Posts Tagged ‘The 501st Legion’



History of the 501st Legion: DragonCon, Part 2

Albin Johnson | January 9, 2014

The 501st Legion at DragonCon

The first-ever meeting of the 501st was not the epic moment one would think from such a large and tightly-knit organization it is today. Like a lot of success stories, the first tenuous steps were lurching, staggering, anxious ones. DragonCon seemed the perfect place to bring together the first pioneers of organized Star Wars costuming. But lumped in with the wildly diverse energy of the con was… well, wildly diverse energy!

The Florida group that showed up was large and in charge. It was happy to troop with the rest of us, but it was more for the sake of a themed costume group than anything else. And for anyone who’s been to DragonCon enough times, costume themes are short-lived bursts of excitement. They wandered the halls, taking in the sights and having fun with it. And no one could blame them. After years of being at Dragoncon, I now know it’s one big party. But at the time I was new to all of that. I was serious about making a real go of a club. I was on a mission. But the excitement I heard on the internet was a far cry from what folks wanted to do when together, it seemed. Rather than lead the pack, I ended up following the group carrying my little sign and wondering if I’d been fooling myself.

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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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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?

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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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Trooping for the Troops

Lawrence Green | April 30, 2013

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For members of the 501st and Rebel Legions, membership means celebrating Star Wars and contributing to local community and charitable causes. Virtually every week somewhere in the world, an event featuring members dressed as characters from the Galactic Empire or the Old Republic or the Rebel Alliance may be found helping out their neighbors and bringing smiles to everyone they encounter.

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WonderCon Wonderment 2013!

Lawrence Green | April 9, 2013

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As many fans of the Star Wars universe know, 501st and Rebel Legion members across the globe dedicate time and effort year-round in support of local community and charitable organizations to help raise funds and bring smiles to Star Wars fans of all ages. And with spring just around the corner, that means “con season” is back! Officially kicking things off for everyone on the West Coast, Comic-Con International presented WonderCon 2013 with three days of convention fun.

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A Flood and a Box of Cards Bring Home the Real Joy of Star Wars

Steve Sansweet | April 9, 2013

Sometimes it take a near-disaster as well as happy news to remind us what has made — and keeps — Star Wars so strong and such an important part of the lives of so many of us around the world. When it all happens in the space of just seven days, it’s like a bright neon sign flashing the word COMMUNITY.

Let me tell you about my week. About an hour into a guided tour of Rancho Obi-Wan on Monday for eight adults and two children, my friend and museum general manager Anne Neumann appeared at the top of the stairs with as serious a look as I’ve ever seen on her face. “Steve, there’s a major problem in the garage. Come now!” she spit out breathlessly, then turned and left. I couldn’t imagine what was up, only remembering that the garage was filled with scores of cardboard boxes filled with thousands of books and magazines that might — or might not — be duplicates of what we had in the collection. There were also cardboard store displays and more boxes filled with old and new collectibles that were awaiting integration into the museum.

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Female Star Wars Fans: Strong with the Force

Albin Johnson | April 4, 2013

I’m a little late on this but March had me thinking about Women’s History Month and what it means to Star Wars fans. Just consider the huge shift in sci-fi fan (I hesitate to use the term “geek” but that’s what I’m really thinking) demographics that’s taken place since Star Wars came out. In middle school it was unthinkable to imagine a girl liking Star Wars and the only girl you could identify with the saga was Princess Leia, and she was pretty lonely in that cast of all men. Nowadays you can’t throw a dead mynock in the Star Wars universe without hitting a strong female character on either the light or dark side. And women not only embrace Star Wars and other fandom genres today but they’re dictating a lot of the way such entertainment is written and consumed.

Five figures out of 92 and all of the same girl. Not very girl-friendly back in the day.

Five figures out of 92 and all of the same girl. Not very girl-friendly back in the day.

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Making Star Wars Love Connections in the 501st Legion

Albin Johnson | February 14, 2013

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is here again. Aside from the irrational fear we might one day accidentally kiss our sister, Star Wars fans are full of romance just like anyone else! In fact, we’re coming into a golden age for fans. A love of Star Wars crosses every demographic boundary and thanks to powerful female characters in the saga, more and more women are proudly displaying their inner Jedi. As a result, it’s no surprise that fan clubs are becoming the new melting pot where eligible singles meet and make a love connection!

Looks like she got her man

Looks like she got her man

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Marching with the Maker: A 501st Legion Reflection

Albin Johnson | January 17, 2013

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The recent holidays brought back some very special Star Wars memories to me. It was only six years ago on a cold New Year’s morning that over 200 armored men and women were gathered outside a hotel in Pasadena, clustered in squads that waited anxiously as large tour buses came and went like Imperial shuttles to take them away for a very special mission. That was the year George Lucas was named grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. And he had made it clear from the very start what he wanted as grand marshal. He wanted Imperial Stormtroopers to march with him in the parade. A LOT of Stormtroopers.

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