See the original 1978 Boba Fett Costume Screentest for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
I shared concept art by Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie for Boba Fett before but a behind-the-scenes video from StarWars.com shows the early design.
Before he became a director, Joe Johnston was a professional concept and storyboard artist who worked on films like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Ralph McQuarrie was a professional illustrator who contributed art for films such as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Cocoon and other films.
The design of Boba Fett are based on designs of Darth Vader by Ralph McQuarrie. Originally, Vader was supposed to be a rogue bounty hunter, but over time he became more of a Jedi Knight and they abandoned those designs.
Check out the video after the jump and click to enlarge any images.
Here's one of Ralph McQuarrie's original sketches
Now here's the video
Here's how the StarWars article "Proto-Fett: The Birth of Boba" described the design: "True to his enigmatic character, facts about Boba Fett remain as shifty as the sands of the Dune Sea. Before Attack of the Clones, the origin of Fett had long been a subject of controversy -- was he a vestige of the Clone Armies, a Mandalorian mercenary, or a super-stormtrooper? Was he once called Jaster Mereel? Did he in fact survive the treacherous Pit of Carkoon? While some of these questions have been answered by the prequels and framers of the Expanded Universe, the character's cinematic debut is still open for debate -- is Episode II to be considered the film that launched the Fett character, or Empire? And let's not forget about his cameo in the retro-fitted Star Wars Special Edition....
"As for Fett's first public unveiling, tradition holds that Boba was first revealed to audiences as an animated character in 1978's televised "Star Wars Holiday Special". However, digging through the records at Skywalker Ranch, a different story emerges -- Fett had in fact made a public appearance nearly two months before the Holiday Special on a scorching hot day in the streets of San Anselmo, a small town just north of San Francisco.
"Marching alongside Darth Vader before droves of spectators at San Anselmo's Country Fair parade on September 24, 1978, an unsuspecting press photographer snapped what is likely the very first public image of the intergalactic bounty hunter, plastered the following day across the front page of San Rafael's Independent Journal newspaper. Though the scene-stealing Vader (manned by Kermit Eller) had grand-marshaled the parade and consequently grabbed most of the press (Boba wasn't even mentioned in the story), the Fett costume must have struck many as exotic, battle-worn, and downright intimidating, which, of course, was the whole point.
"According to Empire's 'making of' book, Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett's character had originally emerged from that of Darth Vader:
"'I wanted to develop an essentially evil, very frightening character,' said Lucas of Vader. 'He started as a kind of intergalactic bounty hunter, evolved into a grotesque knight, and as I got deeper into the knight ethos he became more a dark warrior than a mercenary... I split him up and it was from the early concept of Darth Vader as a bounty hunter that Boba Fett came.'
"Borne of Vader, Fett required an equally villainous look, but something a bit less conspicuous. Designing Fett's signature helmet, armor, and accoutrements fell primarily to Joe Johnston, who worked in tandem with Ralph McQuarrie to come up with the bounty hunter's distinctive look. Far removed from the black-on-black wardrobe of Vader, early concepts for Fett clad the bounty hunter in white, possibly a vestige of his 'Super Trooper' origins. This all-white Fett was actually the first costume produced for the character, officially unveiled to Lucasfilm insiders in a screen test shot on June 28, 1978.
"In the 20-minute black and white video, sound designer Ben Burtt 'hosts' Fett's reveal for Lucas and crew, describing the different weapons, functions, and characteristics of the costume (worn by Empire's assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham for the test). The somewhat amusing footage depicts Fett with a mocked-up laser rifle (which used a lightsaber hilt for the barrel) and a Star Wars beach towel doubling as the bounty hunter's tattered serape.
"Even at this early stage, the plan was to give the costume a muted color scheme, visually placing the character somewhere between the rank-and-file stormtrooper and the fearsome Dark Lord of the Sith. 'I painted Boba's outfit and tried to make it look like it was made of different pieces of armor,' said Johnston in Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplay, "It was a symmetrical design, but I painted it in such a way that it looked like he had scavenged parts and done some personalizing of his costume; he had little trophies hanging from his belt, little braids of hair, almost like a collection of scalps."
Video via starwars.com, images via Dented Helmet
Official Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Synopsis
After the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion's defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces the startling revelation that the evil Vader is in fact his father, Anakin Skywalker.
Release Date: May 21, 1980
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz, James Earl Jonees
Official Site: http://starwars.com/explore/the-movies/episode-v/
Copyright 1980 Copyright Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox