Days Three & Four of Star Wars Celebration VI were literally filled from beginning to the very end of each day (and night) with action for members of the 501st Legion. By day, the convention center floor saw our full attention; at night, everyone witnessed the firepower – the stamina – we bring to keep the celebrating going.
In addition to our usual duty patrolling the lines and making sure fans got their full Star Wars experience, a large portion of our members, both in uniform and in our plain clothes division, were committed to manning the incredible dioramas brought in by our members from the Belgian Garrison, who have produced some of the most exciting pieces for fans to enjoy, as well as providing guard duty for Roxy the Rancor (though some might ask if a Rancor really needs a guard-?), and escort duty for some of honored guests. Special mention to Star Wars: The Clone Wars actor, and Honorary Member of the 501st, Steven Stanton for going all-out and appearing as Captain (soon to be Governor) Tarkin!
And as part of the 501st’s ongoing efforts to support charitable organizations, a long, dedicated list of Troops offered themselves up for continuous duty at our Shoot-A-Trooper booth, and also contributed their time and creativity to the Celebration “As You Wish” Helmet Project, to benefit Make-A-Wish. Thanks everyone!
[Members also took notice of the passing of Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander of Apollo 11, and the first man to walk on the Moon. We salute Mr. Armstrong’s dedication to country and humanity, and his epochal achievement as a true space pioneer.]
TK-421! Why aren’t you at your post?!…
Saturday afternoon gave Celebration attendees a chance to see Vader’s Fist assemble for our usual Legion Celebration picture, with several hundred Troopers, Sith Lords, Imperial Officers, Fetts & other bounty hunters, and various denizens of the galaxy assembling — and yes, that was a life-size Wampa over there on the right strolling around in Orlando! – under the mighty Death Star.
Several of our members also worked over the weekend in the 501st room to ensure fans got the full 501st experience, and that the Celebration Droid Hunt was executed flawlessly. Thanks to their tireless efforts starting several months earlier and the generous donations by our supporters who provided prizes, the Celebration VI Droid Hunt was another great success!
The last official night of Celebration found a lot of our members and special guests making their way to the Dark Side Grotto Strikes Back! after-party for one last get-together before embarking back to their home garrisons. Without violating those Imperial Security Protocols, it need only be said that it was a very good party, and there are undoubtedly a lot of new Star Wars fans and potential recruits for the Legions out there! A special nod to the bartender who dressed as Princess Leia and rocked the classic Leia hairdo.
Commence Primary Ignition
After four truly great days of fun, panels, and collecting, the end-credits for Celebration VI ultimately ran on Sunday as everything drew to a close. Though we were all tired and maybe a little foot-sore, it still seemed like we’d all like to go for one more day, there was just that much to see and do.
As everyone packed up and prepared for their journeys back home or for a quick deployment to Atlanta, Georgia to bring the might of the Galactic Empire to Dragon*Con 2012, there were hugs, swag exchanges, a few more rounds of blue milk, and promises to see each other at the next grand opportunity, wherever that may be.
Fortunately, that exact question was answered a few hours before the orders to shut-down came through, and our members were officially informed to set course for Messe Essen in Germany for Star Wars Celebration Europe II in July 2013.
Already, preparations are under way, and we hope we will see everyone there!
Once more, the Sith will rule the Galaxy!
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 & Public/Media Relations Officer of the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison. You can follow his personal tweets at@Lawrence_Green and find the SoCal Garrison atwww.southerncaliforniagarrison.com and @501SCG.