I'm not sure how many of you know this, but Boba Fett's first appearance wasn't in the 1980 film Empire Strikes Back. It also wasn't in the 1978 animated segment of the Star Wars Holiday Special as Vader’s right-hand man where he is holding the trident looking weapon.
Boba Fett's first appearance was live when he marched in the San Anselmo Country Fair parade on September 24th, 1978. According to Star Wars.com:
Parades are usually high school bands and Corn Princesses and floats, not flamethrowers and jetpacks and helmets. So what and why was Boba Fett in a parade in a small city twenty miles north of San Francisco? For one, San Anselmo was home to the famous house at 52 Park Way, which was the galactic core of Lucasfilm at the time. So once the annual fall parade came around, it seemed to make perfect sense. Why not?
The Boba Fett costume was worn by Duwayne Dunham, who was an assistant film editor on Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. No one had ever seen this character before at the time outside of Lucasfilm. When asked how people reacted to Boba Fett during the Parade Dunham told the site:
"I would imagine that [for] most people seeing the two, they just figured it was a new character aligned with Vader. We were at the front end of the parade; we were leading the whole thing. We just walked side by side down the street. It was a little funny. My focus was on making the movie. San Anselmo is a small community. There weren’t that many people there and I don’t think any press outside of the San Anselmo newspaper covered it in any way."
Dunham was then asked if he thought that the character would be come so popular:
"Everybody had high, high hopes because Boba was such a cool-looking costume. Outside of Vader, it was the best. The character evolved…the all-white [version] was just another stormtrooper, a supertrooper. But as the character evolved, when he got painted…it was so cool. But everyone had high hopes. I was around George all the time and would hear all the conversations [so] I was looking for another character kind of on the level of Han Solo. But for some reason it just didn’t pan out as George had imagined, and then came Jedi, it was 'throw him in the Sarlaac pit!' We kinda mounted a protest saying 'You can’t do that to Boba Fett! He’s deserving of more!' But they threw him in…and as you know, fans have never let him die."
Boba Fett is such a cool character, and it's good to know that someday we will be in a theater watching a stand alone Star Wars film based around him. I've included some photos from the parade below along with the animated version of the character that I mentioned above.