Weathering on Boba's Rangefinder

Eli Jinn

I'm basing my build off of the Executor Bridge scene, so I was looking at reference images from that scene to know what kind of damages to include, when I noticed something weird in this screen capture...


Notice how Boba's rangefinder stalk lacks the painted on rust stains? For reference, this is what the stalk looks like now on the AoSW helmet:


You can clearly see the weathering is far too dark to write this off as overexposure, besides, the lighting on the Executor is pretty even and mild compared to most other scenes.
But I think this second photo from Bespin sets the record straight...

In fact, this is sometime after Bespin since we see the gray splotch on the left gauntlet

Anyway, my point is about that rangefinder

Notice how just like on the Executor, the inside of the rangefinder stalk is completely clean, although the front (and from other photos we know the outside) is weathered the way we are all familiar with.
Now, if we look back to the Executor Bridge scene, we'll see the same weathering on the rest of the stalk

It's a bit hard to see since the light is glaring on it, but it's certainly there.
So that settles it. The weathering we see now on the back and inside of the rangefinder was added later in production and is missing in a few scenes.
But when was it added?
The next scene filmed after the Bespin hallway and the Executor Bridge was the dinner scene which we have no good pics of. After that was Outside the Torture Room scene (the "He's no good to me dead" scene)

It's nearly impossible to see, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's not here either.
Then was the Carbon Freezing Chamber...


Again, nearly impossible to see, but it looks like it isn't there either. Remember we're only looking at the inside and back side of the stalk.
The next scene filmed was inside Slave-1, which has a great shot of the outside of the rangefinder, but that's not what we're looking for.
Finally, we have the Landing Pad "Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold" scene which was added in post production.


And wouldn't you know it, it's not there either! So I guess I need to revise my hypothesis...

The weathering on the back and inside of the rangefinder stalk that is present on the AoSW or SE helmet was added after the filming of ESB and is missing in all production photos and scenes from ESB.

That's it folks! I'm not sure if anyone else has pointed this out. If they have, please let me know. It seems like a very strange thing to add not only in post production, but after filming had entirely completed and presumably during production of ROTJ.
All information on the order in which these scenes were filmed came from the lovely RafalFett in his thread right here. Also all the reasearch for this post was done by me on my phone during my study hall and I'm writing this in English class.
Do with this information as you will, just a little detail I noticed that I thought y'all would appreciate.
Last edited:
Interesting observation. But I don't know why they would add additional paint to those parts of the rangefinder after production. Seems kinda random. I don't think those photos definitively prove the absence of weathering in those areas, between the lighting and the image quality it's not clear enough to say. Not to mention the Blu-rays have heavy noise reduction.

Also if you're comparing the helmet in it's "present" condition to production images, you need to distinguish between weathering and damage/markings that the helmet has taken on in the subsequent years. Like the blue sharpie, visor repair, gelcoat cracks, glue marks, etc.. To me those dark splotches are distinct from the orange rust paint that we see spattered across that side of the helmet. It looks more like grime that has accumulated, possibly some adhesive residue that caused that blackish buildup.

That's just my interpretation, I could be wrong. Maybe during the filming of ROTJ SE someone thought that area looked too clean and shiny so they dabbed some paint on there.
Personally, I think the Executor Bridge picture from behind in particular is far too clear to write it off as lighting or film grain. Again, this is a discussion, and I'm interested in hearing other interpretations, so thank you for adding to the conversation.
Never noticed until now that the rangefinder is also missing the SX-70 greeble for the Slave 1 scene. Can't believe they took the time to glue it back on or put on a new one.

Anyway, on topic, sadly this example is for the outside of the rangefinder not the inside but I think it still illustrates a valid point.

When Boba is in the cockpit of Slave 1 we get a wonderful direct shot and it shows his rangefinder is dirty as hell.

Screenshot 2023-03-03 000322.png

Then to support Fett 4 Real's comment, in the same shot when he starts to turn away nearly all the weathering is suddenly washed out when the lighting changes and a light shines right on it. In the behind the helmet shot of the bridge the light appears to be shining directly onto the stalk.

So while I won't say they for sure didn't add more weathering during/after production (because they added the gray splotch to the gauntlet during production and SE has all kinds of additional stuff decades later) I will say film sets can wash away a lot and that's worth considering. Also, the PP3 stalk is much cleaner - could they have swapped stalks at some point?
There is also this image of the helmet in direct flash and that washes out the weathering on the stalk nearly completely as well.


  • ESB Hero Helmet 03.jpg
    ESB Hero Helmet 03.jpg
    190.1 KB · Views: 103
BH-51512 you bring up a great point on the PP3 helmet. I did not even think to look at that one, and we all know they were painted to be identical.


I don't think there's any denying the PP3 RF stalk has no "rust" stains on the inside and back side just how I hypothesized the ESB did. If they were painted identically, it would provide an at least plausible explanation for the missing weathering. If it really is missing on both helmets (which I really believe it is), then it's obviously intentional.
Another piece of evidence that it was added later on is that the painting style is quite different. If it is even paint at all. Jango Fett Jr suggested it may even be the same case as the gross black slime on the left side of the SE helmet, or any other additional grime the helmet has taken on over the years. Notice on both the ESB and PP3 stalks, the present weathering is very spotty, extremely fine, and a rusty brown color. The inside weathering on the SE helmet however is splotchy, thicker, and nearly black.

You can also see similarly colored grime on the bottom of the perspex block. In any case, if we are to believe the rangefinder looked anything like that during production of ESB, we would expect to see at least a hint of it on the Executor Bridge. Especially since immediately in the next cut we see hints of the super fine weathering.

The other side of the stalk is in shadow too, so it's a perfect time to see the stalk without it being overexposed, but there's nothing there. I just can't see any other way this could be unless the ESB stalk is painted the same way as the PP3, with weathering on the front and outside.
As for the swapped stalk theory, it's certainly plausible, but I feel the PP3 weathering is a bit too light compared to what we see in the cockpit scene for example.
This whole thing is so confusing. Why would they paint extra weathering on two sides of the rangefinder long after filming had ended. I think the grime theory holds up in that regard.
Oh man, I don't know why I get so much joy out of being a part of discussions like this! We are the ones doing the most important research.
even the photos from the archives Ive seen some angles just wash the weathering out. the focus being on the helmet and not the RF make this happen from what I can see in the photos. Same with the weathering all around the helmet. If you saw it in person you'd be amazed at the amount of weathering on the ESB helmet.
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.