Haven't chimed in for a dogs age. Hello to all.
For me, in 1980 it was Boba Fett on the deck of the Star Destroyer, looking so unique, yet some how evocative of a fallen Crusader in his great helm.
The armor, spoke of an unknown, mysterious history, and his stoney silence was somehow more tangible than even IG 88 ( also cool ).
The offer of a special action figure that could only be gotten through faithfully purchasing others, also reinforced the unspoken "espirit de corps".
Then, I read the novelization, in the weeks after seeing the Empire Strikes Back, and on one page, the bounty hunters were introduced....
"A battered and tarnished chrome colored droid named IG-88 was also with the group, standing next to the notorious Boba Fett. A human bounty hunter, Fett was known for his extremely ruthless methods. He was dressed in a weapon covered, armored spacesuit, the kind worn by a group of evil warriors defeated by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars. A few braided scalps completed his unsavory image. The very sight of Boba Fett sent a shudder of revulsion through the admiral."
I think I squeeled when I read it the first time.
Then, the armor and or Fett was referenced as "Mandalorian". Even that sounded cool. Attach that name to Macquarie's masterpiece design for a "Super Trooper" and I need say no more. Boba Fett's untimely and unresolved death in the Sarlacc only tamped down the fire. It did not go out, and the first appearances of his name in the early EU novels, like 1996's "Tales of the Bounty Hunters" led to the stunning revelation on the opening pages of 1998's " The Mandalorian Armor/ Bounty Hunter Wars" Trilogy. Boba was alive, and horribly scarred, but alive. Then it was like gasoline on the fire. The sleeping beast within the first generation of Star Wars fans, fans that had already determined that "Empire" was a unique film had been awoken. The introduction of Boba Fett to the original story , the ONLY outsider (non-Imperial, non-Emperorer, and still breathing officer) we'd ever seen that stood nose to nose with the Dark Lord and had the shebs to "debate", only cemented that uniqueness. Boba Fett was our unknown soldier, the man without a face, and now even his true face was obscured.
The future fleshing out of the mysterious galactic conflict known as the Clone Wars, supplemented by Karen Traviss' growing Mandalorian/ Clone Trooper mythology was like a banquet to a starving fan. And while I am not beyond doubting or debating aspects of her contribution to the mystique, I will always be hugely grateful for her contribution to the Universe.
Oh, and it was really about the Armor.