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Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

  1. #1

    Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    For the few who still don't know this, original concept of Boba Fett was a spinoff from a much earlier concept.
    The "supertroopers". All white costumed super elite force stormtroopers.
    This concept was dropped in favor of a single character that was transformed into what we know as Boba Fett.

    I've always speculated that part of the reason this supertrooper costume was so extremely tricked out was because the prop/costume guys had nothing to work on before getting some direction for the SW sequel, so funneled all their creative juices into this character.
    Also, I think they wanted something cool that could be used for touring along with Vader and all the tricked out gadgets (like the flame thrower, smoking rocket pack, and mic and speakers inside the armor) would make for quite the crowd pleaser.

    So when exactly did the idea for the supertrooper come about?

    Here is what we know:
    5-25-77: ANH is first released in theatres.
    1-?-1978: This is the date of the earliest concept drawings we have seen.
    6-28-1978: Test footage of the supertrooper costume was shot.
    11-?-79: The earliest shots of the PP1 Boba Fett costume on tour (which is what the Supertrooper was converted into).

    So then I see this photo in the Making of Star Wars book pg. 239.
    It shows a concept drawing of the supertrooper helmet posted on the wall.
    The caption reads, "Ben Burtt in his basement editing suite at Park Way"

    Now the question is, when exactly was this photo taken?
    Was it taken after ANH, or during the ANH editing process?
    Judging by the storyboards on the wall, they look like ANH storyboards.
    And why would there be a Supertrooper concept drawing mixed in with them?

    So was the Supertrooper conceptualized during the production of ANH?
    If so that would make it much earlier than we ever thought.

    Thoughts?



    ***There are parts lists for the supertrooper where they actually label the character as "supertrooper" and has the production title of "The Empire Strikes Back".
    Another question would be, how long during or after ANH, did Lucas know what the title of the ANH sequel would be?

    PS, thanks to Art Andrews for the above dates.


    Here are the photos I'm referring to:






    .

  2. #2
    Muad'Dib's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I've seen that pic before and wondered about it's timeframe of being taken.

  3. #3

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    We should probably just ask Ben Burtt. He might remember.

    One of the original conceptions of Darth Vader was as a mercenary. This changed over the several drafts of the treatments of what would eventually become ANH. When faced with a sequel, Lucas wanted to add a villain that could match Vader in some way... this led to him bringing back the concept of the mercenary, which led to the development of Boba Fett. This development, though, was all after the clear box office success of ANH. It is very possible there was development of the mercenary concept in the artwork before that however. I think this is unlikely, though. It's a good question. And that's obviously Johnston's sketch which is dated 1978 under his signature

    Attachment 41951

  4. #4

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Way to go Lufo!
    Can you make out which month?

  5. #5
    clonecollector's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    There is some amazing detective work that goes on here! When I began lurking here in 2006/ 2007 I thought everything about Boba Fett was already known. It's fun to be around when new questions and new discoveries are made! Way to go guys!

  6. #6

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Gino said: View Post
    Way to go Lufo!
    Can you make out which month?
    Its dated 2/78.

  7. #7
    martin's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Awsome awsome awsome stuff
    as I'm making this project facinating
    to read this nice work!!

  8. #8

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    From what I see on Joe Johnston's marker drawings, the white version dates back to 2/78, and while the helmet was starting to look familiar, the rest of the outfit was still very rough. By 6/78, we were seeing coloured marker drawings of the "ears" version of the PP1 Boba Fett. I have a hard time making out the dates on Ralph McQuarrie's concept drawings, but they're probably ealier than or concurrent with the Johnston drawings.

    Not sure how much lead time Nelvana needed for their animated bit for the Holiday Special, but it aired Thanksgiving weekend '78. The Boba Fett concept was obviously not yet finalized. Might be between the white Supertrooper version and the highly-deco'ed PP1 from four months later, as it's lacking either version of the jaig eyes on the helmet.

    All in all, I'd suggest waiting until "The Making of the Empire Strikes Back" comes out this summer. It promises to be as thorough as the "Making of Star Wars" book that preceded it. I am looking forward to devouring it, myself.

