For members of the 501st, Day Two of Celebration VI was packed from start to finish with panels, performances and some genuine playtime. NO finer group of comrades could a Star Wars fan want, NO finer group of friends could a Star Wars fan have!
Early in the planning stages for each Celebration event, a small cadre of 501st members volunteers to ensure that a number of major milestones and features are planned not only for Celebration attendees, but also members of the Legion, some of who quite literally fly in just to attend the festivities.
On the floor, members fanned out across the convention center, populating the dioramas, props, and stages set up for fans to take pics with their favorite Star Wars characters. In conjunction with members from our sister group, the Rebel Legion, members of Vader’s Fist made certain that the scenes fans remember from the movies duly came alive with Stormtroopers, Snowspeeder pilots, astromech droids, Rancors, and Wookiiees. And in a surprise staged well in advance, Chris Hardwick, host of Star Wars Transmission at Celebration VI was fully inducted into the 501st as a Friend of the Legion.
With so much happening, there’s just never enough time to do everything Celebration has to offer, and tough choices, even for members of the 501st need to be made: will it be a panel, or a picture? An evening listening to an actor from the Saga or a couple hours spent with friends?
Fortunately, the members of the 501st know how to best maximize their time and opportunities. And, after 15 years of raising funds for charities and community events and, of course, bringing order to the galaxy, having some time to just share with friends, and remember those who we’ve lost over time, is all a part of belonging to the greater 501st community.
With a focus on remembering our members and all the work everyone has put in, the 501st Celebration Organizers ensured a very special dinner banquet for us all to truly share in as we enjoyed visits on stage from Steven Sansweet, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Peter & Angie Mayhew, and a surprise word of thanks from George Lucas!
Of course, if you’re going to throw a great party, you need to cap the evening with a little dessert; a piece of cake, perhaps? But for the 501st, just any cake will not do. No, a party 15 years in the making demands a cake worthy of such an auspicious milestone. So, we naturally celebrated 15 years of glory with a life-size cake of our commander, Lord Vader!
Such a truly fantastic dinner party deserved an even greater after-party! And there’s only one being in the entire galaxy that knows how to party through the night, sparing no expense to ensure his guests have an incredible time – Jabba the Hutt. Now we all know the Hutt doesn’t just open up his den to just anyone, but with the 501st in full attendance, plus many of our Honorary Members or Friends of the Legion who have contributed to the greater love of Star Wars, how could Jabba really refuse??!
Lasting until well past 2 am, the 501st Bash in Jabba’s palace was the perfect capstone to a full day of great Star Wars memories! Of course, it would be a violation of Imperial Security Protocols to disclose everything that went on (and on, and on…), but the legend of the Celebration VI Bash will undoubtedly grow through the years.
It’s hard to imagine how anything could possibly top the Celebration VI 501st Banquet & Bash, but with an eye toward the future, we hope to continue celebrating our love of Star Wars and see what our fellow members can dream up next time!
…Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design…!
Lawrence Green wanted to be a Stormtrooper or Luke Skywalker when he first saw Star Wars. Now, he’s both, as a member of the 501st and Rebel Legions. Designated by 501st founder Albin Johnson at the 2007 Rose Parade as “the 501st’s own Jedi-Luke”, Lawrence is the Executive Officer & Public/Media Relations Officer of the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison. You can follow his personal tweets at @Lawrence_Green and find the SoCal Garrison at www.southerncaliforniagarrison.com and @501SCG.