Watch video of Boba Fett's first screen test

An old video showing an incredible moment in "Star Wars" production history appears on YouTube, courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

The first Boba Fett screen test featured an all-white costume. Art director Joe Johnston painted the outfit shortly after. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Thirty-five years ago, sound designer Ben Burtt introduced an early version of legendary "Star Wars" bounty hunter Boba Fett to director George Lucas and select members of the "Empire Strikes Back" production team -- an epic behind-the-scenes moment you can now watch as if you were there.

"The Boba Fett character is really an early version of Darth Vader," George Lucas says in the visual novel The Making of the Empire Strikes Back. "He is also very much like the man-with-no-name from the Sergio Leone Westerns."

The concept of Boba Fett changed greatly as Lucas brought "Star Wars" to life. In an early draft, Lucas once referenced Fett as Prince Valorum, a Sith Knight who Vader utilized as a bounty hunter. Fett also represented Lucas' vision of a supertrooper, but in March 1978, Lucas, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie , and art director Joe Johnston converted the super-stormtrooper into a galactic mercenary.

"Ralph and I worked on preliminary designs," Johnston says in The Making of the Empire Strikes Back. "We traded ideas back and forth. Originally, Boba Fett was part of a force we called supertroopers; they were these really high-tech fighting units and they all looked alike. That eventually evolved into a single bounty hunter."

Before Skywalker Ranch, Lucas based his operations in a large Victorian residence, located in San Anselmo, Calif., nicknamed Park House. On June 28, 1978, at Park House, Lucas and select "Empire" crew witnessed the first screen test of Boba Fett -- in an all-white outfit worn by assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham -- finally bringing the shared vision to life.

Little-known fact: Dunham avoided a bit of disaster earlier that day as a test of Fett's wrist-mounted flame-thrower (created by Industrial Light & Magic) went horribly wrong after a propane leak caused Dunham's arm to catch fire.

Below, we've embedded the introductory screen test, sans fire, that goes over the details of Boba Fett. It's a total geek-fest that will make any "Star Wars" nerd freak out.

 

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