[TF.N Main] [Contact Us]
[Latest News - Main]
[More...]
[TFN FanFilms Now On YouTube.com]
[Popular Stories]
CEII: Jabba's Palace Reunion - Massive Guest Announcements

Star Wars Night With The Tampa Bay Storm Reminder

Stephen Hayford Star Wars Weekends Exclusive Art

ForceCast #251: To Spoil or Not to Spoil

New Timothy Zahn Audio Books Coming

Star Wars Celebration VII In Orlando?

May The FETT Be With You

Mimoco: New Mimobot Coming May 4th

[Jedi Council Forums]
Who Doesn't Hate Jar Jar anymore?

Fans who grew up with the OT-Do any of you actually prefer the PT?

Should darth maul have died?

What plotline, character or scene in the entire Saga irritates you the most?

The misconceptions you had about Star Wars, when you were a kid
[Poll]
There are no polls
currently operating
in this sector.
Please check
back soon.

View Poll Archives


A New Hope? The Empire Gives Back

Posted By Mike on May 6, 2007

The Orlando Sentinel website has a fantastic review of Heart of an Empire from Sentinel movie critic Roger Moore, that doubles as a full on tribute to the men and women of the 501st. See below for a couple exerpts:

"You see them at movie premieres, at fan conventions, any place the subculture we call "fanboys" gathers.

They are obsessed devotees of this TV show, that comic book or movie, people so enamored with the fantasy that they dress up as their favorite characters and role-play, in costume, in public -- Vulcans and Romulans and Sand People, oh my.

But the fanboys and girls all know that you can dab on the perfect shade of green or twirl your hair into the grandest Princess Leia twist: Nobody will give you a second look when the phalanx in white and black -- the Star Wars stormtroopers -- march in.

"You get characters from every anime movie or TV show under the sun" at conventions like MegaCon or FX," says Rick Stafford, Clone Trooper TC 7425, from Orlando. "When we show up, everybody turns and goes, 'I have got to get a picture with you!' "



I had to include this exerpt as well. It was too moving not to. See for yourself...


"On a weekend in late March of 2005, passers-by might have wondered just what was going on at Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home in Orlando. Scores of stormtroopers, Death Star flag officers and Boba Fett look-alikes milled around the chapel on Lake Ivanhoe.

Rick Stafford's son, Christian, was 8 years old. He had inherited his father's love for "everything and anything to do with Star Wars," his father says. "Toys, Legos, lightsabers, all of it." But Christian had leukemia. Rick had seen troopers at Disney's Star Wars weekends and had wanted to hire them to come visit his son in the hospital, "maybe take him out of this awful reality he was living in and into this fantasy world he loved, just for a little while."

He found out who they were but couldn't hire them. They would come for free, they said. But Christian took a turn for the worse and died before the visit could take place. On that late March day, stormtroopers from as far away as Miami and Jacksonville came, strangers all, to the funeral of a little boy they had never met.

"We were coping with Christian's death and trying to set up this service to celebrate his life," Stafford recalls, still emotional about what he saw that day. "And the leader of the Orlando squad, Esh Velazquez, said 'You work on your stuff. We'll take care of the rest.' "

They suited up and served as ushers and an honor guard for Christian. They made Christian an honorary stormtrooper, TC 1219 ("A clone trooper, just like his dad, who protected the Jedi in Attack of the Clones," his father says.). At day's end, Florida's members of the 501st presented Stafford, 37, with "this huge box, a plastic kit, and they said 'You seem like the sort of guy who shares what we're about,' " Stafford remembers. "I was invited in, right then and there."

He thought about it. Then he put the kit together. Often that's done at an "armor party," where folks with heat guns and Dremel tools trim and bend the plastic to match the trooper they're outfitting. If you don't get the fit right, you get "armor kisses, armor bites" from the plastic pieces at the joints. Stafford finished his and made a promise to himself and his dead son.

"I will wear it as long as I can march."


Click here for the full 3 page story and review.

Make sure to visit the main site of Heart of an Empire here.




Related Stories

August 2, 2009   A New Hope Screening In Modesto, CA





[Latest News - News Archives]
BBC Interviews J.J. Abrams About Trek And Wars
Posted By Eric on May 3, 2013:
Episode VII gig "once in a lifetime opportunity"

CEII: Jabba's Palace Reunion - Massive Guest Announcements
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
10 new guests announced!

