The German 501st Sets Blasters to “Party,” Part 1

Markus Rau | July 8, 2013

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, we felt a great disturbance in German fandom when Star Wars Celebration Europe was officially announced during the closing ceremony of Celebration VI in Orlando, Florida.

After the excitement had died down, we tried to imagine what kind of consequences this announcement might have for us. As the hosting garrison of the 501st Legion and the leading force of German Star Wars fandom, we felt obliged to make sure everybody involved in Celebration Europe has a really good and enjoyable time in Germany.

During the last couple of months we realized that this goal is a really ambitious one. Because even though the German garrison is really experienced in organizing up to 300 events a year with up to 50,000 visitors, Celebration Europe will be one of a kind, that’s for sure. So how do you prepare for such an event?

We established a task force consisting of long time members of the German garrison with each individual member being responsible for a certain area of activities. Many ideas were discussed during the first couple of weeks…and abandoned directly afterwards. So it took some time to get focused on what we were really heading for.

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We wanted to create something new and unique in a never-before-seen European style. But on the other hand we are completely aware that due to the past six Star Wars Celebrations in the US, visitors and members are expecting at least some of the traditions they have fallen in love with, like the so-called Droid Hunt.

Armed with a bunch of ideas that made it through our staff meetings, we met Lucasfilm/ReedPop on location in Germany several times to discuss what we had planned. And here it is:

There will be a Droid Hunt, starting at our 150 square meter German garrison booth.

At the booth there will be several photo opportunities with costumed members of the 501st Legion. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk to experienced members of the 501st about anything, including how to become a member.

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To get a first impression of the 501st and its activities around the globe, a panel will be held on Friday, the July 26.

Did I mention the life-size Cantina prop we’re actually building? If you ever wanted to visit Mos Eisley, this might be your chance to enjoy some drinks amongst some real scum and villainy. So, this is what we created to entertain everybody coming to CE II.

As many of our members traveled quite a distance from all over the world to Germany, we thought it might be a nice idea to offer them a little bit more of German hospitality even though the time is very limited. Thus we organized guided tours through the world heritage site of “Zeche Zollverein,” the famous 501st mixer Thursday night and the extraordinary 501st Legion Dinner on Saturday night at a really unique location for more than 500 members and honorary guests.

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I hope we have your attention, because next time we’ll tell you way more of what has happened to promote Celebration Europe within the last couple of months at several locations and events all over Germany. Stay tuned…

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