June 27, 2008

Where Storm Troopers Come From

This is a really neat look at how Lego Storm Trooper helmets are made.

Clone Wars Novelization News!

This in from the Official Star Wars Blog:

Del Rey & LucasBooks announce Novels Based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Feature Film and Animated Series
June 25, 2008

This just in from the wire:

NEW YORK, NY – June 25, 2008 – LucasBooks and Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today that Del Rey will publish five novels to tie-in with the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars feature film, premiering on August 15, and the animated TV series that will air in fall of 2008 on Cartoon Network and TNT.

The first novel – Star Wars: The Clone Wars – is written by fan-favorite Star Wars author Karen Traviss, and will go on sale July 26, 2008. Popular science-fiction/fantasy author Karen Miller will write the second novel, to be published in December 2008. Both books will add depth, color and background to the screen stories and characters, making them must-reads for every Star Wars fan.

The story follows the heroic Jedi Knights as they struggle to maintain order and restore peace during the tumultuous Clone Wars. More and more systems are falling prey to the forces of the dark side as the Galactic Republic slips further and further under the sway of the Separatists and their never-ending droid army. Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano find themselves on a mission with far-reaching consequences, one that brings them face-to-face with crime lord Jabba the Hutt. But Count Dooku and his sinister agents, including the nefarious Asajj Ventress, will stop at nothing to ensure that Anakin and Ahsoka fail at their quest. Meanwhile, on the front lines of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda lead the massive clone army in a valiant effort to resist the forces of the dark side.

Del Rey Editor Shelly Shapiro says, “It is a gift to all Star Wars fans to see the franchise continue to grow and develop under the watchful and ever-inventive eye of its creator, George Lucas. The Star Wars galaxy is one of the richest fictional “worlds” ever invented, and it is exciting to be able to explore this new area with novels, as we’ve done with so much success–and so much fun–with the original six movies.”

The Western Michigan Whitecaps Will Restore Balance To The Universe

The Western Michigan Whitecaps Will Restore Balance To The Universe



Welcome to Minor Enterprise. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Saturday is Star Wars Night with the Western Michigan Whitecaps, where once again science fiction geek and baseball stat nerd call truce and come together for a night of revelry and excitement ("Hey, give me back my inhaler!"). Never before have so many costumed Star Wars characters descended on a minor league ballpark. Never before have your children witnessed Emperor Palpatine taking a leak in a trough urinal. Never before have so many adults been driven to the game by their parents. Plus, the players will be wearing Star Wars-themed jerseys (shown following the jump), Darth Vader will throw out the first pitch, and the National Anthem will be played on guitar by a Clone Trooper. And it's all for charity!

Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

To get you in the mood, here's an action-packed promotional video by the Whitecaps staff, featuring their mascot, Crash, in deleted scenes from Star Wars: A New Hope. (Even though he's wearing a mascot gopher head and can't change expression, he's still a better actor than Hayden Christiansen). Oh, and the young Anakin Skywalker will be there, bragging about his Midichlorian count and using his powers to get all the foul balls. This has become an annual event with the Whitecaps, with members of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming fan group, showing up each year and helping to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation (last year's haul: $3,000). Whitecaps players will be wearing custom Star Wars jerseys for the game, some of which will be auctioned off afterwards for that same charity. Here they be.

Full Article: http://deadspin.com/5019790/the-western-michigan-whitecaps-will-restore-balance-to-the-universe

501stCast: Episode 18: June 26, 2008: Jumpin’ in with Both Feet

Jumpin’ Joe Stevenson joins the 501stCast crew as we report the latest news on R2-KT, Honorary Member Katie Cook, Celebration Japan, and other 501st events around the world. The Rebel Legion also returns to give us a progress report on the RFT costume, and we conclude our exclusive interview with Gerald Home.

Show Notes: Episode XVIII (June 26, 2008)

Hosts: Dean Plantamura (TK-899), Varza (DZ-8772) and Jumpin’ Joe Stevenson (TK-6064)

Post-Production: Dean Plantamura (TK-899) and Lor (TK-7883)

Content Development: Nicky Blum (DZ-8397) and Dean Plantamura (TK-899)

Contributors: Andrew Liptak (TK-3220), Burr Martin (TD-9993), Chris Richards (TK-1073), Adam Scott (RC-6124), Bob Gouveia (BH-1171), Matt Hoffman and Chris Baker

Recent News

Honorary Member Interview with Gerald Home (part 2 of 2) (SWORA website)

Mission Reports

Rebel Legion Segment

Upcoming Events

Other

  • Trooper Websites: TK-8541 - Faithful Servant of the Empire
  • Contest/Giveaway - win an exclusive patch!
  • Honorary Member Birthday Wishes

    • Steve Sansweet (June 14th)

    • C. Andrew Nelson (June 22nd)

    • David Prowse (July 1st)

    • William Hootkins (July 5th)

    • Bruce Boa (July 10th)

  • 501stCast MiniCasts - Detachment Briefing and Stump the Trooper

icon for podpress Standard Podcast: Download

June 25, 2008

+ 1 TK in VT

Vermont numbers grew by one more person today! Mike Anton, who came along with me for the Kellogg-Hubbard troop and whom I helped build armor with, was just approved. Welcome TK-2084 to the New England Garrison!

