Most Star Wars fans know the bounty hunter Boba Fett was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, and actually made his very first appearance in the 1978 animated Star Wars Holiday Special. But he was actually introduced a few months earlier than that.
Before he was Darth Vader’s right-hand man in the animated special, Boba Fett showed up in person at the Sept. 24, 1978, San Anselmo Country Fair parade in California. It’s admittedly random, but the town was home to iconic 52 Park Way, which was the home base of Lucasfilm at the time, so it makes a fair bit of sense they’d pitch in for the town parade with a few space baddies and early costumes.
The official Star Wars blog tracked down Empire and Jedi assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham, the unlucky soul who sweated it out in the Boba Fett costume during the parade and the prototyping phase of the film costume’s development, who had some great anecdotes about the experience:
“Well, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it. The only reason I ever put that uniform on is because I was the right size. When the guys brought it over from England, George [Lucas] said ‘put it on.’ Then it got aged up to George’s liking…I don’t even know how it came about, but someone thought with the movie coming up that the parade would be a good idea …
What I remember about that day is it was incredibly hot. I’m not just talking about the suit, I’m saying that day in San Anselmo was really hot. It could have been 100 degrees. I think we were at the head of the parade. And Vader, he stands out. I don’t know what people thought of me. Nobody knew about Boba Fett at that point. The two of us were about to die at that point. Sweat was just pouring [Laughs]. I remember telling [producer] Gary Kurtz: ‘Gary, I gotta get out of this suit or I’m going to pass out!’ We were drenched.”
It’s funny to look back all those years, knowing now how iconic the bounty hunter would become, and think it all got started with poor Dunham sweating bullets at the county fair parade.
(Via Star Wars)