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Kids of the 501st

Steve Sansweet Interview Albin Johnson Our Beloved Founder

New England Garrison Museum of Science

Takes Over

Sympathy for FX
by Brian

The Midwest Garrison Goes Cosmic Bowling

by Mary Walton BH-5202


New England Garrison Takes Over Museum of Science 5

by Lori Sartre

Weather Report
by Steve Brejnak TK465 Tigga


501st Interview with Steve

by Kev

Garrison Tyranus News

by Lori Frye


Albin Johnson Our Beloved Founder

by Wendy Wassmer TR/DZ/SL/TS-3845

The New England Garrison 10

by SL-7768


Kids of the 501st



Its Been a Super-busy Year for the Badlands Garrison!

by ?


Megacon 06
by Shertek


Southern California Garrison 21

by Yvette

The Empire Strikes North

by Monica Bradbury


Half A World Away

by ?


photo by SL-1877 David Byrne (UKG)

Editors Desk
Welcome to the premiere issue of Static Burst, the ofcial 501st Legion Quarterly Newsletter! The team has been working hard for the last few months putting this issue together for you, showcasing the very best of the 501st Legion. Last month we held a contest to name this newsletter. What we initially thought would be a short list of cool names quickly exploded with immense creativity from the Legion! 300+ name submissions later, we nally had our name... Static Burst, as submitted by fellow trooper Brian Sasaki. A newsletter is only as good as the people who contribute to it, so Id like to take a brief moment and thank a few dedicated troopers whove helped push this project along... First of all, our illustrious LXO - Edward Karl for trusting in the initial idea and championing it forward. Without him, the newsletter would continue to be a good idea that went unrealized. Managing Editor Jacques Languedoc (ala Shertek) for helping manage the staff, decision-maker on what goes in and what stays out, his valuable inputs and opinions, Jack of all trades, and for keeping me sane throughout the process - all while working as Legion PRO and PR DVD project lead! Executive Editor Dean Tuskentrooper Plantemura for bringing his professional talents of putting together numerous zines such as ours and helping kick it up a notch. Contributing Editor - MattyDog for working hard collecting all the story contributions from the Legion. Layout & Design Chief Richard Silva (aka Lor) for his immense patience with all of us and putting together one slick newsletter. Richard is in charge of overall layout and design of the newsletter and coordinating with the Art Dept (Volunteer Artists within Legion) to ensure newsletter looks professional. And of course, the fantastic Static Burst support crew: as seen in the mast head, in the next panel Thanks once again to the team for doing such a great job on this rst of many Static Bursts. I hope you enjoy it as much as we had putting it together for you! Kevin TX-1422 Christley Static Burst Editor in Chief

Editor-in-Chief Kevin TX-1422 Christley Managing Editor Jacques Languedoc (ala Shertek) Executive Editor Dean Tuskentrooper Plantemura Contributing Editor MattyDog Layout & Design Chief Richard Silva (aka Lor) Legion Editorial Assistant TrooperKev

Support Crew
Art Dept Chuck Flynn - TK-1427 Diana - ID-1774 Tim - DZ-8487 The VTwins Piero - BH/TS-1338 & Giancarlo - SL/TB-1340 Staff Writers Brian Sasaki, - TD-2802 ID-1714 Lori Frye - TS-0729 Marc Martinez - TK-4246 Stefan Cembolista - TK-978 TK-7335 Wendy Wassmer - TR-3845 Proof-reading/Copy Check Marc Martinez - TK-4246 Regina Layug - ID-1870 Roger Noe - TK-2048 Sara - TK546 Reviewers - Product reviews (501st/commercial/etc.) Eric Meadows - TK-1265 ID-1714 TK-7335

Sympathy for FX
by Brian

Inaccurate, oversized, bobbleheaded. These are the barbs the much-maligned FX lid has suffered. Much of it earned on its own canonical demerits however. In an increasingly ANH-helmed legion made possible through greater availability and lower costs, the FX helmet, still the dominant lid of the 501st is slowly being nudged out the airlock. TKs and TDs alike are clamoring the best for their time and investment in order to troop as the best dead-on canon poster boys (and girls) for the Star Wars universe. But let us not forget that for many of us the FX holds sentimental value as our intro to SW costuming. After all, years ago when Rubies or DP were the only versions accessible to the incipient TK wanna-be, the FX evolved from its GF iteration in a highly modied debut and stormed on the scene like doorcrashers on a consular ship at Yavin. Yeah they were big, about 10% so but gone was the latex and pinheadedness. In go the fans, voiceamps and mikes. To the uninitiated masses we were stormtroopers straight out of the movie; kids would hug your shinarmor, teenage boys could illconceal their giddiness bubbling up from their blas angst; ladies would actually stop and irt without ever seeing your mug. Then there are those of us in the know. Even the newbies soon catch on. The emperor has no clothes! And were not talking about a former chancellor from Naboo either. A veritable alphabet soup of buckets were out there and through garrison word of mouth and the web, each claimed to be the closest, accurate available. SDS, RT, AA, Movie FX, TE to name a few. Forgive the newbie then for being

overwhelmed. He was soon under whelmed by his FX despite its larger size and symmetry; he sensed the smugness from the ANH-haves towards the have-nots on the boards. Poor, pitiful FX. It doesnt matter that it was your rst love; it doesnt matter that it helped you get that highly coveted legion id number and face in the members gallery; it doesnt matter that for the taller trooper, it was proportional to your height. And it doesnt matter that the public could give a rip about the cosmetic differences: IT JUST ISNT ACCURATE!! So weve come not to bury FX but to praise and remember it. It educated us as a foil to the better lids nowadays cracking out of the molds. Some of us will ebay them in a parsec without any regrets. Let some other sap gure it out for himself we reason as we check our Paypal credit statement. For all those diehards content with their FX, you are the lucky few. Youve managed to keep out of the great Saarlac moneypit to your nonanally retentive credit. Not necessarily through sloth or indigence have you decided to keep it but perhaps for a higher calling. You wisely realize a childs smile in a hospital ward, or a baby boomers whoop of approval at a parade is equally bestowed to FX and ANH alike. In the end, positive public reaction in its unblemished innocence of FXs inaccuracies reminds us of the magic that captivated us in the rst place about a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