June 23, 2008

Pictures from Kellogg Hubbard Library

Here's a couple of pictures from this weekend's event at Montpelier's Kellogg Hubbard Library:







More to come soon, I hope.

June 22, 2008

Mission Report: Summer Reading Kickoff at the Kellogg Hubbard Library



On June 21st, two troopers from the New England Garrison trooped at Montpelier's Kellogg-Hubbard Children's Library start to their summer reading program. We were contacted by one of the librarians in preparation for another event, and agreed to come out to this one.

This was a pretty low key event. Perhaps twenty children, ages 5 to 10 or so, attended the event, which was intended to promote reading for children. Over the next month and a half, they are going to be working towards reading as many books as possible, and will have the chance to win an FX lightsaber if they read 12 or more books during that time.

We, (Recruit Mike Anton and myself) mingled with the children and posted for a photograph with each child holding the lightsaber. I brought along my spare TK and TB helmets, which they were able to try on. They were very excited to see two troopers in the flesh (or plastic, so to speak).

A couple of the kids were a little over-excited with our presence, and we had to make sure that they didn't hurt themselves or us. (Their parents stepped in only after a couple minutes). Ben, the librarian, posed for a couple of pictures with us, and took some pictures for the library's website or newsletter. We'll be working with them again during the July 3rd Parade in Montpelier in a couple of weeks. Overall, a good, short troop, very fun.

We didn't have any problems on our end, although Mike had misplaced his shoulder straps, which we were able to correct with several stripes of duct tape. I had some problems with one of my thighs, but we didn't have any issues on the floor.

Pictures will be coming soon.

June 20, 2008

Upcoming Troops

I just compiled this list to see what events I'm doing this summer. There's a lot!

Upcoming Troops:
Kellogg-Hubbard Library, VT, June 21st
Montpelier Independence Day Parade, VT, July 3rd
Weird Al Concert, NH, July 15
Jump Con, Boston, MA, July 19/20
Borders Opening, MA, July 19
Midnight Toys R Us Event, NYC, July 25th
ConnectiCon, August 2
Montreal Kid's Day, August ??
Clone Wars Release, August 15
Montreal Balloon Festival, August 9
Birthday Party, August ??

Further out:
Woburn Halloween Parade, Oct 26
SuperMega Fest, November ??

Weee!

Events Report - June/July

The following events have been reported between June 20th and July 12th, 2008. Please remember that all events are subject to change without notice and to contact the hosting garrison prior to attending any event. As always, please report any omissions, errors or additions.

Friday Jun 20
Great Lakes Garrison - Drive-in Movie Night for Make-a-Wish - Chesterfield
70th Explorers - Wonderscope Space Camp - Shawnee , KS
UK Garrison - Summer Fayre for Hearing Impaired - Eggbuckland Vale Primary Schoo, Plymouth
Mountain Garrison - Relay for Life - Rio Rancho, NM
Ohio Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Holmes County - West Holmes High School Stadium, Millersburg, OH
Midwest Garrison - ACS Relay For Life - Sussex/Menominee Falls, WI
German Garrison - GG-Event im Freizeitpark "Schloss Thurn" - Heroldsbach
UK Garrison - Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline troop - Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3

Saturday Jun 21
Ohio Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Holmes County - West Holmes High School Stadium, Millersburg, OH
Midwest Garrison - ACS Relay For Life - Sussex/Menominee Falls, WI
German Garrison - GG-Event im Freizeitpark "Schloss Thurn" - Heroldsbach
UK Garrison - Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline troop - Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3
Alpine Garrison - Museum of the Rockies exhibit - Bozeman, MT
70th Explorers - Toys R Us Grand Opening - Topeka, KS
Golden Gate Garrison - Alameda County Fair Parade - Downtown Pleasanton, Pleasanton, CA
70th Explorers - Fulton Street Fair Grand Parade - Fulton, MO
German Garrison - Free Gaming - Rotterdam - Rotterdam
New England Garrison - Kellogg Hubbard Library Summer Reading Program, Montpelier, VT
Garrison Excelsior - Saratoga Springs Comic Con - Saratoga Springs, NY
Garrison Carida - WV University Childrens Hospital
Garrison Carida - Relay for Life - Coal Township, PA
UK Garrison - Fundraiser - Dale Primary School, Preston
Southern California Garrison - Foster Kids Picnic & Wellness Fair - Vista, CA
New England Garrison - Hasbro Kid's Carnival - Benefit: March of Dimes - Pawtucket, RI
Connecticut Garrison - Star Wars Outdoor Concert - Danbury, CT
Garrison Tyranus - Beachstreet USA in VA Beach Make A Wish Benefit - VA Beach
UK Garrison - Ty George Thomas Hospice - Tŷ George Thomas, Cardiff
Bloodfin Garrison - CMN Fundraiser - Greenwood Indiana
Florida Garrison - Stars of Hope Charity Fundraiser - N. Pinellas Park, FL
Florida Garrison - End of Year Party - Gulf Breeze, FL
Alpine Garrison - South Jordan City Parade & Festival - South Jordan City
UK Garrison - Rocket & Space - Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex
Southern California Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Fullerton, CA
UK Garrison - Forbidden Planet ~ West End Live - West End Live, London

