“At that point, I took it over to the [Industrial Light & Magic] facility on Kerner [Boulevard], and I laid everything out on the floor.” Joe Johnston told StarWars.com. “I went down to the hobby shop in San Anselmo and I bought this brand of paint called Floquil. It was mostly used for model railroading. I bought just dozens of jars of this stuff, as many colors as I wanted. I put them in airbrushes and I start painting this thing.”
There was only one suit in production, so Johnston ended up painting over it continuously until he was satisfied with the color, but this also helped make the armor have the aged and dented feel that he was looking for. Green paint over silver coats with some scratched-off layers allowed texture and personality, mimicking damaged and bent metal. As a reference to the Western roots of the “Star Wars” franchise, there was even going to be a poncho resembling Clint Eastwood’s look in “A Fistful of Dollars,” but Johnston decided to scrap it emphasizing functionality over style.
This resulted in ultimately not just one of the more distinct and recognizable armored characters in “Star Wars,” but a design that would serve as the basis of so many other different Mandalorian characters within the franchise. Boba Fett graduated from a background character to a significant part of lore thanks to “Attack of the Clones,” and the character became a cosplay favorite for decades.
Outside of “Star Wars,” Joe Johnston, would go on to direct his own feature films, like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “The Rocketeer,” and even “Captain America: The First Avenger.”