On Tuesday at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, I stopped by the AR500 booth to find a Boba Fett-looking guy in full kit. This was one of those things I’d seen online, but seeing it up-close was even more impressive.
When the AR500 rep asked me if I wanted to try on some of the armor, myself, of course I jumped at the chance. (I’m a former Star Wars fan who bailed on the entire franchise after The Last Jedi. Garbage movie, don’t @ me.)
Having worn the helmet for all of two minutes, I can confidently report that the visibility inside this helmet is just as bad as you think it is. I wouldn’t want to try doing anything important in this thing — driving a speeder bike, hunting some bounties, preparing coffee — much less fighting.
I always figured it was like this, and imagined that the “window” slits on the front are just a camera and sensor array that feed into a HUD inside helmet. And now I definitely think this has to be true, otherwise the Boba Fett would be as bad a shot as the average Storm Trooper.
So, as cool as the armor is, it’s like most fantasy weaponry — the Klingon Bat’leth, the Rambo knife, bullpup long guns of every make and flavor (*ducks*) — just not practical in the real world.
Given that the maker is AR500, I’m assuming the rest of the Mandalorian kit is probably pretty solid (their armor won our body armor review) but sadly now I can add the Boba Fett helmet to the giant pile of Star Wars-related fantasies from my youth that were ruined in my adulthood.
It’s ok, though: in the apocalypse, I’d much rather do a Swamp Thing thing than a Star Wars thing. Better to not be seen at all than to be That Guy running around in full kit.