Some keen viewers may remember Tom’s (slightly, yet understandably star-dazzled) interview with Mark Austin.
Mark Austin is the charming animator who donned the suit of Boba Fett in the special edition of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1997). After a story like that we couldn’t just leave it there, and it would seem that Mark hadn’t quite had enough of us yet! What follows is Mark’s story of his first day in the suit, resulting in him being wrapped up in plastic and shipped out as the Boba figure in the Power of the Force set.
In his own words, Mark tells more of his Boba Fett story.
“Everybody rightly assumes that the day I first tried on the actual Boba Fett suit was for the shooting of the blue screen, the footage being for the New Hope special edition. That chilly November shoot was a never-to-be-forgotten magical and surreal event; a whole day with the suit was incredible, but that was actually the fourth time I suited up. Now the second time I suited was maybe the best of all, by far.”
“We want you to patrol the Mos Eisley Cantina that has been meticulously reconstructed on Skywalker Sound sound stage by the guys at ILM. There will be real people in suits; these are guests. The rest will all be aliens from the movie. Usual rabble. Mingle and keep close by, stay ready for any trouble. But no speaking. Just like they do in Disneyland, no vocals, just mine. You can mime right?”
Stormtroopers were at the entrance checking IDs, the real landspeeder parked right beside them. R2 and Threepio were also there but unmoving and lifeless – a completely different story to the bar. Everybody was in character, it was unreal! I’d get into a scuffle here and there but all patrons backed down in the end.
The guys ripped open their cigarette packets, dumping the contents into shirt pockets as they scribbled away with pens. The figure they finally did release was infamous “Power of the Force” figures, all of which were pretty buff. But as disappointing as that figure might have been, it was cool that it stood out from the many others.