New England Garrison Takes Over Museum of Science

by Lori Sartre ID-1123

Ive been a Star Wars fan since 1977. I cant remember a time when I wasnt into Star Wars. My father would ask me Why do you waste your time on a stupid movie? What is the point? What will it ever do for you? Well, in 2005, my passion for Star Wars paid off. I work as a graphic designer at the Museum of Science in Boston. In 2002, it was announced to the museum staff that we would be producing a Star Wars exhibit that would open in 2005. I had been at the Museum for about 7 years at that point and I was more than ready to move on to a new post. But when the announcement was made, I knew I had to stick it out for at least another 3 years. There was no way I was going to let an opportunity to work on an actual Star Wars project slip away.

It was pretty well known in the Museum that I was a huge Star Wars fan. All you had to do was walk by my desk and it was pretty evident. In 1998 I help create and sold SWC shirts to my coworkers to raise money for Breast Cancer research. I had my picture taken by one of Bostons main newspapers right in my ofce. I had Star Wars stuff displayed all around my work area. I belonged to the countrys largest Star Wars costuming group; the 501st Stormtrooper Legion. I wore my fandom proudly. In the summer of 2003, my boss called me into his ofce and said I have good news, and I have great newsbut you have to promise you wont go into labor when I tell you. I was 6 months pregnant at the time. I promised to do my best and he said, The good news is, youve been asked to be on the planning team for the Star Wars exhibit. I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. The great news is that youve been asked to go on a business trip to Skywalker Ranch. I didnt go into labor, but I did squeal. As a member of the planning team, I would be representing my

department; Publications and Internal Marketing. But I knew that I was being asked to be part of the team because I knew the subject matter better than just about anyone in the Museum. I knew the fans. I knew what they would want to see. The Museum wanted me to be involved because I WAS a fan. But, I was concerned about what Lucaslm Ltd would think about having a fan on the team. Were they aware that a fan was being invited on to their property? I may be a Star Wars fan, but I am also an adult and a professional, and I was determined to remain so, through the whole project. I was going to keep my fan-girl persona reined in. The trip to Skywalker Ranch was amazing. I had dreamed that I would get a chance to go to the Ranch one day, but I truly never thought it would become a reality. I got to tour the Main House. Stand in front of the Skywalker Ranch re truck. I was brought into the prop warehouse where actual costumes hung a rack and hundreds of movie props just sat on rows of metal shelvesall right out in the open. I even walked passed The Man Himself, George Lucas in the hall way as we left the dining hall after lunch. Through all this I maintained my professional image and managed to keep all my squealing internal. On the second day of my visit I was in a meeting when my carefully constructed disguised would be torn away. Our LFL point person popped in a DVD to show us some footage of an opening in Japan for a Star Wars exhibit. She talked about how the Japanese are big fans of the movies and how they went all out for the opening of their exhibit. Then it happened. There on the screen was a group of Stormtroopers standing there in all their white glory and our LFL rep said Those guys are from the 501st . They are a great group and we love them. You

L s d i I h t r fo

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should denitely try and get them at some of your opening events. There were about 12 of us from the Museum at this meeting. Eleven pairs of eyes turned to me and then our team leader said Lori, thats your group, isnt it? My cover was blown. I thought I would be hauled out of the room by secret sevice looking men, hiding behind hidden panels and dumped on the. But I wasnt. I even got to go to dinner with Rob Colman and Lorne Peterson from ILM and return back to the Ranch the following day for another meeting. During the whole visit, all our LFL contacts spoke very highly of the 501st group and I couldnt have been more proud to be part of such an amazing organization. Over the next 2 1/2 years it was pretty much Star Wars 24 hours a day. My position on the Star Wars team morphed into three roles: Lead Graphic Designer, Museum Star Wars Guru, and Stormtrooper Coordinator. As Lead Designer I created the exhibit logo and the look for all the marketing materials. I created multiple invites, press kit folder, exhibit poster and exhibit guide. I even designed a collectible Millennium Falcon pin that you got when you took a trip in the full scale Millennium Falcon cockpit (which is the coolest thing ever). I was dubbed the Star Wars Guru because I would regularly eld phone calls and emails asking me such things like Do Tusken Raiders and Jawas get along?, If we had to cut out an exhibit component, should it be the Wookiees or Jabbas Palace model?, Can you teach me how to speak like Yoda?, Can you teach the Museums president how to act like a Jedi? The questions were endless, and when

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I thought I had heard the craziest question Id ever be asked, someone would come up with an even crazier one. My favorite role on this project, however, was Stormtrooper Coordinator. As soon as Lucaslm spoke the name 501st, my phone wouldnt stop ringing. I quickly set up a meeting with Museum event coordinators, put together some promotional material, and set up a system for requesting Star Wars characters. I knew how great the 501st was, and I was excited to get the chance to help my own group, the New England Garrison, be involved with an ofcial Lucasm project. Our rst event was a year before the exhibit even opened. We had about a half dozen characters attend the Museums annual Educators Night event. The Museum was prototyping some of their exhibit components for the Star Wars exhibit and was hoping our group could draw attention to their activity. The Museum staff was blown away. You can tell someone how amazing the costumes are, but until they see them for themselves, they just cant really understand. For weeks after the event I had people coming up to me telling me how

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awesome our group was and how they couldnt wait to have them at more events. Over the next several months the NEG did several small events to build excitement for the upcoming exhibit. In the summer, several of our Troops road the local bus and train system to pass out yers announcing ticket sales for the exhibit. And we attended concerts held by local radio stations. I even hooked up with our local Rebel Legion group and got their members involved. The Museums marketing department arranged to have Star Wars characters throw out the rst pitch at a Red Sox game. The Museum bought itself its own Chewbacca costume and a Museum employee dawned it, but the Princess Leia and Han Solo were from our local group. Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination opened in Boston in October of 2005. The NEG participated in every opening event that was held; Press Preview, Staff Preview, Members Preview, Members Halloween Party, special donor previews. But the highlight was the Gala Opening, with a very special guestGeorge Lucas.

