One of Jeremy’s favorite anecdotes about Boba was the first day he walked onto the set in costume to be presented (in between shooting during a set-up) to George for final approval of Joe Johnston’s design. Jeremy said that as each of the crew saw Boba coming, he or she stopped and watched him pass in awe. He attributed Boba’s appeal to the impact of Joe’s costume design. To be sure, Boba has been variously ranked as the fourth most popular Star Wars character. And Joe’s design has inspired artwork worldwide. Both Jeremy and I have acquired numerous pieces that are really quite exquisite renditions and interpretations by artists and illustrators from many cultures.
But I have always maintained that Jeremy was the one who gave soul to Boba Fett. His words to me when I stepped in for him were exactly these: “Think Clint Eastwood. A Fist Full Of Dollars. Play everything slow and menacing.” (Editor’s Note: see “Becoming Boba: Coming to Terms with an Alter Ego” on StarWars.com, written by John Morton.). Jeremy thought out his part with the deliberateness of a trained stage actor. His dialogue would not be his. His instrument would not be his voice. Masked, neither would his facial expressions. His instrument would be solely his body. Boba came to life with Jeremy’s movement and his gesturers. And as an accomplished actor, Jeremy put Boba’s spirit into the minutest of moments, as great British actors do so very well. These gestures weren’t tossed away without thought. No, they were crafted aforethought. This sort of detailed attention is still present in Star Wars today. I’m thinking specifically of the creature effects work of Paul Kasey, who is a trainer dancer and most accomplished movement artiste. Jeremy and Paul’s work is not to be seen as random. They were and are high art, though often overlooked by a public.
John will be bringing more memories and recollections here to Fantha Tracks in the near future.