You’ll be hard-pressed to find another character like Boba Fett. As merely one among innumerable creations of George Lucas, his own Man with No Name cultivated his own mystique and fans elevated him to cult status. Those who grew up with Star Wars as I did first met Boba Fett on the front cover of an action figure package, an image of a freebie toy you could mail in to receive for saving the little proofs of purchase off the back of the packages. If you ordered early, like the kid up my street did, you might get not only one but two rocket firing action figures and you could sit across from each other and fire away. The most fun action figure ever made, Kenner quickly decided to glue in the rocket for safety concerns.
Boba also appeared on a holiday Star Wars special many prefer to forget (not me). One of several of Lucas’s BF characters (like Bob Falfa in American Graffiti and Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi), there is no reason kids should have flocked to him like we did. His appearance in The Empire Strikes Back was for mere minutes of film. He was left to a cruddy death scene in Return of the Jedi, one of the reasons I saw Return of the Jedi in the theater once vs. having seen Star Wars in its original theater run ten times.
Boba Fett was so popular Lucas brought his image and armor back in his prequels in the form of his father, Jango Fett, even establishing that every Stormtrooper in the Empire was a clone of his father, and the early clone troopers became an early in-universe variant of Boba’s Mandalorian armor. This wouldn’t have happened but for this unique status fans brought to this character. Regardless of why we like him and think he is the epitome of all things cool, it’s hard to deny his incredible worn and damaged armor is a key part of his appeal. Created by Joe Johnston it stands out among the best creations of any sci-fi character in any franchise.
So it is a superb pick for the subject of this year’s big charity event at Star Wars Celebration VI. Working with the Make a Wish Foundation, the As You Wish Helmet Project is a charity event that invites designers and other artists to take a plain vanilla Boba Fett or Clone Trooper helmet, supplied by an entrepreneurial costume creation house called The Dented Helmet, and turn the helmets into something unique.
More than 40 artists have signed up and are providing the finishing touches on their creations this week. The final results will be displayed in the Dented Helmet booth at Star Wars Celebration VI beginning this Thursday, August 23, 2012 to Sunday, August 26, 2012, in Orlando, Florida. After the Celebration is over, the Make-A-Wish Foundation will auction off all of the helmets on eBay, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity.
Although it’s not a contest, you can’t help but recognize how the artists put all their passion into these creations, which are being previewed as they are finished on Facebook. And with that, we’ve included several helmets above that will hopefully fetch some good bids for a good cause, including one that was re-created by original designer Johnston, shown above at the top of this article. My favorite is the creation of my friend Tom Spina, who provided a stunning, inspired mash-up of the original Total Recall and our favorite bounty hunter, complete with life-like Arnold Schwarzenegger life-mask. Like Spina’s creations in this year’s Super Bowl ad where he re-created the famous Star Wars cantina scene, here again he went all out and the result is as cool as Fett himself.
Mark your calendar for this auction. It’s not every day that a Joe Johnston Boba Fett helmet is available to the public and even though it’s not screen-used, you know you want one. With creations from Spina, WETA Workshop, ANOVOS, Sideshow Collectibles and dozens of other artists, this event will be sure to turn heads. Check out the links above for images of other inspired works of sci-fi art.