Along with being the Lead Graphic Designer, Star Wars Guru, and Stormtrooper Coordinator, I also consulted on the Gala planning committee. Back in February of 2005, the committee decided they wanted to extend an invitation to George Lucas to attend the Gala. I was asked to create a special invite. I put the one-of-a-kind invite together over a weekend and it was one of my most stressful projects I have ever done. The whole time I kept thinking George Lucas is going to actually hold this in his hands. What if he thinks it looks like crap and decides not to come? We mailed out the invite and months passed without a word. It wasnt until a month after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith opened, that we got word that George had accepted our invite. I was both excited AND relieved. Once it was known the George would attend, the Gala planning went into full gear. I attended all the meeting and would consult on their ideas. They wanted to make sure they stayed true to the subject matter. I was even invited to spend an afternoon with the committee members and watch A New Hope and answer their questions about the movies. One of the main things that the committee wanted was as many Star Wars characters as they could get. I had given my garrison the heads up that a large event was going to take place on opening weekend, but I had to keep Georges appearance a secret until LFL said it was okay to make the announcement. It wasnt until mid-summer that I was allowed to say anything. It was one of the hardest secrets I ever had to keep. The New England Garrison is a good size group, but we knew we couldnt get the numbers that the Museum wanted. We put a call out to the rest of the Legion asking for

volunteers to travel up to Boston for this event. We got people from Florida, Ohio, Midwest, and New York. We were so excited to be able to host so many of our Legion brothers and sisters. We ended up with about 80 costumed characters between the 501st and Rebel Legion. The night was extravagant and our role in it was like a play. The Museum needed to transport 700 guests from the Museum of Science to a separate location for the dinner portion of the night. A storyline was created where the Imperial forces took over the Museum and threatened to arrest all guests if they did not leave at once. We had about 25 Stormtroopers march through the Museum and move people to the main doors of the Museum where buses awaited to take them to dinner. We had one Stormtrooper ride with every bus and when they got to the dining tent, they took up guard duty along a long tunnel that led into the tent. It was truly amazing. We had 700 people moved out of the museum in less than 20 minutes. The group did an amazing job. I, myself, only got to witness a portion of it, however, because once the rst warning was made of the take over, I had to run up to our dressing room and become CinderellaI had actually been invited to the ball. And not only was I going to the ball, I had a special invitation to sit at the same table as George Lucas. I dressed in 10 minutes and ran down to the lobby in time to catch one of the last buses to the tent. I was even escorted to the bus by our Garrison CO. It was like a fairy tale. The night was amazing. I sat in the seat that was directly across from George, though it was a fairly large table. I did get to speak to him briey, thank him for coming and shake his hand. I had hoped

for more, but he was the main event and everyone wanted time to shake his hand as well. But even thought the time was short, I can at least cross that one item off my Things To Do In My Life list: Meet George Lucas check! When dinner was over I boarded a bus back to the Museum with my husband who had been dressed as an ofcer and coordinating all the Stormtroopers at the tent. A Gala guest boarded the bus after us and came over to my husband and said I just wanted to thank you for being here. You and your people made this event. That was the sentiment that was stated over and over to me for days, months after the Gala and every other event that the New England Garrison and our sister groups have attended. Weve attended well over 20 events and activities for the Museum of Science and at everyonewe MADE the event. Anyone can have a Star Wars event where they show a Star Wars movie, or put up Star Wars inspired decorations, but having living, breathing, Stormtroopers, Sith Lord, and aliens brings it to a whole other level. Ive had a lot of amazing experiences while being involved in the creation of Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, but my fondest memory was when I got off the bus after dinner was over and I entered the main lobby of the Museum of Science. Standing there all in a line, was more than a dozen assorted Star Wars characters all thanking me for coming and wishing me a good night. It was one of the most amazing sights I had ever seen. I want you all to knowYOU MADE MY NIGHT Thank You.

501st Interview with Steve

by Kevin Christley

out his full biography on StarWars. com: stevesansweet.html

Is there an interesting story about how you got started working for LFL?

Unforgettable. Thats what most Star Wars fans think of Steve Sansweet when they meet him for the rst time. If you want the low-down on anything Lucaslm, Steves often the one to know it! Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Steve attended Temple University where he graduated with honors, then worked as a prize-winning journalist for several prominent U.S. newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal) before landing a job with Lucaslm back in 1996. His previous boss, WSJs Paul Steiger was asked if Steves job move bothered him and he said Yeah, it did... But only because Steve got to act on his dreams! And Steves never looked back! If you havent seen him during one of his many personal appearances at conventions, chances are youve seen him on QVC as cohost of the Star Wars Collections. Or perhaps read one of his many articles for the Star Wars Insider. Either way, once youve met him, youre hooked. Steve Sansweet is the Director of Content Management & head of Fan Relations for Lucaslm Ltd. His home in Sonoma County, California, otherwise known as Rancho Obi-Wan, houses the largest privatelyowned Star Wars memorabilia collections in the world. You can check

I had written several books on Star Wars through Lucaslm since the early 90s. One day in 1995 I got a call from Lynne Hale, director of communications, to ask if I might recommend someone for a one-year job to go around the country and tells fans what was up with the Star Wars Special Editions. To make a long story short, I was at a place in

my career at the Wall Street Journaleven though I loved my jobwhere it was time to do something different. I took a gamble that a low-paying one-year job at Lucaslm might turn into a fulltime second career in Marketing. And to my delightit has!
Youve written or co-written eleven Star Wars books so far. Are there any more books in the works?

