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Exclusive Interview: Eric Demeusy, Director of "Star Wars: The New Republic Anthology"

Updated September 2, 2015 10:33 pm • Published September 2, 2015
Written by • Filed under Community

“Star Wars: The New Republic Anthology” is a new Boba Fett fan film, which clocks in at just over one minute. It’s set 30 years after Boba Fett fell into the Sarlacc, which is a long while but conceivable for this armor-clad bounty hunter to rough it. With the “Expanded Universe” / “Legends” all wiped clean, it’s up-in-the-air right now if Boba Fett is officially alive or dead.

Fan films about Boba Fett are nothing new — we’ve logged over 75 — but this one stands out. It has great production value, timing, and subject matter. Those are some of the reasons why this film has been abuzz online as soon as it was released yesterday morning.

We caught up with Eric Demeusy for an interview:

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What drew you to do this specific project? What were some of your favorite and/or important parts of the whole process?

I’ve loved Star Wars since I was in middle-school. The first scene I remember seeing was Luke and Leia swinging across the Death Star chasm in “A New Hope.” I remember thinking “so this is Star Wars?”. It just had a certain feeling to it that no other movie had and something about that is what I fell in love with. I became a huge fan from then on. George Lucas quickly became my favorite director and I tried to take after him in anyway I could. When I was a Junior in High School I made a twenty minute Star Wars fan film, learning how to do the lightsaber effect frame-by-frame in photoshop. The next year I did another one for my senior project and landed an internship at the local ABC news station. Star Wars is something I always admire as both a filmmaker and a fan. Something that sets Star Wars apart for me from other sci-fi worlds is the design. I’m not typically a big fan of science fiction but Star Wars doesn’t feel like a sci-fi, it feels like an action adventure film set in space. To me a lot of that is the design, the ships, the creatures,and the characters. I always loved the look of the Storm Troopers and Boba Fett. In my short film ‘3113’ I think it’s apparent that Boba Fett was a big influence on the android design. I just think he’s the coolest masked, suit-wearing character ever. Star Wars also became for me the only movie that has Boba Fett.

When the news came out that Lucasfilm and Disney were going to be doing Anthology films I was hoping they would do one about Boba Fett. I read confirmation that one of the Anthology films was in fact a Boba Fett film, but that it was a origin film. I realized quickly that a lot of fans and people I talked to didn’t want a prequel. They had enough of that in the Saga prequels. One of the reasons Boba is such an interesting character is because of the mystery that surrounds him. They wanted to see Boba Fett as he was in the original trilogy, in his prime. Kicking butt, firing his gun, and using his jet pack! Something you didn’t get to see much of, but wanted to. Not how he got there. I didn’t want to see a Boba Fett biopic.

When we sat down to think of what would be the best version of a Boba Fett movie, we realized it was the story that needed to be told… Boba Fett survives the Sarlacc pit. He should be featured in a movie that isn’t just a “Boba Fett movie”, but was set against something much bigger in the Star Wars universe, the rise of the New Republic. An event that Boba had a big role in, one in which he is the main character. Within that we would see Boba’s story continue, we would see him in action, Boba doing what he does best, and we would see an interesting change in his character. One of Boba’s biggest flaws is his lack of integrity, and in this story he starts to realize that. So I decided to go out and make this teaser in hopes that one day people would see and hear this story of Boba Fett’s most vital mission, a pivotal point in his life and the galaxy.

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We noticed it’s the “deluxe” store-bought Rubies costume (don’t worry — we love every kind of Boba Fett costume!), yet re-painted to look amazing. How did you come up with the plan to re-invigorate it and add some touch-ups, like the boots with their spikes?

Well I knew that if I was going to do this the costume needed to be as close to the screen used version of “Return of the Jedi” as possible, on a budget of course, otherwise no one would believe it’s actually Boba Fett. I started searching around and originally I was going to try and get someone who had already made a suit to play Boba. Logistically though for our shoot and the location of these people it wasn’t possible. So I was looking for other options and found that there were people who made really great versions of the suit but they were pretty costly and time consuming to make. The best option I had and really the only way I could afford time and budget wise was to use the deluxe suit and modify it.

We went out to the location and did some screen tests of the suit to see what would and wouldn’t hold up on camera. Pretty much the whole thing needed work. I found a lot of really good reference for every bit of detail the suit had in the screen used version and stuck as close as possible to that with some leverage on the wear and tear. I had never airbrushed before in my life so there was a learning curve as I did it. I tried to get Daz from Bobamaker on board but he was booked up to February. If the Boba movie does move forward, he should without a doubt be the guy making the suit.

