Hello to all my fellow Star Wars fans! My name is Albin Johnson and I’ve been a fan since I was eight years old when I saw it in a grimy theater in 1977. It was such an amazing beacon of hope and adventure that I went back thirty more times! Twenty years later in 1997 I bought a set of Stormtrooper armor and started a website called Detention Block 2551, where I posted pictures of me in armor and hinted at a unit that served Lord Vader personally. In no time other Stormtroopers joined and it quickly grew to become the 501st Legion costuming group, featuring all the bad guys we’ve come to love.
Today “Vader’s Fist” is in over fifty countries with over 6,000 members worldwide. We’ve done everything from conventions to charity to working for Lucasfilm and now we’re a canon part of the Star Wars universe. In 2005 when my daughter Katie was diagnosed with terminal cancer the R2 Builders club custom-built her a pink R2 and named it R2-KT. Today I tour with KT to visit kids, raise awareness of pediatric illnesses, and spread the joy of Star Wars. In this blog I hope to share news of the 501st and fandom in general, report on what R2-KT is up to, and offer up some history on how the Legion came to be. I hope you’ll join me as I report what it’s like to be a Stormtrooper trying to make it in the galaxy!