On my to-do list are ve more books over the next four yearsnot that they all will necessarily nd an interested publisher. But I can tell you now that a contract has been signed for a new Star Wars Encyclopedia to come out in a few years, and Ill be working on a second book at the same timejust as I worked on the new Star Wars Poster Book and Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels together. More details to come later. Hmm. It just occurred to me that the 501st will be mentioned in the new Encyclopedia!
What future LFL project are you most looking forward to?

Theres a lot on our plate. Besides the animated and live-action Star Wars series later this decade, we hope to have word about one more lm in a different trilogy before too long. Theres a good possibility of a Celebration IV, maybe some additional video releasesand a ton of other cool stuff thats too early to talk about.

Lucaslm recently moved their headquarters off the Ranch. How are the new digs at the Presidio?

second favorite is Dragon*Con. Those who have been there know that its just one big party!
Damien Metz (the 501st member who creates the Honorary Membership plaques) tells me that you have a green version of George Lucass plaque with your name on it... Why green?

And who gets the collection in your will?

The ofces are great! And its truly a magnicent setting, a sort of park inside the National Park thats open to the public. Amazing views too! The 501st Legion has always had a great working relationship with both LFL and childrens charities. What impact do you feel the 501st has made and how can we improve that relationship? The 501st started up just around the time I was joining Lucaslm, so I feel a special kinship with the Legion. Ive worked for many years with members of the 501st all over the world to make sure there was a good level of understanding on both sides of what works and what doesnt, where the stress points are, etc. I think the impact was clear last year in how much we turned to the 501st garrisons worldwide to help us and our partners in launching Episode III, and in the Legions name being adopted as part of the Star Wars mythos. For the future, one thing that comes to mind is the need to make sure theres a good level of communications so that nobody is surprised, and there are very few unexpected occurrences.
You do a lot of Con appearances... So we have to ask... Whats your favorite yearly Con and why?

Hadnt you heard the newsgroup rumor from years back? When I die my body is going to be laid out in the middle of the museumwhich will then be imploded around me
Of all the Star Wars lms, which is your all-time favorite and why?

After I saw a photo of the beautiful plaque that Damien made, and which was presented to George Lucas when he became an honorary member of the 501st, I told Damien how much I admired it. Being something of a wise-guy (as well as an all-around nice guy), Damien twisted that into my alleged jealousy of Georges plaque. So he found some neon-green acrylic and made a Green with Envy version of the original!
Your Rancho Obi-Wan is home to the most impressive privately-owned Star Wars collection in the world. What got you started collecting?

I guess The Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite because of its dark tone and unresolved questions. But I was truly blown away by the original Star Wars and Revenge of the Sith was amazing. Its pretty close among those three.
Do you have a favorite character in the lms?

Besides Celebration (which isnt yearly) it has to be San Diego Comic-Con International. Thats a convention Ive been going to on my own for more than 20 years and theres nothing else like it for sheer size and activity. You never know what youre going to come across in the massive dealers room. And it took on a whole other dimension when I started going there in my Lucaslm capacity. My

Ive been a collector all my lifebottle caps, matchbook covers, baseball cards, space-related plastic model kits. The year before Star Wars opened I started to collect space toys, and then was so blown away by my trip to a faraway galaxy, that I started buying every single Star Wars item I could nd. Next thing I knew I had to add a oor onto my house in L.A. Then another oor. Then a storage locker. Then four more. It just sort of happened!

Yes, although is has changed over the years. At rst it was Luke, because I was also going on a journey of discovery about the time the movie came out. But as time has passed, I relate more to Obi-Wan, especially in his role as mentor. Thats a role that Ive personally enjoyed in my career and in my life in general.
And nally, anything youd like to say in closing to the 501st Legion?

Only that the best is yet to come! And I mean that both for Star Wars and the 501st. Wait until I tell you about our plan to. Oops! Cant go there yet. Better stay tuned! My special thanks to Steve for granting us the time for this interview and I hope you all enjoyed it. No major spoilers, but reading into it a bit, youll see the 501st isnt quite done yet!

Albin Johnson Our Beloved Founder

by Wendy Wassmer T R/DZ/SL/T S-3845

Back in 1997, Albin Johnson (TK-210) and Tom Crews (TK-512) started what has now become the largest Star Wars fan based costuming club, The 501st Legion. Throughout the past nine years, Albin has been the driving force of the legion. Even through the most troubling of times for Albin, he has always been there to show the membership at large the true meaning of leadership and commitment. From its beginnings in Columbia, South Carolina to now an international organization, with over 3,000 members at this time, from our connections and work with Lucas Film Limited to the inclusion of The 501st Legion into the canon world of Star Wars, Albin Johnson has taken great strides and made it look effortless. For those of you who are new to the legion or not familiar with our founder and former Legion Commanding Ofcer or the beginnings of the Legion itself, here are a few words from the man himself
What prompted you to start the 501st Legion?

Detention Block 2551 and before you know it people started mailing pictures in for me to add to the website. Before long I thought it would be neat to feature all the pictures in a gallery arrangement as if displaying the roster of some ctional military unit in the Empire. I thought back to the old photo album my dad had from WWII when he was a pilot and the rows of pictures of pilots in their cool uniforms. I thought it would be cool to recreate something with that spirit. So I came up with a back-story detailing how this special unit served Vader directly (fans recall Vader always seems to have a host of troopers on-call anywhere he goes), created a unit number and motto to go with it Fighting 501st, and away we went. It grew exponentially overnight and the rest is history.
Where did you nd your rst set of armor?

was very original and still made a big splash in 97.

