Bantha Tracks: The Kids Are All Right, Online Edition

Bantha Tracks #82 in Star Wars Insider, scheduled for newsstands now, features stories of the young fans who are the true next generation of Star Wars fandom. Here are some additional stories and photographs to supplement that edition, with even more junior Jedi, clones, and Stormtroopers.

Good Eggs

Star Wars Easter eggs

“My son Tom and I had a blast this past Easter creating our very own Star Wars Easter eggs,” writes Mary Setny of Ohio. Thank you, Mary and Tom. We’ll use these for inspiration for our own colored eggs.

Because One Celebration Is Never Enough

The Medoza family dressed as Star Wars characters

Richie Mendoza and his family had a multi-themed, multi-celebration in December. They celebrated the birthdays of their eldest and youngest sons, the dedication of their youngest son, and their 8th wedding anniversary with a Star Wars and Disney party.

Lightning McQueen/Luke Skywalker piñata

“My eldest wanted a Lightning McQueen/Luke Skywalker piñata for the party,” says Mendoza.

The Clones of Chuck Wagon

Chuck Wagon Derby, Star Wars-themed for May the 4th

Chuck Wagon Derby, Star Wars-themed for May the 4th

“The Chuck Wagon Derby is held every year,” writes Elizabeth Dibble. “Cub Scouts from local packs bring their wagons, and move from station to station, working as a team to solve puzzles, perform scouting skills, and the like. The points are tallied and the top three teams win awards.”

Dibble reports that in honor of May the 4th, the event had a Star Wars theme.

“Not only were the events named after Star Wars characters, places, and events, like Jedi Vision, Yoda, and Padawans, Stay-on-Target Porkins, but many of the scouts dressed up in costume, and tricked out their wagons, Star Wars style,” she recalls.

Photos of the “May the Fourth Be With You Chuck Wagon Derby” by Benjamin Dibble.

Cool Girls’ Club

Katie Goldman, Star Wars fan and Stormtrooper!

In 2010, a little girl named Katie Goldman came to the attention of the larger Star Wars fan community after it was discovered by her mother Carrie that Katie was bullied at school for loving Star Wars.

Not only did Star Wars and general sci-fi fans everywhere show their support for Katie, and for all kids who are bullied for loving aspects of popular culture, the Midwest Garrison of the 501st Legion went one giant step further by making and presenting Katie with her own set of Stormtrooper armor.

Midwest Garrison of the 501st Legion

“I’m very proud of the work we did,” says Legion member Brian Troyan. Pictured are members of the 501st Legion’s First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment and the Midwest Garrison who were present at Katie’s armor presentation. From left to right: Phyllis Schulte, Javier Esqueda, Matt McDonald, Steve Mammen, Steve Gaza (sitting), James Tampa, David Obidallah, Carlos Mendoza, Adriane Bean, and Brian Troyan. Esqueda, Mammen, Gaza, Bean and Troyan were part of the armor-building party.

Katie Goldman with 501st member and Stormtrooper Adriane Bean

Katie with 501st member and Stormtrooper Adriane Bean. Clearly, loving Star Wars is not just for the boys!

Like Master, Like Padawan

Ricardo Mendoza and his son, dressed as Jedi and Padawan

Ricardo “Richie” Mendoza and his son, who was three years old at the time of this photograph, playing Jedi Master and Padawan.

Jedi Runs in the Family

Jedi family

Jonathan Grimes, his wife Melissa, and their nine-month-old son Eli pose for a Jedi family photo.

“His first movie was the 3D release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

Imperial Girls (and Boys)

Imperial Academy at C2E2Imperial Academy at C2E2Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 12.31.07 PM

Each year at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), the Midwest Garrison of the 501st Legion hosts the Imperial Academy, a “training” program designed especially for young hopefuls who want to learn the ins and outs of being one of Vader’s Finest.

Kathy Van Beuningen of the Midwest Garrison reports that they run as many kids as they can through the course, but lines are long. The kids have a great time, and all receive their trooper certificates at the end of their training.

May the 4th< Be With You

Star Wars fans at Wings Over the Rockies Museum

Matthew Shelleberger and his family celebrated May the 4th at Star Wars Day at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum near Denver, Colorado.

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