TRDL 2011 Series No. 4 - Boba Fett [TRDL Redesign]
TRDL 2011 Series No. 4 - Boba Fett [TRDL Redesign]
The inspiration for this project was two-fold:
One, regular readers will know I’m always into redesigns, both on-model updates of recognizable characters, and wholesale redesigns from original source material description. I recently did a redesign of The Joker, which was done with the intent of taking a fresh look at the simple concept of a grinning, clown-themed villain. But I didn’t have any text description of Joker to design from in a raw sense. My redesign was necessarily responding to the original material, rather than from a blank canvas.
Two, I recently posted a look at various designers attempting to redesign Darth Vader based on script description. Here, I felt like the designs, while awesome, were still reactions to his film imagery, and understandably so.
My challenge this time was to design from a Star Wars script reference for Boba Fett, but to do everything I could to divorce the description from the familiar character design we know and love.
Unfortunately, unlike Vader, Fett wasn’t really clearly described in the script, but rather referenced and then dependent upon the design team to be fleshed out. As I was trying to avoid being influenced wherever possible by the original design work, I avoided the behind-the-scenes descriptions of how McQuarrie and Johnson came to the familiar look we have etched in our brains. I looked at the brief script reference, and then hopped over to Wiki for a little more description to work from.
"Boba Fett stems from initial concepts for Darth Vader, who was originally conceived as a rogue bounty hunter..While Vader became less a mercenary and more of a dark knight, the bounty hunter concept remained, and Fett became "an equally villainous" but "less conspicuous" character. … Fett’s armor was originally designed for "super troopers", and was adapted for Fett as the script developed…Screen-tested in all-white, Fett’s armor eventually garnered a subdued color scheme intended to visually place him between white-armored "rank-and-file" Imperial stormtroopers and Vader, who wears black. The character’s armor was designed to appear to have been scavenged from multiple sources, and it is adorned with trophies.]"
I chose to include the reference to the screen test in white (A design I’ve actually already drawn) because I wanted to take into consideration that he should look somewhere between the absolute black of Vader and the absolute white of the Stormtroopers. However, I ignored actual design cues from those designs. In other words, no familiar Stormtrooper details in the armor. I basically had to de-McQuarry the character, which is admittedly hard to do.
The description was boiled down to this:
1. bounty hunter.
2. less conspicuous ie. less iconic in design than feature characters would be
3. super trooper armor framework, ie. non-vacuum militarized infantry armor of some type
4. scavenged from multiple sources
5. adorned with trophies
So here’s how I approached it:
I felt that even though the armor is scavenged, it need not be piecemeal. Unlike traditional apparel type uniforms and armor that don’t interact with each other, powered armor or integrated and interlocking armor plate would have limitations in it’s interchangeability with components from other systems. So I looked at the armor components from the perspective of what systems would work independently and what wouldn’t: I decided that individual component groups would be: torso, arms, bracers/gloves, mounted equipment, and legs/boots. So, my design includes a consistently designed armor system from the waist down, with a different design for torso and integrated jetpack, and then a different helm. Each arm has different shoulder pads or plates (I imagined one to be the shoulder armor from the torso system, and one to be another, separate system under the torso armor’s underlayment) and then different bracers, one a wrist armor glove with fabric fingers and the other a mechanized armor glove. I questioned the use of a jetpack, because I didn’t want to be influenced by Boba Fett’s design in the films in this manner, but decided that individually-acting supertroopers designed to be employed in various downworld environments would have power assist for mobility anyway.
As far as color, I went with a drab greytone look. I liked the idea of him being hard to spot at night, easily camouflaged in urban environments or whatever, and frankly, just not emblazoned with color. In my interpretation, this is a norm among designs, partly because I’m taking a cue from real-world modern infantry, where the colors and patterns may differ slightly across different national militaries and private army equipment, it still follows general design principles that are influenced by a common playing field. Also, though, while I understand they made Boba Fett’s armor all patchwork in design and color to give it that scavenged quality, if you take away the concept of different armors having different painted color schemes, and instead look at paramilitary design (many different manufacturers producing different designs of black tactical gear)… it seemed consistent that there would be a largely uniform colorway employed by operatives within the same region of conflict. I show some variations in greys, however.
I gave him some details that reflect the bounty hunter/scavenger thing, though, such as some damage to the faceplate and shoulder from a chemical attack, a streak of someone else’s blood off the eye opening in the helmet, and some ballistic damage to the left thigh plate. I gave him trophies and medals from various sources, as if he’d pinned them on culled from his bounties. I also gave him a tattered flag as a cloak, with the idea that he might have taken down a high-profile leader and took that person’s national insignia AS his trophy. It’s been tattered and such to give it that torn-off-the-flagpole look.
I struggled with the question about soft goods. I didn’t want to be influenced by the film, but then again, I didn’t want to NOT be, either, in other words, react to the design in the opposite manner. I asked myself, leather/fabric straps and satchels and holsters, or hardshell accessories? I decided that this character, who operates not as an infantryman with a general functionset but as a bounty hunter in different operative environments, would need flexibility in his use of accessories, especially using equipment from different sources. As a result, I made his holsters and belts soft goods.
Want to participate in the TRDL Art Jam?
The TRDL Jam runs weekly but remains open indefinitely. The complete list of jam topics by date can be found here: http://bit.ly/1QM5XfE
You will find associate links for the platforms of your choice: the R3 Forum, DeviantArt, and FB.