Did you belong to any other SW fan clubs before creating the 501st?

Nope. I was always intimidated about joining most clubs because they always seemed so exclusive. I tried doing SCA when I was a kid, but again it just seemed steeped in politics and cliques. I never really got into conventions either because there was never a welcoming atmosphere to them - you were either there with friends or you felt like an outsider.

In 1997 the re-releases of the original Star Wars Trilogy were coming out. A buddy of mine, Tom Crews, and I talked all the time about how much we loved the movies and especially the stormtroopers. We cooked up an idea to get some actual trooper armor and found some very expensive stuff on the internet. Well, after attending the premieres of ESB and ROTJ, we noticed a huge reaction from the crowds that only got bigger when there were two of us appearing. I posted some pics on a website titled

My buddy, Tom Crews, and I went looking and found an obscure listing on the internet for the sale of an estate which included a set of stormtrooper armor. The listing was bogus, of course, and served as an advert for someone whod handcrafted a couple suits that he wanted to sell. I think the shop-front was called Dogstar Collectibles, but its long since disappeared. The original set of armor was disgustingly expensive (no one made the stuff back then) and made of styrene, but it


What has been your biggest hurdle in starting the legion?

The biggest challenge in creating the Legion was always keeping teamwork alive. The momentum created by the movies was very helpful and everyone has had enough volunteer spirit to keep things going strong, but inevitably differences in opinion and strategy have split groups into smaller and smaller groups. So the big hurdle is keeping everyone together, making them see the big picture. But Im told we are doing a lot better than most clubs. Its not a fatal problem, but Id like to see more teamwork.
What has been your proudest moment in the legion to date?

Where do you see the legion in ve years from now? Ten years from now?

Which Star Wars celebrity gave you the biggest thrill to meet?

There have been so many proud moments. First there was induction of celebrities as Honorary Members -so many of them were worthy of being a pinnacle to our success. Then Mr. Zahn featured us in one of his novels, which means it had to be approved of by Lucaslm and possibly even Mr. Lucas himself. What an honor! And theres the ongoing partnership between Lucaslm and the 501st, allowing us to be key players in promotions and events including the Celebration conventions. Lately theres been our roles as characters in Battlefront II - an incredible homage to our club! And last year Mr. Lucas himself was gracious enough to accept an Honorary Membership in the 501st Legion, which just blew our minds. But personally speaking Id say my proudest moment was when my daughter Katie was ill with a brain tumor and the entire Legion pulled together to support her and make our family feel loved. The love, nancial support, and courage they lent us was staggering. For me, that was what the club was all about.

Obviously the ending of the feature-length lms in the prequels poses challenges for us in terms of momentum. There wont be the huge cultural and promotional upswelling that we can ride. But Star Wars is far from fading from the collective imagination. There are already plans for new products and shows. So in ve years we might see a drop in membership (or not) and in ten maybe more so. I take a conservative(but not pessimistic) stance: in time there may be dropout but I think the spirit of the 501st is sound enough to carry it for years to come. People who join the club just to wear plastic get tired of it quickly. But people who nd a family here keep coming back, and we plan on being a family for a long, long time.
What were your thoughts when LFL rst contacted the 501st?

Myself personally, Id have to say Peter Diamond, the stunt coordinator for the rst trilogy. Hed played stormtroopers, Tusken Raiders, biker scouts, you name it. He knew what it was like to be a stormtrooper before anyone had ever heard of the character. He was extremely grateful to be asked to be an Honorary Member, I remember him tearing up when we presented him the award. I wish he had lived longer so I could get to know him better. But Im glad we could meet, even briey, and show him how much we appreciated him blazing the trail for the rest of us plastic people.
Do you have any fun or interesting Star Wars celebrity stories?

At rst I was anxious about it. If you really think about it, our little operation infringes on intellectual property that Lucaslm would naturally want to protect. So in the early days I was eager to get with Mr. Steve Sansweet and build a relationship. Our rst conversations were about just where the 501st could t in and I am sure he was keen to know what our agenda was. But he is a genuinely pleasant man and very generous and was kind enough to take us at our word and help us develop. It is always exciting hearing from Lucaslm - its like the mothership calling. I feel a strong sense of pride and duty to representing Lucaslm in whatever capacity they require us and am grateful they allow us to do so.

One of my favorite involved Peter Mayhew. Tom Crews and I were still getting used to our new armor in 1997 when Peter was scheduled to come to our town of Columbia, SC and do a small sci- convention there. A local comic shop owner took it upon himself to alter Peters itinerary and have him delivered to his shop for autographs. Tom and I found out and made sure we were there. After all, this was Chewbacca, here in our little town. Little did we know that Peter had no idea about the stop and was very tired. So it was a big surprise (and hassle) for him to be dropped off at this shop and assaulted by a pack of rabid fans. Tom and I did our best to help, funneling the crowd into a manageable line and escorting Peter to the back of the store. Peter was kind enough to sit and chat with every single fan, even though he was exhausted. The funny part was an hour later, when Peter was getting antsy and remarked on the troopers standing guard over him. I must have been


creaking, shifting my weight from one foot to the other as I stood, because Peter grumbled These stormtroopers are noisy, arent they? Im going to crush them if they dont be quiet. The crowd laughed. Inside my helmet, my eyes widened at the thought of Chewbacca pulling my arms out of their sockets. Later, Peter posed for a picture with us by towering over us and palming our helmets with his hands. It was pretty intimidating!
Why did you call this club the 501st Legion anyway?

