Photos: Lesley Farquhar
In addition to the 501st Legion uniting Star Wars fans worldwide, the group also recognizes those special people who contribute their time and talents to the Star Wars community. These people who support of the 501st and Star Wars fandom are called “Friends of the 501st Legion.”
During San Diego Comic-Con International 2009, the Southern California Garrison recognized Fanboys director Kyle Newman for his continual support of the 501st Legion as well as for his undying love for all things Star Wars.
Southern California Garrison XO Lesley Farquhar had this to say about their newest Friend of the 501st:
“We wanted Kyle Newman to be in the Legion for the simple fact that he’s as much of a fan as we are! His work on Fanboys shows his dedication to the Star Wars genre, and of course — by asking us to help out with various aspects of the film, he definitely made fans of us!”
Sponsored by garrison members Dan Wolsey and Kit Sovine, Kyle was presented a custom plaque, coin and custom name badge commemorating his “Friend of the 501st” relationship with the 501st Legion. The induction was a complete surprise to Kyle who was there just to take a fun photo with his favorite troopers.
Starwars.com chats with Kyle about his induction and why he’s honored to be officially part of the 501st Legion.
How did the 501st Legion induct you at Comic-Con?
The previous day I was totally shocked to become an Honorary Member of the Rebel Legion — which was awesome! While my wife Jaime (King) was signing at the Star Wars Pavilion they popped by and surprised me. But they also wanted to make sure that I was going to attend the group picture for the 501st the next morning (which I had already been invited to). But I had no idea that I was also going to be inducted as an Honorary Friend of the 501st.
Cut to the next morning — my alarm never went off and Jamie Snell (Star Wars artist) called to see where the heck I was. I sprung out of bed, slapped on my contacts and ran out the door. But when I hopped in the cab I realized that I was wearing the wrong contacts (a friend had crashed with us and I took hers!) So I was half blind running around Comic-Con trying the find the group photo! Comic-Con without the ability to see if a very surreal and overwhelming experience. Luckily, I found the gang out back; and squinted awkwardly throughout the photos!
Which 501st garrison inducted you?
The Southern California Garrison and Daniel Wosley specifically. Dan and Co. also came to support our DVD release party at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles. They are a great group of passionate fans.
Was it a complete surprise?
I unfortunately missed the massive group photo, but I was so pleased and surprised to be inducted as a 501st member. It’s been a secret ambition of mine to become a member. It turns out they had told my wife and she kept a good secret. I had no idea. But it’s a great feeling being accepted and honored by fellow fans like this.
Why are you proud to be part of the 501st Legion?
The 501st are the pinnacle of Star Wars fandom. They are out there doing a tremendous job representing the Star Wars community at conventions, events, and in day to day life. The charity work they do is both astounding and commendable. It’s a very classy organization and I am proud to be an honorary member. I have to thank them as well, because without the 501st we never would have been able to pull off Fanboys.