Posts Tagged ‘501st’



History of the 501st Legion: Dragon Con, Part 1

Albin Johnson | September 19, 2013

It was Labor Day weekend in 1998 and I was off to my very first convention as a Stormtrooper. The Detention Block 2551 site had been up for a year. Over a hundred other Stormtroopers had joined the newly-anointed 501st Squad. We had an insignia and a backstory. All that was left now was to form up as a club in person. I e-mailed everyone from the website and boldly announced the Fighting 501st was going to take the con by storm!

That was all tough talk. I was terrified. I’d never been to Dragon Con in my life and from what I heard it was huge. I was barely able to get around an air conditioned movie theater in my armor, so how would I get around downtown Atlanta in armor that barely fit me? (We didn’t cut our armor down back then; we didn’t know we could!) On top of that, I was still getting used to being an amputee. And who were these people coming to meet up with me? I barely knew them. Would they rally to a banner I’d raised on the Internet? Or would they just bail on everything and go party?

First on the ground and ready to troop (or party?)

First on the ground and ready to troop (or party?)

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Playing Stormtrooper Games

Albin Johnson | August 26, 2013

A week ago I realized one of my childhood dreams. It happened at GenCon in Indianapolis, where ZOE (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment) premiered the third installment in their Gamers movie series: Hands of Fate. Not only was it a much-awaited sequel to one of my favorite movie franchises, but I got to play a Stormtrooper in it along with some of my 501st buddies! Not nice troopers, either. These guys chase people, cuff them up, and haul them off to the brig. No charity work here, sorry.

I never thought two of my passions would meet up like that. See, one of my alter egos is I’m a gamer. Specifically, RPG’s like the famous Dungeons and Dragons. The fandom world has lots of different sub-groups and genres and they don’t always understand one other. It strikes me as funny sometimes how passionately members of one fan base yearn to be recognized as a legitimate hobby, but then they smirk at another fan base for what THEY do. But more and more it’s becoming an eclectic affair, with people loving so many different hobbies.

Early last year I heard the news that the popular Gamers series was putting out another movie. For my Star Wars friends, that’s like hearing Episode VII would be coming out next year. That’s honestly how excited I was to hear about it! I can’t stress how much I love these movies. Funny, clever, rich in character development while keeping up the action (everything you love about Star Wars). And it’s obvious the creators have a love for the subject matter and for creating memorable characters.

My kind of heroes!

My kind of heroes!

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The Birth of the 501st Legion, Part Six: Raising the Banner

Albin Johnson | June 21, 2013

In the middle of 1997 the 501st Squad was born. It was to no great fanfare. And it happened in no more glamorous a place than a flimsy little website hosted by Geocities called “Detention Block 2551.” Tom and I had made a good run of trooping in our Stormtrooper armor all over our hometown, from movie theaters to comic shops to daycare centers to state fairs. But while those events were fun, it was quickly becoming obvious that the concept of the 501st could only take root on the new frontier emerging in the nineties: the Internet.

Imperial Comm Net: Our Secret Weapon

Imperial Comm Net: Our Secret Weapon

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