The shoes, we went with custom made boots from CA Boots to make sure they were screen accurate. We took those and weathered the heck out of them. Scrubbed them with a pumice stone and airbrushed some stain, dirt and grime into them. The toe spikes were made by Jason Mitcheltree, who was the DP and actually wore the Boba suit. We used real metal from the strip and some wooden dowels for the spikes, painted them silver and weathered them.

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No Jabba’s Sail Barge wreckage and no “Sarlacc goo,” noted some eagle-eyed fans, which is all plausible — this is science fiction after all — but what are your thoughts on the backstory in this world you created? Were there other deliberate choices made?

Yeah these are all things I had to think very carefully about. I watched all six films at least three times EACH within a month plus all the behind the scenes over and over. I was studying like crazy the whole time. I would imagine that Jabba’s Barge would have been scrapped by Jawa’s or some other scavengers. The Sarlacc pit was a pretty well known place and I think word of mouth would have gotten out about what happened to Jabba, so scavengers would have had a field day. Any of the smaller bits of remains would have been covered. Actually a fun fact about the imperial dunes where we shot is that the dunes move about a foot each year. Tracks from the day before get covered by the wind. I would imagine it to be very similar if not more so in the Dune Sea on Tatooine.

As far as the “goo”, this was also discussed before we shoot. I imagined Boba would have been walking through the desert for at least a day, maybe two to get back to where Jabba’s palace was, and it is nothing but sun out there. The goo would have dried up by then. If we had shown him crawling out of the pit it would make since to have some saliva on him.

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Your visual effects are top-rate. As you noted on Vimeo, it’s all Cinema 4D. In the “making of” at ericdemeusy.com/starwars, it looks like you re-skinned a 3D model, if not making a new Slave I model. Specific to Fett and his ship, what did you start with and what did you change?

Thank you! Yeah I was going back and forth on whether or not I’d do the ship practically or CG. I really wanted to do it practically but the biggest model I could find was only about a foot in length and that wasn’t big enough to get the right amount of detail in. So I went the CG route because I know it well. I found a halfway decent model on scifi3d.com, the original model was done by A Wiro. The model was a good starting point. It had low res texture applied to it so it was already UV’d but needed to be retextured. I went through all of the textures and repainted them at 5K and built layers and layers that were stacked to give it a more realistic look with chipped paint, scratches, smudges, dents and all of that. That process took me quite some time to dial in the detail and make it feel like part of the scene. That shot took me about 5 days to render on my home computer. It was later composited by Evan Langley who did the compositing on the piece.

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To this day, a “story” film about Boba Fett is still officially unconfirmed, but here you got the web talking about it again today. On the flip side, the original actor who played Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch, “liked” this film on Facebook, which is a great helmet nod among Boba Fett fans. Where else do you hope this project will go or take you?

Wow! That is so cool that the real Boba Fett saw this! That’s really cool to think about. I’m really glad people are talking about Boba, I think a lot of fans really want the Anthology film but how it’s done is thin ice. I have a Boba Fett movie burning to be told, I would love to tell that story and my hope is to see that version fully realized. When I thought about a Boba Fett movie I had to really think about what it would be. What would it be about? How do you have a main character who is so mysterious without taking that away? Do you ever see him with his helmet off? What does he do after the Sarlacc pit and is it significant to the Star Wars universe? It’s a very tricky character if you just go at it from a surface level, or if you try to go too far into his past. I’m a big fan of Boba Fett and this is the movie I want to see. I have done a lot of reading as to what fans say about their wants as well and I think the story the Jason and I have come up with is perfect, I seriously love it. Hopefully we can influence the Anthology film in one way or another.

###

WATCH THE FAN FILM


"Force Friday" Checklist, Including Boba Fett Merch

Updated September 4, 2015 1:12 pm • Published September 1, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

In collaboration with a network of other Star Wars fan sites — Yakface, Jedi News, Jedi Temple Archives, Star Wars Action News, Idle Hands, Teekay-421, and MintInBox.net — here is your one-stop download for being ready for “Force Friday” on September 4th:

Download PDF

This PDF checklist came about since there isn’t one. Despite all the buzz, there wasn’t a clear cross-brand list to even know what’s available this Friday. Instead of dealing with that secrecy, these Star Wars fan sites worked tirelessly to compile a document for you, the fan.

Note that the checklist is focused around action figures and related collectibles. It excludes books and apparel. For any of those involving Boba Fett, we’ll add those separately below.

