A Mouseketeer's Journey to join the 501st Garrison: Part 1 The Decision By Robert Aultman
One of the events that have captured the imaginations of Disney, and Star Wars fans alike, is Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. 2012 was the first year that I was fortunate enough to attend. From Dath's Mall, to the stage shows, the sights and sounds of George Lucas’ famed science fiction phenomenon surrounded us. Nothing prepared me for the inspiration I was about to receive.
As my family, friends and I navigated the park towards Star Tours; an announcement was made about members of the 501st Garrison being part of the parades. Needless to say, I was intrigued. We stopped and watched the parade as a number of Sith Lords, Storm Troopers, Biker Scouts, and other assorted members of the Imperial Forces marched by. I knew then, I had to know who and what they were. So I did my homework.
What is the 501st Legion, you might ask? Since 1997, the costumed organization known as the 501st Legion has spread the magic of the Star Wars genre worldwide through its authentic-looking costumes, and has become the leading force in fan-based charity events. The 501st, also known as “Vader’s Fist,” is truly dedicated to brightening the lives of those less fortunate. They march in various parades, visit children's hospitals, and even the occasional birthday party or two. This was an organization I had to join.
So what was my first step? I located local Troopers in the state of Florida who encouraged the decision and showed me the ropes. The first real step after initial contact with established Troopers was to decide what costume or character I wanted to pursue. For me, I chose the character StarKiller. This character is in what is known as the Star Wars Extended Universe (EU), and is usually based off of the video games, books, comics, or animated series. I am a huge fan of Star Wars the Force Unleashed, so StarKiller was the natural decision.
Now I am undertaking the task of costume designing and submission for acceptance to the group. I will, of course, document some of the progress here on DBTN. It is the journey until next year's Star Wars Weekends that is going to be both challenging and fun.
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