of what's revealed in the "Under the Helmet" documentary is known by "Star Wars" fanatics, many audiences may not know the origins of the enigmatic Mandalorian bounty hunter, developed by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas with designers Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie. Here are five fascinating facts we learned about Boba Fett from the featurette, with a little more background on each. 

Fett's Costume was Originally Solid White

That's right, long before he was red, green, and rust-colored, Fett was supposed to wear an all-white suit. The reasoning? The Fett costume was originally designed as a special kind of elite stormtrooper with better tactical gear. Lucas allegedly wanted 100 of these troopers to appear onscreen, but budget constraints made that impossible. Instead, they decided to keep the costume and make it into a one-off character. The design was a group collaboration between Lucas, McQuarrie, and Johnston, combining futuristic space aesthetics with sword and sorcery designs and spaghetti Western accessories. Fett became something like a rogue knight, a Ronin, and The Man with No Name rolled into one, despite the fact that he was almost just another trooper.

It's interesting that Fett was originally supposed to be a super trooper, given the direction Lucas took with the prequels. The clone troopers in "The Phantom Menace" and "The Attack of the Clones" are all clones of Fett's father, Jango, so things came full circle.

His First Appearances Weren't in the Movies

While most audiences got their first glimpse of Boba Fett in "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980, his first public appearance was a much smaller affair. The screen-used costumes for Darth Vader and Boba Fett appeared at the Marin County Parade in 1978. Lucas lived nearby and thought it would be fun to debut the character without any explanation, to help create a bit of mystery about him. 

The next time he appeared was in the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special," which has been effectively hidden by Lucasfilm since its debut just after the parade in 1978. An animated sequence with the bounty hunter features him speaking lines of dialogue, something the character wouldn't do again until the prequel movies and "Clone Wars" television series. 

A Heartwarming Bit of Method Acting

In a new interview with Daniel Logan, who played the young Boba Fett in "Attack of the Clones" and voiced him in "The Clone Wars," the actor revealed a fun story about Temuera Morrison, who played his father, Jango Fett, in the prequels and now plays Boba Fett in "The Mandalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett." He explained that when he first met Morrison, the actor walked up to him and offered a simple suggestion:

"'I guess I'm gonna be playing your dad and you're going to be playing my son. You call me dad and I'll call you son.' I remember being all of four foot nothing and looking up at him and I said 'alright dad,' and he looks back down at me with this big smile and goes 'alright, son.'"

The two had a great dynamic on set that led to some of the warmer moments in the prequels, and Lucas himself even shared his appreciation:

"It was good having Tem there because he really worked the character out, and they were supposed to be the same person, more or less."

The Mail-Away Action Figure Fiasco

Many of the early "Star Wars" action figures had to be mailed away for. Fans would send a proof-of-purchase from one of the action figures you could find in stores to a special address, then wait for their new figure to arrive in the mail. One of the most hyped figures was the exclusive Boba Fett figurine, complete with a rocket-firing backpack. 

Unfortunately, said rocket firing mechanism proved to be a safety issue, and the toys ended up being shipped with the missile glued in place. Only a few of the operating figures still exist, because they never made it past the prototype phase. The mini-doc shows a collector who has two of the rare action figures in his massive collection of "Star Wars" memorabilia, which also includes Boba Fett guitars, Lego models, and loads and loads of toys. 

Actor Jeremy Bulloch Loved the Character

While Morrison is playing Fett in the upcoming "The Book of Boba Fett" series, the character was portrayed by veteran British actor Jeremy Bulloch in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." He almost missed out on the part because he was busy doing theater work, but his wife insisted that he go audition for a role. He ended up falling in love with the world and its fans, and the featurette shares some touching moments with Bulloch, who died last year. He was a devoted steward of the character who helped pave the way for what Fett would one day become, and he will be sorely missed. 

Check out "Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett" on Disney+ now, and make sure to catch "The Book of Boba Fett" when it debuts on Disney+ December 29, 2021.