“Force Friday” begins at the minute Thursday night becomes Friday morning: midnight. As for Boba Fett merch, here are the highlights to start finding:

  • Hasbro
    • Hasbro has a Boba Fett figure in “The Force Awakens” packaging, although it’s noted clearly on the back it’s a classic figure from “The Empire Strikes Back.” This 3.75″ figure comes with an “Armor Up” accessory in a desert fatigue and will retail for at or around $12.99.
    • Hasbro also has a new Star Wars Chess set in their “The Force Awakens” packaging. It was spotted on a shelf at Walmart in South Carolina by @RyansPitch on August 28.
    • Boba Fett Hero Mashers — as a basic figure ($14.99) and a deluxe two-pack with Han Solo ($24.99) — are also newly available
    • Hasbro’s Black Series “Titanium” Slave I is also on the list, which retails for $4.99
    • Hasbro took over the MicroMachines line from Galoob and they’re back: Clone Army Raid, which has “The Force Awakens” packaging but clearly notes “Attack of the Clones” for Jango Fett’s Slave I in this 3-pack
    • Boba Fett Interactive Room Guard, perfect for keeping your stash safe — from other intergalactic space thieves
  • LEGO has a “Buildable” Jango Fett (75107), which consists of 85 pieces
  • Walgreens will be stocking Funko’s white “Prototype” Boba Fett POP Vinyl figure, which has already begun selling through a separate deal in Australia
  • Random House and LucasBooks are unveiling “Star Wars: Aftermath” this Friday (although it’s already in some stores early); it may have a Boba Fett reference on page 300, which is significant since it’s part of the new Star Wars canon and it takes place after “Return of the Jedi”
  • Topps has a Boba Fett dangler, which looks like a keychain, only available at Target

On a lighter (for the pocketbook) side, Target has a #ShareTheForce campaign, which has already started. Their website features Boba Fett — although his helmet is backwards. You can upload your memory of Boba Fett to be tagged in their 3D database.

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Walmart also ran an ad that shows Boba Fett on a “collectible Star Wars Trading Discs which can be used for an exciting game.” These are called Topps Star Wars Galactic Connexions, which are expected to be found in their toy aisle this Force Friday. Here’s a picture on the right, thanks to @McHale262.



Disney Infinity 3.0 Gameplay with Boba Fett

Updated August 30, 2015 10:50 pm • Published August 30, 2015
Written by • Filed under Multimedia

Forget the unboxing videos, here are some gameplay videos of Boba Fett in the new Disney Infinity 3.0 game that was just released.

We’ve also noted some lines we’re hearing Boba Fett say in the game. It’s all voiced by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in “Attack of the Clones” and who re-dubbed Boba Fett starting in the 2004 DVD release through to present.

How to unlock Boba Fett in the game

Outside of the main “Toy Box Hub,” you need to find the Boba Fett token in the game in order to play as Boba Fett in the “Rise Against the Empire” expansion of the game. When you climb up Jabba’s Sail Barge, right alongside the Sarlacc Pit, the Boba Fett token is on one of the planks / beams / boards off of the ship.

Boba Fett combat gameplay

Fett rides in on a Bantha to take on the Sand People (Tusken Raiders), who “may have stolen the part,” according to the narrator helping you. (It ends up being energy binders.)

When Boba Fett finishes on the ground floor, he says, “Now I truly am the best bounty hunter … there’s ever been.” After climbing up the cliff, while shooting at Tuskens, he adds “What a waste of my time. There wasn’t even a price on your head. You cannot escape me. None can escape me now.”

Boba Fett “Toy Box” gameplay

This video shows an overview of the “Toy Box Hub,” including some beginner gameplay as Boba Fett within that world. One line we hear Boba Fett say in this is, “Another mission, another pay day.”

An overview of Boba Fett’s “skill tree”

Boba Fett’s upgradable skills in the game include all of the following:

Health & Defense

Special Abilities

  • Rocket Fire
  • Power Disc Recharge Upgrade
  • Speedy Meter Upgrade
  • Special Move Bonus
  • Rocket Fire Upgrade
  • Damage Increase

Melee Skills

Ranged Skills

  • On The Hook
  • Better Blaster – Level 1
  • Better Blaster – Level 2
  • Target Acquired
  • Bounty Hunter’s Boon
  • Blaster Master – Level 1
  • Blaster Master – Level 2

Boba Fett on a Halloween-themed map

Boba Fett on a Tauntaun on Hoth

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(Screenshot by Tim Bryant.)

Boba Fett Completing a Mission

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(Video capture by G3EZARMAN.)



Teaser for Bandai's New Boba Fett and Slave I Models

Updated August 23, 2015 12:24 pm • Published August 20, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

dengeki

[UPDATE 8/23: According to Dengeki.net, who has photos of the labels, Slave I will go for 4,104 Yen. Boba Fett will be out September 30 for 2,916 Yen. Figsoku.net also has some pictures that include the box art.]

