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Greater Houston Weekly Spotlights The 501st

Posted By Mike on October 27, 2009



Between all of the Star Wars in Concert events, season 2 of The Clone Wars, Fan Days III, and recently debunked movie rumors, it seems as if Star Wars has been all over the press lately. Greater Houston Weekly is no exception as they've taken the time to spotlight the good work of the 501st and the South Texas Squad.

From Greater Houston Weekly:

'“Luke Skywalker was right – you really can’t see a thing in those helmets,” said Ian Wilkinson, who is one of a growing number of “Star Wars” fans who dress up as Imperial Stormtroopers.

Lack of vision aside, dressing up as the white, armor-clad villains has been an eye-opening experience for Wilkinson and his colleagues in the South Texas Squadron of the 501st Legion.

“The camaraderie is excellent,” Wilkinson said. “Imperial troopers are some of the smartest and friendliest people I’ve ever met. I also really enjoy the reactions we get from the general public when we go out. Pretty much everyone knows and likes Star Wars, so we see a lot of happy faces and get our picture taken a lot. It’s like being famous.”

The members of the worldwide organization of Star Wars costumers are weekend fantasy warriors who attend charity events and science fiction conventions where, despite their villainous personas, they bring smiles and laughter to the masses.

The 501st Legion is the worldwide organization of costumers who dress up as Star Wars bad guys, including Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, bounty hunters and any character that sides with the Empire.

There are other groups, such as the Rebel Legion and The Jedi Assembly which cater to the good guys in the saga. But the 501st is the largest and most visible organization. It is broken down into garrisons, or regions (the Star Garrison includes Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas) which are then divided into squads. Houston area members are in the South Texas Squadron.

These Star Wars enthusiasts are to this generation what Trekkies were in the 1970s and ’80s. Only the fandom has been ramped up a level and given a charitable purpose. Instead of holding club meetings, the members go out on “troops,” where they appear in costume at charitable events. This year the local squad is on course to hit 60 events."



Click here for the full article and congrats to the South Texas Garrison for being featured.


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