By the end of 1997 our adventures as Stormtroopers in a little one-tauntaun-town felt like they’d hit their high-water mark. The theatrical re-releases were done and gone, Star Wars merchandising was fading from store shelves, and events where a grown man in armor made sense were getting scarce. Like a watering hole in the desert, any sustaining power of the saga that kept Tom and me armoring up was drying up and leaving us feeling alone and awkwardly out of place.
So the armor went into storage. The helmet got put on display. The black unitard I put into hiding: I didn’t want to be accused of a secret love for interpretive dance.