Announced on Bandai’s official Hobby site, their new Boba Fett and Slave I models — shown below in complete form — will be unveiled at an event called Kyarahobi 2015 C3 ?– HOBBY, which is this coming August 22nd and 23rd at the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall. Advance tickets can be found at Chara-Hobby.com.

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We last saw the Boba Fett in an earlier draft. Spotted back on June 12th, Bandai’s new Boba Fett was shown at the 2015 International Tokyo Toy Show. The 6″, 1/12 scale figure is unpainted, but the plaque (which has an unfortunate typo) and its photo suggest “Empire” colors. Photo credit unknown.

bandai-slave-1-boba-fett-2015-preview

According to The Fwoosh, “Fett is scheduled to drop in September and the price should be right in line with the Sandtrooper. About $17 before shipping.”

Helmet nod to The Fwoosh for their additional info and heads up on both stories.



Insight on Hasbro's "The Force Awakens" Boba Fett Figure with "Armor Up" Accessory

Updated August 14, 2015 10:22 am • Published August 13, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

In advance of “Star Wars Friday,” which is September 4, all of the upcoming Hasbro “The Force Awakens” figures accidentally ended up on shelves at a Walmart in Ohio. Photos were taken, which are all over the Internet today, and some even were scalped on eBay.

Here’s what we’ve figured out so far:

  • Figure is a re-pack of the “Empire” Boba Fett in Hasbro’s Saga Legends line, originally released in 2013.
  • Unlike the Saga Legends figure, this comes with an accessory specific to “The Force Awakens.” It appears to be related to Jakku, a new planet with a big battle in “The Force Awakens.”
  • Boba Fett is among other “classic” figures in the line, like Darth Vader and “Bespin” Luke Skywalker.
  • There is no “The Force Awakens” text under the Star Wars logo as there is with the other Episode VII characters, which is the same on the other “classic” figures in this line. (Thanks to BFFC fan Darth_Hound on Twitter for this insight!)

All together, this does not mean Boba Fett appears in Episode VII, at least based on these clues alone. See our Fett Fact Check on Episode VII for all of the rumors there.

See our Facebook post about this for a lively discussion with fans, which helped inform this post.

UPDATE: Here’s more:


He also appears on the backs of these cards:




All photos by Shawn Shepherd. Shared on the STAR WARS: Anything & Everything group on Facebook, then by Tony Madjawa Deida on the Star Wars Mega Fan Group on Facebook, where we first heard about this.

(Helmet nod to Matt Booker for the heads up and JediHunter66 for the first tweets.)



Where to Get the Tamashii Nations "Movie Realization" Boba Fett as Ronin

Updated August 11, 2015 1:57 pm • Published August 6, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

With shops allowed to take pre-orders starting today, the new Tamashii Nations “Movie Realization” Boba Fett as Ronin is a new premium figure that ships this November.

This inspired take on Boba Fett comes with a movable helmet scope, a Japanese sword accessory, replacement left and right wrists, removable missile jetpack, and removable shin tools.

The figure retails for 9,504 Yen, or about $76 U.S. dollars. It’s 6.6″ (170mm) tall and made of PVC.

This was first announced at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, which we covered from the floor on April 21st.

Because these figures are especially hard to get, and not just available anywhere, here’s our curated punch-list of where and for how much you can get the figure.

Most international shipping uses FedEx. Many of these vendors, but not all, process payments with PayPal, which generally handles currency conversion. We’ve normalized all prices to American Dollars, since most of our readership uses dollars.

If you find one (or more), let us know where in the comments to help out other Fett fans.











Slave I vs. Millennium Falcon in the New "Star Wars Battlefront" Game

Updated August 6, 2015 7:19 am • Published August 5, 2015
Written by • Filed under Games

The latest teaser trailer for Star Wars Battlefront was released today, highlighting a new mode called “Fighter Squadron.” After seeing all kinds of playable ships, the trailer ends with the Millennium Falcon being chased by Slave I!

Look closely and you’ll notice a problem: the ship’s wings are in their landing position, not their flying position. Were the trailer animators rushing the work or misinformed? Or is this a bug already in actual gameplay, which they hopefully will fix?

Back in April during the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, we saw it confirmed that Boba Fett was a playable character. This news about his ship, Slave I, is welcome news.

