It's ironic, really. If it hadn't been for Boba Fett's remarkable rise from minor villain (11 scenes in original trilogy) to cult fan-favourite (1,180,000 Google results), then it's arguable that we'd never have seen him reverse-engineered into a Kiwi kid (Daniel Logan) whose corruption was so conveniently sealed by his father's decapitation in the prequels.
Had George Lucas not attempted to service Fett's fans with this intended treat (or reclaim the character from dire literary mutations), they'd have been spared a regrettable exercise in demystification: Fett's icy power as a bad guy, arguably the most potently cool in the entire Star Wars galaxy, is sourced not in his proximity to the saga's core plot, but in his harsh facelessness and twilit ambiguity.
This guy, we realised immediately in The Empire Strikes Back, wasn't some Imperial wonk. He's not out for the Greater Evil. He simply wants his fistful of credits. By specifically announcing him as a bounty hunter - not just a 'mercenary' or 'gun-for-hire' - Lucas was referencing one of recent cinema's coolest archetypes: those self-serving anti-heroes taken to the peak of their popularity by Sergio Leone in his Spaghetti Westerns.
Indeed, the eye-slits on Fett's T-visored helmet somehow recall the sharp, steely glint of Clint Eastwood or Lee Van Cleef, and the way he cradles his gun at his introduction in the bounty hunter line-up scene recalls Eastwood's casual pistol-handling in all three of Leone's Dollars movies. Such spot-on body language was, it seems, entirely deliberate on Jeremy Bulloch's part. The Leicestershire-born actor, whose other best-known movie role was in the Moore Bonds as Q's lackey, claims he had Leone's work firmly in mind while sweating beneath that mask.
"I modeled Boba very seriously on Clint Eastwood in A Fistful Of Dollars," he's since said. "It's exactly that, but in armour. I found with Boba Fett, the less I do, the better. He stands in a certain way. And he's always ready."
For Bulloch, posture and movement were the performance. Just as well, really. While he knew his lines would be redubbed (by Jason Wingreen), he still delivered them on film, but didn't quite lavish the same thespy attention on the vocal as he did on the physical.
He happily admits that when Fett supervises the loading of Han's petrified body onto his appealingly ugly ship Slave 1, Bulloch actually blurted, "Put Captain cargo in the Solo hold" - and the gaffe survived right through to the rough cut...