Sunday Jun 22
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3
UK Garrison - Rocket & Space - Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex
Southern California Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay for Life - Fullerton, CA
UK Garrison - Forbidden Planet ~ West End Live - West End Live, London
Costa Rica Outpost - Cosparty
Southern California Garrison - ICAN Strike Against Child Abuse
Cloud City Garrison - Cloud City Garrison Meeting

Thursday Jun 26
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL

Friday Jun 27
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL
Neon Garrison - Weird Al Concert - Henderson, NV - Henderson, NV
UK Garrison - National Autistic Society ~ World record - Lego House, Berks
Midwest Garrison - Relay for Life - Normal, IL
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 4
Terror Australis Garrison - Super Nova - Perth

Saturday Jun 28
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL
Midwest Garrison - Relay for Life - Normal, IL
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 4
Terror Australis Garrison - Super Nova - Perth
Alpine Garrison - June Squad Night
70th Explorers - Toys R Us Grand Opening - Joplin, MO
Dune Sea Garrison - Arizona Babies and Children Expo - Glendale, AZ
UK Garrison - Summer Fayre for Disabled Children - Granta school for disabled chi, Cambridgeshire
Weird Al Concert - Kelseyville, CA - Kelseyville, CA
Alpine Garrison - West Bountiful 4th of July parade
Costa Rica Garrison - FESTIVAL CULTURAL DE CORONADO - San Pedro De Coronado
Southern California Garrison - Humane Society Event, - San Diego, CA
Carolina Garrison - Hemby Children's Hospital Visit - Private - Charlotte, NC
Alpine Garrison - Lehi Days Parade - Lehi City, UT
Great Lakes Garrison - West Michigan White-Caps Star Wars Night - Comstock Park, MI
Central Garrison - Hibbing Mines & Pines Jubilee Parade - Hibbing, MN
Garrison Excelsior - Buffalo Bisons Star Wars Night - Buffalo, NY
Nordic Garrison - Star Wars: The Exhibition - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
UK Garrison - Amagh Planetarium Astro Family Event - Armagh Planetarium, Armagh

Sunday Jun 29
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 4
Terror Australis Garrison - Super Nova - Perth
Nordic Garrison - Star Wars: The Exhibition - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
UK Garrison - Amagh Planetarium Astro Family Event - Armagh Planetarium, Armagh
Connecticut Garrison - Barnum Festival Parade - Bridgeport, CT
Garrison Excelsior - Ridgewood Manor Tract Party - Greece, NY
Cloud City Garrison - Sci-Fi / SuperHero Costume Bowling nite! - Kiezer OR
UK Garrison - Ty Hafen Hospice Fun Day - Ty Hafen Hospice, Sully
Weird Al Concert - Ventura, CA

Monday Jun 30
Weird Al Concert - San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA
Southern California Garrison - Stormtrooper Olympics at San Diego County Fair - San Diego, CA

Tuesday Jul 1
Southern California Garrison - Stormtrooper Olympics at San Diego County Fair - San Diego, CA

Wednesday Jul 2
Golden Gate Garrison - Marin County Fair - Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA

Thursday Jul 3
Golden Gate Garrison - Marin County Fair - Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
70th Explorers - Salute to America Parade - Jefferson City, MO
Garrison Excelsior - Buffalo Bisons Game - Buffalo, NY
Bloodfin Garrison - Weird Al Concert
Great Lakes Garrison - 4th of July Celebration - Grandville
New England Garrison - Montpelier Independance Day Parade - Montpelier, VT
Bloodfin Garrison - Weird Al Concert - Indianapolis, IN

