With Star Wars Celebration VI officially underway, members of the 501st fully deployed throughout the Orange County Convention Center, bringing that extra little something that only fully dressed Imperial Stormtroopers, Sith Lords, and Officers can bring to the biggest Star Wars party yet!
If you are a member of the 501st Legion, you know going in this means the hours will be long, it will be hot, your feet will be sore, and if you’re in armor you’ll probably “squeak-squeak-clack” a fair amount as you head to your next stop. But, we also know that without the effort, something special will be missing. And, let’s face it, it’s just tremendous fun to dress as a Star Wars character and watch a fan smile and laugh as his or her cinematic memories come to life!
For Day One, the 501st brought its usual joy to the fans, taking pics, playing with attendees – and a few very entertained convention staffers & police officers, recruiting future members into the Galactic Academy, standing guard (or target) duty on the floor, and making wait-lines go a little easier — because if you’re going to have to stand in a line, you might as well have a little fun and do it next to a Clonetrooper or lightsaber wielding character; you’ll definitely have some unique vacation pics to share with everyone back home. “What’s that? another picture of a bridge? Let me show you what I saw…!”
During the day, both Chris Hardwick and Kevin Smith were given honorary memberships into the Jolly Roger squadron of Imperial Tie Pilots by members of the 501st’s Wisconsin Garrison, and troops of all kinds from every corner of the Galactic Empire were on hand throughout the convention center. And, on an already noteworthy day, it should be noted that at long last, Willrow Hood, Ice Cream Maker Man from The Empire Strikes Back, received the first of several much overdue floor-tributes he so well deserves from a select few 501st members who ensured their uniforms AND ice cream makers were, in fact, screen-accurate!
But, after a hard day’s work patrolling the galaxy, it’s time for some well-earned rest & relaxation! And for members of the 501st, that means getting together with fellow troops from other states and countries, catching up, sharing a drink, and getting down to the very serious business of collecting and trading garrison or squad patches, pins, coins, and just about anything else you can imagine that identifies that we’re members of a very special community of Star Wars fans!
We also welcomed Steve Sansweet, Seth Green and Matt Senreich, Team Unicorn, Chris Gore, and young Boba Fett himself, Daniel Logan, to share in the R&R, as well as the very serious mission of completing patch and members’ trading card sets, and talking about Star Wars-themed projects!
At the end, after all the Bantha trading was complete, it was time to just sit back a little more, welcome late arriving friends, relax, and enjoy the friendships that have resulted from the idea of sharing a passion for Star Wars.
We may never actually talk about the movies when just getting together, instead enjoying catching up on what’s happening back at home, careers, school, projects, and everything else since the last Celebration, but you know all the time you are part of a bigger family, and that you’re among friends.
…Welcome Home, Lord Tyranus! You have done well…
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 Southern California Garrison of the 501st Legion. You can follow his personal tweets at @Lawrence_Green and find the SoCal Garrison atwww.southerncaliforniagarrison.com and @501SCG.