Troopers and Rebels: Behind the Magic at SDCC 2013

Lawrence Green | July 31, 2013

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For members of the 501st and Rebel Legions, virtually every week means another opportunity somewhere in the world to put on our outfits, giving back to our local communities and helping raise donations for worthwhile causes. But it also means having FUN bringing Star Wars to life for fellow fans (and really, for ourselves, too), watching fans getting excited about interacting with their favorite Star Wars characters, and seeing the big smiles that come over everyone’s faces.

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Major conventions throughout the world afford Legion members an opportunity to combine community service and Star Wars fandom on a much larger scale, and in the United States, no annual event is bigger than San Diego Comic-Con. Now in its 43rd Year, SDCC hosts over 130,000 attendees from all over the world, there to share in various fandom interests, with Star Wars news and exclusives regularly at the top of everyone’s list!

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As SDCC continues to grow each year, it means more events and appearances for Legion members in support of the official Star Wars pavilion or the many Star Wars licensees that participate in SDCC, and we are always there to step up and help out whenever and wherever we can.

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…Can it be done?

Behind the scenes, the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison and the Rebel Legion’s Sunrider Base, begin early planning far in advance to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, ensuring there are always enough characters available where needed. Multiple needs mean multiple spreadsheets, quick reaction teams, and deftness at juggling! But it’s all in a day’s (or sometimes months’) work for Legion members, who always are there when needed, making sure armor is polished, exciting photo opps are available, and everyone is on schedule and in formation.

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For 2013, members were on-station for licensees, including Hasbro, Kotokubiya, Del Rey, Sideshow Collectibles, DK Books, Hallmark, Red5inc, and FanWraps, made appearances for news media and Carrie Goldman’s Anti-Bullying Coalition, and also dedicated long hours at the Lucasfilm pavilion, appearing for photo opportunities to help raise donations for Rady’s Children’s Hospital from the moment Preview Night opened to the closing announcement on the last day.

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Everything is proceeding as foreseen…

SDCC also means hosting an annual members dinner for those in attendance from all over the world, Droid Hunt for the fans, official Legion pictures with Honorary Members and Friends of the Legion (both current and new), VIP-welcomes, and making ourselves available for any last-minute requests that come in for an appearance or escort. And in addition to helping out on the convention center floor, the Legions are always eager to sign up new recruits who are interested in joining up.

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Beyond all the late-night hours, planning, and official appearances, members also set time aside whenever we can to enjoy all that SDCC has to offer, and make certain we’re available for photo opportunities with attendees.  With many convention-goers dressed in their uniquely personal Star Wars outfits, there are always plenty of photos celebrating how much everyone loves that galaxy far, far away…

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Even as early discussions will soon begin about SDCC 2014, with 2013 in the history books, the Legions focused their attention and long-planned efforts on Celebration Europe for the largest party in that part of the galaxy, and for other local and major events throughout the world, ensuring that fans everywhere continue to enjoy their favorite characters coming to life.

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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 and public/media relations officer of the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison. You can follow his personal tweets @Lawrence_Green and find the SoCal Garrison atwww.southerncaliforniagarrison.com and @501SCG.

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