    --Jonah

  9. #9

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Following up on myself. Since I now have TMoTESB. Ralph McQuarrie's initial meeting with Lucas, during which he took notes and drew his ferst pass at the Supertrooper helmet, was October of 1977. Joe Johnston took those concepts and turned them into the version that eventually had a costume made. As the story clarified further through the spring of '78, the squad of Supertroopers got narrowed down to the proto-Vader mercenary bounty hunter idea.

    --Jonah

  10. #10

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Peregrinus said: View Post
    As the story clarified further through the spring of '78, the squad of Supertroopers got narrowed down to the proto-Vader mercenary bounty hunter idea.
    The fact that the storyline was refined after the costume began being built may be the reason there were 6 original helmets made, as they were already meant for the super trooper 'squad' when they came out of the molds. If they knew from the start it was going to be one unique character I wonder if we would now have so many different helmets to keep track of. MAYBE, they would've only made two or three. Or even just one!

  11. #11

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    How many Vader helmets/faceplates were made for the first two films...?

    --Jonah

  12. #12
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    The thing that intrest me most about that pic is the photo above the helmet concept sketch , that porfile looks familiar

  13. #13

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I spoke to Alan Harris in September, he was the living manaquin used for the development of the supertrooper costume. He told me he had several fittings and each time the costume would be slightly different. He also mentioned that it had a working flame thrower that spat flames about 6 feet. I wondered if anyone can confirm this?
    ebay-050-jpg

  14. #14
    Muad'Dib's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I believe it actually was confirmed by an ILMer at one time.

  15. #15

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Word in the Making of book is that when they had the roll-out for George (after Alan's involvement), the flamethrower caught the suit on fire when they demo'ed it. The book says it was deactivated/removed, but I've seen other materials that indicate it was reworked into the PP2 version for better safety.

    I know there was supposed to be a fight on Cloud City between Boba and IG-88, and that the flamethrower would be involved, but the suit went missing and the scene was scrubbed -- I don't know the exact sequence of events, though. But you can still see the "dead" IG-88 in the smelter room (remember this is way before the EU gave him six bodies ).

    --Jonah

  16. #16

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Now that makes sense! When I asked Alan if the suit was made of flame proof materials he simply laughed and changed the subject.

  17. #17
    I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Why is this even up for debate, we all know George Lucas had all of this stuff planned out like 50 years ago.

  18. #18

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Peregrinus said: View Post
    I know there was supposed to be a fight on Cloud City between Boba and IG-88, and that the flamethrower would be involved, but the suit went missing and the scene was scrubbed -- I don't know the exact sequence of events, though. But you can still see the "dead" IG-88 in the smelter room (remember this is way before the EU gave him six bodies ).

    --Jonah
    Interested as to where you hear this story. I have never heard that mentioned before, except in EU.

  19. #19
    Muad'Dib's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    There *may* be some truth to it as if you look at the junked IG, it has an ashed-over sooty look just like metal gets when it's been on fire.
    He definitely doesn't look like he did on the Executor's deck.

  20. #20
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Yeh I tried to find anything referencing the battle for the film but didnt see anything except EU stuff of the trap set by fett for IG88B which is the one in the scrap pile.

  21. #21

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I just assumed since he was a static prop that they broke him down and used him as junk. I mean heck his head is a tap in the Cantina in Ep4

  22. #22
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    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    Ive herd that of the IG88 fight seen (mabey in the old starwars book (pre new hope)

  23. #23

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I take it you mean stories that take place timeline wise pre-ANH...

    The first time I ever heard of this was like Shadows of the Empire, Tales from the Bounty Hunters (right title?) or maybe the WEG RPGs, all which come way after ESB and even ROTJ were filmed. I'm reading through the new Making of The Empire Strikes Back and have yet to see anything like this even being pre-vis'ed.

  24. #24

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    this concept-pic is dated 03-78 (taken from "dawn of the bounty hunters", with the AURRA SING 12" figure)
    concecpt0378-jpeg

  25. #25

    Re: Supertrooper (Boba Fett) conceptualized during ANH post production?

    I've read the same rumours as everyone else about boba fett's/supertroopers original role in ESB but has anyone read any actual draft scripts or story breakdowns detailing Bob's alternate role in the film?

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