Can we expect anything special for the 10th years anniversary of the legion next year?

anyone ever needs anything, Im here to listen. Long live the Empire! With the recent announcement of his wife, Kathy Johnson (TK-1079), expecting twins in the Fall, life seems to be getting busy yet again for the Johnson Family and so at this time I would like to personally thank Albin Johnson for taking the time to do this interview. So now my fellow troopers, its time to but on our buckets, do what we do best and make Albin proud once again for creating the 501st Legion.

Holy crap! Has it been 10 years already? Yes, I guess so. I dont know well have to see what happens.
Any general advice for someone wanting to join the Legion?

Just because. I have a whole list of bogus answers. To commemorate the 501st Paratroop Infantry Regiment in the D-Day invasion, because 5:01 is my favorite time of day (quitting time), because I liked the button-y jeans...etc. Truth is, I wanted a number for a militarysounding unit and it needed to be a big number (the Empires big, it should have lots of units). I wanted a motto for the unit, something that sounded tough in a non-specic way. The Fighting (ll in the blank) sounded good. That left four hundred or ve hundred as having an alliterative ring to it if added to the word ghting. So I chose ve hundred and added the one because it made it seem more realistic than a round 500. And yes, I knew of the military unit, but did not seek to dishonor it by copying it. Instead, I left it to be a nice nod to the unit by sharing their name. I hope weve done that.
Ok now just between us friends, whats the big secret everyone is buzzing about?

Turn 18, put together a quality costume, then try to join. I cant stress that enough. Id also stress how important a sense of teamwork and service is. This club is a beautiful thing, here for fun and for service. I would hope everyone can do both and work for the

betterment of the club. But the key is to be cool to one another. Everyone here is a friend.
Do you have any closing words for the members of the Legion?

Ha! Okay, youve got me. Ive been tapped to direct Episode 3.5: working title is Send in the Clones. Two and a half hours of stormtroopers tracking down and wiping out Jedi. Pretty moving stuff.

Yeah, wheres my royalty check? Seriously, though, I am proud of each and every member and I wish I could troop with everyone all over the world. Thatd be my wish. If


photo by SL-1877 David Byrne (UKG)

t o N

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to her move north and they put the Alaskan Outpost together, website and all ( Squads and outposts usually belong to a garrison, or geographical group. But because Alaska is so far away from the rest, our outpost sits all by its lonesome on the Outer Rim, like a present-day Tatooine. So far, there havent been any problems with the Alaskan Outposts distance from their robed and uniformed brethren. Its just costs more to have their light sabers shipped.

Half a World Away

by ?

The Empire Strikes North

by Monica Bradbury

House, Toys for Tots and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So far, the Alaskan Outpost hasnt been involved with any charity events; its still in a six-month probationary period. But they did have a booth at the recent SenshiCon anime event at UAA. Three of the four current members - Rebecca Lewis, Joe Kerley and Gary Fife - donned Tusken Raider, Shock Trooper and Death Star Trooper costumes respectively, while luring new members to the dark side by showing videos of some of the Legions events. Everyone said that seeing us there made the convention real, Lewis said via email. We got lots of interest. Lewis, a married mother of two, moved to Anchorage from Idaho about six months ago. She participated in 501st charity events in the Lower 48 and wanted to stay involved from Alaska. Lewis contacted Miranda Wilson of Juneau, the outposts fourth member, just prior

Alaska is moving to a darker place than the north side of a Tanana Valley hill in January. Thats because the Aurora Borealis Alaskan Outpost has recently become Alaskas rst member of the national 501st Legion, or Vaders Fist, a costume and fan club dedicated to the bad guys in the Star Wars lms. Started in 1997 by Albin Johnson of Columbia, South Carolina, Vaders Fist strives for accurate portrayal of Star Wars costumes, especially those from the dark side. But the more than 3,000 members dont get all dressed up and have nowhere to go. The 501sts motto is Bad guys doing good things. The fan club volunteers for organizations such as the Ronald McDonald

On Saturday, 14 January 2006, volunteers from the Philippine Outpost of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers, Star Wars Philippines fan club and the Philippine Outpost of the Rebel Legion assisted in bringing smiles to over 100 underprivileged children of Holy Family Parish community at the San Isidro community in Makati city, Metro Manila for their post holiday charity event organized by the Half A World Away Foundation.

The party started with breakfast for the children while being treated to a private viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope. When the half a world away organizers gave the signal, members of the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion and Star Wars Philippines fan club, coming out of nowhere, surprised the


crowds by marching in costume, much to the delight of the children (& the not so young alike). *chk* it was like a tidal wave of kids *chk*, said one stormtrooper. *chk* they smothered me with hugs and were pulling at my arms *chk*, he continued, *chk* it was like I was back on Endor *chk*.

gathered were printed and framed by the organizers and given to the children as part of their souvenirs. Half A World Away is a non-profit charity project based in Canada with volunteers in North America, the Middle East and the Philippines to enrich the quality of life of those who are underprivileged in the Philippines, particularly the children, by providing emotional support, as well as material and monetary donations.

The event continued with a special photo session with the costumed characters. Each child was given the chance to have their picture taken while the others took turns on being taught about proper dental hygiene by volunteers of the Makati Dental Society, and the rest of the children participated in the arts and crafts sessions. The photos

As members of the 501st legion, we in the Philippine outpost are just as delighted to have taken part in this meaningful charity event and we are looking forward to participate in other similar opportunities to come.


Weather Report
by Steve Brejnak TK465 Tigga

The Midwest Garrison Goes Cosmic Bowling

by Mary Walton BH-5202

saw him strutting around in his costume! He is great to troop and bowl with, both, in and out of costume. What really made the evening special was members getting a chance to get to know each other while catching up with each other off the boards. And since it was not a formal event, there was an aura of amusement and silliness that surrounded the group. New members like TK6442 showed up as well as some of the MWGs founding fathers TK604, TK826 and TK895. Good times were had by all spending time with good people. I would say that TK7503 summed it up well when he posted, Im really bruised up as well. The right thigh piece broke the skin on the back of my knee when I fell. Plus various other pinches and bruises. But it was well worth it. I had a great time.