Fathead's May the Fourth Be With You!
Posted By Philip on May 3, 2013:
30% off Star Wars Fatheads

Star Wars Night With The Tampa Bay Storm Reminder
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
Saturday, May 4th at 9:00pm!

Stephen Hayford Star Wars Weekends Exclusive Art
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
Hunt down all four prints!

ForceCast #251: To Spoil or Not to Spoil
Posted By Eric on May 3, 2013:
Erik and Eric discuss a central issue of our time

New Timothy Zahn Audio Books Coming
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
Allegiance, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future!

SDCC: Exclusive Black Series Boba Fett With Han In Carbonite Set
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
USA Today reveals Hasbro's offering

Star Wars Art Exposition May 4th
Posted By Philip on May 3, 2013:
It's Happening In Houston

Star Wars Celebration VII In Orlando?
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
Story updated inside

The Force Within Us Celebrates May The 4th Be With You!
Posted By Jay on May 3, 2013:
Amazing freebies!

The Clone Wars Takes Home Voice Acting Trophies
Posted By Eric on May 2, 2013:
Series wins People's Choice for Best TV Vocal Ensemble

Star Wars Origami Free May 4th Download
Posted By Dustin on May 2, 2013:
Workman Publishing Posts Fun Freebie

May The FETT Be With You
Posted By Dustin on May 2, 2013:
The Dented Helmet / MIMOBOT giveaway!

Mimoco: New Mimobot Coming May 4th
Posted By Chris on May 2, 2013:
Who will it be?

WeLoveFine Loves May The 4th
Posted By Dustin on May 2, 2013:
Contest winners and t-shirt sales all weekend!

May The Fourth Grant You Savings On A Great Book!
Posted By Dustin on May 2, 2013:
Gus and Duncan's Comprehensive Guide to Star Wars Collectibles

Star Wars Island In Geoffrey's Jungle
Posted By Dustin on May 2, 2013:
Toys "R" Us Celebrates May the 4th

Catalog Details For New Essential Characters Guide
Posted By Eric on May 2, 2013:
Synopsis, quick facts, and rough release date

Synopsis Posted For Star Wars: Kenobi
Posted By Eric on May 2, 2013:
"The Republic has fallen. Sith Lords rule the galaxy."

The Empire Circulates Propaganda Video
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Say Yes to the Empire! Say No to May the 4th!

Zen Studios Celebrates May 4th With A Star Wars Pinball Sale
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
50% off Star Wars
May The 4th Be With You At Coagula Curatorial
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Costume contests, games, screen-printing, puppets, & more!

Jedi Journals: May 2013
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Chris & Jay discuss their May The 4th (Be With You) plans!

The Making Of Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi Cover Revealed
Posted By Chris on May 1, 2013:
EW.com also posts five exclusive images

Her Universe Unveils New May The Fourth SW Products
Posted By Eric on May 1, 2013:
Six new items go on sale on May 4th

Why Is May The 4th Called Star Wars Day?
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Learn some of the history behind the day

The Clone Wars Nominated For Daytime Emmy Awards
Posted By Eric on May 1, 2013:
Cast and crew honored by National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

OfficialPix May The 4th Exclusives
Posted By Chris on May 1, 2013:
Two new photos for Star Wars Day!

Toledo Mud Hens Feel The Fourth With Wookiee Jersey
Posted By D_Martin on May 1, 2013:
Toledo Mud Hens Feel The Fourth

Christopher Lee Celebrates May The 4th With Cool Print
Posted By D_Martin on May 1, 2013:
Celebrate May The 4th With An Awesome Print

Celebrate Star Wars Day And Save At HasbroToyShop.com
Posted By D_Martin on May 1, 2013:
20% Off At HasbroToyShop.com

Stride Rite Celebrates May The 4th
Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013:
Get 25% off this weekend!

[TF.N Newsletter]
Enter Email Address:
Find Out More...
[All Posters]
Jango Fett - Episode II - Stand Up
AllPosters.com
Search For Posters, Cardboard Stand-Ups & T-Shirts!
[Rebelscum.com - Star Wars Collecting]
[TheForce.Net - FanFilms]
[TheForce.Net - FanForce] [TheForce.Net - Fan Art]
[More News...]
TheForce.Net - Your Daily Dose of Star Wars
THEFORCE.NET IS NOT ENDORSED BY LUCASFILM, LTD. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLAIMER. © 2014 COPYRIGHT TF.N, LLC
The Galaxy is Listening
[TF.N Main] [TF.N FAQ] [Contact Us]