The game is slated for release this December. There’s a Digital Deluxe Edition and a Standard Edition, but Boba Fett is available in both for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

One perk of pre-ordering is an “early bird” marketing push, which touts the Battle of Jakku. A planet that will be introduced in Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Jakku is the planet seen with Boba Fett in the previous trailer. Here’s the verbiage on the EA microsite:

“Players who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront can fight the battle one week early on December 1, 2015. All other players will get access to this free content on December 8th, 2015.”


Exclusive Announcement: Funko Boba Fett (Prototype) Coming to Walgreens

Updated July 23, 2015 12:12 pm • Published July 23, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

You’re seeing it here first: Funko’s upcoming Boba Fett (Prototype), a Walgreens exclusive, which will be in stores this September!

This comes to us from the inside and, since they’re huge Fett fans, the Boba Fett Fan Club got the scoop!

The figure is part of a four figure exclusive Star Wars classic wave. We’re told that Walgreens will be ordering a ton and the plan is to keep it on shelves for at least a year.

Funko has made many bobble-head figures and objects. This surely won’t be the last.

This also isn’t the first Walgreens Boba Fett exclusive. Last year, they came out with the Prototype Boba Fett within Hasbro’s “The Black Series.” While there were some hassles with the online pre-order, the figure was a big hit in stores and kept getting re-stocked for a long while. This time around, there won’t be any online pre-orders.

This also marks our 500th photo-of-the-day in as many days in a row. Woo-hoo!



SDCC 2015: Guide for Boba Fett Fans

Updated July 9, 2015 11:13 pm • Published July 7, 2015
Written by • Filed under Community

This year’s San Diego Comic Con — which runs July 8 (preview night) through July 12 — has a handful of Boba Fett exclusives. Here’s your checklist, Boba Fett fans!

Exclusives

Other Booths

ANOVOS has their brand-new “Empire” Boba Fett prop helmet replica on display at their booth! We shared a photo on Facebook, shot by Ken Morgan on Instagram.

Hot Toys is showing off a new sixth scale “Empire” Boba Fett. This is their second release, following a “Jedi” quarter scale figure. See Rebelscum.net for some great photos, taken on opening day (July 9).

Sideshow Collectibles will be showing (but not selling) the brand-new Ralph McQuarrie Boba Fett Concept Statue. Don’t miss it!

Hasbro has their Hero Masher Boba Fett on display. See Rebelscum.net for a picture, taken on preview night (July 8).

Panels

Are panels more your thing? Here are some tips on which panels to attend, which very well might name-drop Boba Fett:

  • Wednesday: none of the events mention Star Wars
  • Thursday 12:00pm – 1:00pm: JAKKS Collector Toys: Star Wars, DC, TMNT, Nintendo, Warcraft and More! @ Room 29AB
    Should feature their new “First Reveal” Boba Fett figure
  • Thursday 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Level-Up Your Style with Geek Fashion @ Room 14A
    Features Amy Ratcliffe, who often writes about Star Wars
  • Friday 10:00am – 11:00am: Star Wars Publishing 2015: Part 1 @ Room 7AB
    11:00am – 12:00pm: Star Wars Publishing 2015: Part 2 @ Room 7AB
    Either may mention the new comic books (“Star Wars” and “Darth Vader” have included Boba Fett) and/or novels (“Dark Disciple” includes Boba Fett)
  • Friday 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Star Wars Goes Steampunk @ Room 14A
    Panel includes Rebecca “Lady Fett” Eusey
  • Friday 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Star Wars:Collectibles Update with Lucasfilm’s Anita Castellar @ Room 7AB
    eFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow Collectibles are all slated to be addressed, and each have upcoming (or fairly recently released) Boba Fett collectibles
  • Friday 5:30pm – 6:30pm: Lucasfilm @ Hall H
    While the focus is expected to be “The Force Awakens,” this event may touch upon the newly announced Han Solo anthology film; Lawrence Kasdan is a guest, who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” and this untitled spin-off film
  • Saturday 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Costuming the Galaxy @ Room 14A
    This talk is all about ANOVOS, who has a rumored Boba Fett costume in the works
  • Sunday: while several events mention Star Wars, none stood out to us as possibilities for Boba Fett mentions

Other

Stop by the fan booths to say hello to our friends at 501st (booth MZ-17) and Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club (booth MZ-16)!


SDCC 2015: Sideshow's McQuarrie Boba Fett Concept Statue

Published July 5, 2015
Written by • Filed under Collectibles

First announced (and shown in sketch form) at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Sideshow Collectibles announced yesterday on social media that their McQuarrie Boba Fett Concept Statue will both be on display at San Diego Comic Con but also ready for pre-order soon.

Sideshow will be at Exhibitor Booth #1929, according to the SDCC website.


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