Weather today:
Partly Sunny and dry with a low of 38 and high of 50

Rebel report:
Saw some guy in a dayglow orange jumpsuit poking around the shuttle pad. Jeez you should have seen the guyhe had porckchop sideburnsI mean comn who grows facial hair like that these days. So when I asked him what he was doing he told me he was in maintenance so I went back to breakfast and didnt give it another thought.

Members of the Midwest Garrison found themselves quite busy in 2005. With events ranging from new DVD and Book releases to birthday parties and weddings, there was a multitude of things to do! So, after getting through the holiday season and having things wind down, members decided a night of cosmic bowling was just the thing to get through the winter blahs. Meeting together on Jan. 7th, MWG members and family from as far north as Sheboygan, WI to as far south as Normal, IL gathered for a night of fun. Held in North Aurora at the AMF Valley Lanes, over 20 members plus family were able to make it out for this event. One of the memorable highlights of the evening was seeing TK523 bowl ve strikes in a row, while in his Tusken Raider outt! However, TK6254 took home the nights high score with a 180, although he did have the advantage of bowling with no armor. TK265, one of the founding members of the MWG, will perhaps be most the most vivid memory for all in attendance that

Hot Air Report:

The base commander called me on the phone. He was screaming at me from the top of his lungs but I couldnt quite make out what he was saying on account the noise of a shuttle taking off was loud enough to split an eardrum. The phone went dead shortly after that volley of blaster re came down from overhead. I suppose hell call back if it was important. To be honest it was more of a nuisance than anythingit interrupted me eating my bowl of fruity pebbles, which I might add, is rather difcult while wearing your helmettrust me. Other than that things have been pretty quiet around here. -Transmission ended


Garrison Tyranus The New England News Garrison

by Lori Frye by SL-7768

Its been pretty quiet so far this quarter. Our last major GT event was a Toys for Tots troop at the Toys R Us in Fredericksburg, VA on December 10, 2005. Eleven garrison members attended, and we were able to raise $1500 in donations over the course of the day. We attended the Farpoint Convention in Hunt Valley, MD the weekend of 2/17/06-2/19/06. We collaborated on a 501st fan club table with Old Line Garrison, and had a chance to socialize with members of the Carolina Garrison and Northeast Remnant as well. 501st members participated in the opening skit for the masquerade competition, and a masquerade entry of members from Old Line Garrison and Garrison Tyranus took rst place in the Science Fiction category. Photos are available from either event if you need them; just let me know and Ill get them from our garrison photographers. Here is a listing of our upcoming events: 3/4/06: Fight Multiple Sclerosis Bowlathon, AMF Hanover Lanes, Hanover County, VA 4/21/06-4/23/06: Ravencon, Richmond, VA 7/7/06-7/9/06: Shore Leave Convention, Hunt Valley Marriott, Hunt Valley, MD Please let me know if you need additional material, and I can send you details on the MS Bowlathon after it occurs (since its before our publication date). On Sunday, the 19th of March,

The New England Garrison, for the second year in a row, had the opportunity to participate in the South Boston St. Patricks Day Parade. This year marks the 105th annual celebration of this long serving tradition. The rst known parade took place in 1804 and the parade in its current form was rst introduced in 1901. The parade route is a 3.2-mile jaunt through the side streets of Southie, starting at Gillette Park and ending up on Southampton St in Andrewss Square. It is the second largest St. Patricks Day Parade in the country boasting an average of 850,000 spectators along the route. The NEG conquered the Streets of Boston by rst meeting together on Boston Wharf Road. The total number of participants this year swelled to well over 20 troops, including a few visitors from neighboring garrisons. We had two vehicles that completed the troops presence in the parade. The vehicles also provided transport to the staging area. Nothing tops black vehicles loaded to overowing capacity with the Empire cruising down the streets of Boston.

Once shuttled to the starting point, the real festivities began. As we waited our turn to be placed into the parade we had the opportunity to meet and great with several fans. Many smiling faces posed for pictures with their beloved heroes of the Empire. The start of the parade was an experience that one would have a hard time forgetting. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in a parade of this magnitude it can be hard to imagine the rush of adrenaline and surge of pride that swells through you. As I stood on the bed of the pick up truck anked by my ever-faithful Royal Guard, I had the special opportunity to survey all my troops marching to the sound of the Imperial March. It was an awesome sight to witness the crowds reaction as we entered the parade and rounded the rst corner. One could notice the deafening increased reaction as the Empire made its presence known. Screams of you guys rock, we love the Empire we but a few of the chants that could be heard. Then came the entrance of the Dark Lord himself. In all my life, I have never felt the power of the dark side like I did that day. One raise of the st, clenched in that ever-popular authoritative gesture, got another huge boost in the crowds excitement.

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The continued positive response we received was so overwhelming that members of the Boston Fire Department decided it may be worth their while to walk along side of the troops. At one point three jumped onto the back of the pickup to get a picture and had to be asked to step down after stealing Lord Vaders thunder for a good solid half mile. Over all the experience was one that Im sure none of us will forget. The smiles, the high ves, children asking for autographs and screams of Luke, I am your father and you were the chosen one will echo in the reective consciousness of this Dark Lord for some time.

us to appear at their annual Robot Wars competition. Sounds just like it is. Competitors build bots to smack the heck out of one another. How can Imperials not have fun when things are getting destroyed? Naturally, the premiere of ROTS was a big event for everyone in the Legion. Badlands gathered its members in both major Alberta cities, and turned out in force. We were featured in several newspapers and garnered plenty of television coverage as well. Badlanders were present throughout the opening weekend, and we got a lot of attention. One of our Vaders (SL0627) got an extensive interview in the Calgary Herald, and was dubbed Calgarys Darth Vader. In a companion-piece, several of our members were interviewed by the same paper for their Star Wars themed rooms or homes. The article, Otherworldly Spaces, featured a fantastic full-color, half-page photo of our own BH-8021 with his amazing collection and living room! In June, we hosted Badlands in the Badlands, which we hope will become an annual event. Nearly all Badlanders traveled to Drumheller, Alberta. A quiet little town located in guessed it... Badlands of Alberta. Members assembled for a local fundraiser to help the Drumheller hospital gather funds

for a new MRI machine. Much fun was had, although we discovered that the sun in the badlands gets pretty hot! From there, the troops embarked out into the wilderness for a professional photo shoot. The results are spectacular! After that... well, we wont get into details, other than the discovery that absinthe is an incredibly EVIL concoction, as several of our troopers found out. Both Edmonton and Calgary have annual fairs, which are huge events known world-wide. (The Calgary Stampede and Edmontons Klondike Days.) Badlands Garrison appeared at both events, although as we arent even remotely western or historically themed, we were in the pre parades. Our resolute troopers got up at ungodly hours to entertain the tens of thousands of people lining the parade routes, before the main parades began. What a great time we had! Im not certain when I recall quite so many photos being taken of us. Naturally, Halloween is always a busy time for the Legion. So it was with Badlands. We visited our Legislature grounds in Edmonton for a huge outdoor event, and visited the Science Center in Calgary, where the staff took over 3000 instant photos of us with kids to give the kids a free souvenir for the day.

Its Been a Super-Busy Year for the Badlands Garrison!

Weve grown by leaps and bounds in the past year, and we proudly became a Garrison in October of 2005! Were proud that weve grown so fast and garnered so many great new 501st members! Event-wise, weve been busy busy busy! With over 35 events in the past year, Badlands has been a VERY active Garrison.

Some highlights:
March 05 marked one of our rst Jail-N-Bail scenarios. Badlands was asked to kidnap a pastor at a charity fundraiser, and hold him for ransom. The crowd was awed and delighted with the events of the night! One of our shortest appearances, but it was certainly fun! In April, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) asked


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Plus, Badlands is extremely proud at all the activity weve done for fund-raisers, charities and awareness-walks. We participated in walks for MS, Aids, Lupus and more. Our members helped raise money for the Red Cross to help with relief for New Orleans. We attended the opening of a new sports-park designed for special-needs children. Plus we made charity appearances and/or helped raise monies for Ronald McDonald House, the SPCA, the Salvation Army and several other worthy groups. Add to all that a few visits to our local Childrens Hospitals, at which weve been warmly welcomed. (More photos from these events can be seen at our home on the web, Badlands plans to be just as active in the coming year, if not more so! We continue to grow and prosper, and make kids of all ages smile. In the end, thats the most important mission we have.

vices), American Cancer Societys Relay for Life, International Child Abuse Network, Advanced Resources for Abused Kids (supports abused children and their families through tutoring, mentor programs and special group events), and Ability First (an organization that empowers adults with disabilities). Photos can be found under our photo gallery at http://www. A slideshow of pictures from one of READ events can be found on their website at There were still other events for good causes worthy of a little more description. In October, the garrison helped raise $3,262 for American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief by participating in Norcos Brunswick Classic Lanes Star Wars Strike Force Bowling League Charity Drive ($1,631 was raised that evening, and Brunswick matched the donation dollar for dollar). In December, SCG members helped raise $385 for City of Hope and helped collect well over 100 toys for Toys for Tots thanks to the great supportive hosts at Frank & Sons Collectible show. In February, SCG was invited to participate in Tri-City Hospital Foundations 2006 Mardi Gras Charity Ball and Pageant Masquerade in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. It was quite the event complete with an indoor parade, troopers tossing beads a plenty, and partying it up with guests. The hospital foundation raised over $1,000,000 for the North San Diego County Child Study Center. This event was written up in the San Diego UnionTribune: news_1c10stiff.html. Though not charitable in nature, there have been other great opportunities for the SCG. Throughout the winter, garrison members had a strong showing in FIDMS Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star

Southern California Garrison

by Yvette

Wars. The garrison and sister fan clubs participated in the opening of the show, closing of the show, and at some fan days. FIDM has even graciously invited us back for a few more of their events this spring. The garrison helped promote ROTS DVD release and Battlefront II at a local Fall Out Boy concert. We were lucky to shoot some footage on two different occasions for G4TVs Attack of the Show. One video shoot was in promotion of Battlefront II and the other resulted in a fun little video that can be seen at http://www.g4tv. com/attackoftheshow/blog/AOTB/ post/522635/The_Empire_Wants_ You.html. We had the opportunity twice this season to mingle with guests at the home games of the Long Beach Ice Dogs (professional ice hockey team). We helped support Urban Mediums and Spiders Heavy Ammunition Project (an underground urban art and music collaboration). Their work is heavily inuenced by Star Wars and you can see it at and Plus, the San Diego Squadron helped Del Rey books and Timothy Zahn himself in promoting Outbound Flight. What do we have coming up next? The massive Comic Con in San Diego and its Droid Hunt, World Con, and much more! Everyone is invited to visit our message boards and join in on these great upcoming events!

The past six months have certainly been active for the Southern California Garrison. We have been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate with various groups in the community. Some of these events have become an annual tradition and some have invited us back for multiple visits in a very short period of time. Weve done some of these events in conjunction with our local sister Star Wars fan clubs too. Members of the SCG have donned their armor in support of READ Orange County (a group that provides adult literacy ser-