Friday Jul 4
Golden Gate Garrison - Marin County Fair - Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
Central Garrison - Ralston Fourth of July Parade - Downtown - Ralston, NE
Garrison Carida - 4th of July Parade - Pottstown, PA
Southern California Garrison - Stormtrooper Olympics at San Diego County Fair - San Diego, CA
Alpine Garrison - Provo Freedom Days Parade
Carolina Garrison - Tega Cay parade - Tega Cay, SC
Midwest Garrison - 4th of July Parade - Racine, WI
Weird Al Concert - Louisville, KY
Neon Garrison - 4th of July Parade - Las Vegas
French Garrison - Japan Expo - Paris

Saturday Jul 5
Golden Gate Garrison - Marin County Fair - Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
French Garrison - Japan Expo - Paris
UK Garrison - The Percy Hedley Foundation Summer Fair 2008 - The Percy Hedley Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Southern California Garrison - Crestline Parade - Crestline, CA
Bloodfin Garrrison - Weird Al Concert - Merriville, IN
UK Garrison - Hardwick Primary School Carnival an Evening Social - Hardwick Primary School, Cambridge
UK Garrison - Derby Relay For Life - Moorways Sports Complex, Derby
French Garrison - Salon Collexion - Macon

Sunday Jul 6
Golden Gate Garrison - Marin County Fair - Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
French Garrison - Japan Expo - Paris
French Garrison - Salon Collexion - Macon
Midwest Garrison - Independence Day Parade - Bartlett, IL
Ohio Garrison - Weird Al Concert

Tuesday Jul 8
Garrison Excelsior - Webster Public Library Comic Book program - Webster, NY
Garrison Tyranus - Weird Al Concert

Wednesday Jul 9
Weird Al Concert - Atlantic City, NJ

Thursday Jul 10
Southern California Garrison - Family Day at Camp Pendleton - Camp Pendleton, Oceanside California
Empire City Garrison - Weird Al Concert
Dune Sea Garrison - Bookman's Free Kids Summer Events - Phoenix, Az
UK Garrison - Sandhurst 'Science Explosion' - Sandhurst School, Sandhurst

Friday Jul 11
UK Garrison - Sandhurst 'Science Explosion' - Sandhurst School, Sandhurst
Old Line Garrison - Weird Al Concert - Baltimore, MD
Canadian Garrison - Polaris 22 (Formerly Toronto Trek) - Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, ON

Saturday Jul 12
Canadian Garrison - Polaris 22 (Formerly Toronto Trek) - Doubletree International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, ON
Midwest Garrison - Surprise Party - Gurnee Mills, IL
Garrison Excelsior - RPO Concert at CMAC - Canandaigua, NY
Bloodfin Garrison - 3 Rivers Festival Parade 2008 - Downtown Fort Wayne, In
Old Line Garrison - Weird Al Concert - Washington, DC
Midwest Garrison - Adler Planetarium wedding reception - Chicago, IL
UK Garrison - Heroes For Sale - Heros for Sale, Inverness
Midwest Garrison - Old Settler's Day Parade - Rockton, IL
UK Garrison - Pirates of The Carribean Fair - Hartford Junior School, Huntingdon
Garrison Excelsior - Monroe County Fair Intergalactic Reception - Dome Arena, Henrietta, NY
UK Garrison - Frome Victoria Hospital - Frome Victoria Hospital, Somerset
Garrison Carida - Relay for Life - Pittsburgh, PA
UK Garrison - Macmillan Cancer Support Charity event - The Wulfrun Shopping Centre, Wolverhampton
Canadian Garrison - Paradise Comiccon - Holiday Inn on King Street, Toronto, ON

Total Stats thus far:
Jan - 31
Feb - 52
Mar - 112
Apr - 151
May - 291
Jun - 138
Jul - 84
Aug - 60
Sep - 29
Oct - 24
Nov - 10
Dec - 4
Total - 986

Connecticut Garrison In the News

The Connecticut Garrison just made the news:

'Invasion from Outer Space' in Danbury
Dress as your favorite 'Star Wars' character for pops concert Saturday on CityCenter Green
News-Times Staff
Article Last Updated: 06/20/2008 02:09:55 AM EDT


Storm Troopers from “Star Wars” will do battle as the Danbury Symphony Orchestra...


DANBURY ­-- Saturday the CityCenter Green will be invaded by "Star Wars" Storm Troopers. Have no fear, though ­-- this invasion is just for fun.

The Storm Troopers' appearance, plus a great family-friendly concert featuring the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, kicks off CityCenter Danbury's Summer Music Festival.

Everything gets started at 7:30 p.m. The Storm Troopers will do battle as the Danbury Symphony, directed by Ariel Rudiakov, performs a medley from "Star Wars" by John Williams. The DSO will also perform other selections including 2001: A Space Odyssey; "Fanfare for the Common Man," by Copland; "William Tell Overture," by Rossini; "Superman" by John Williams; and much more.

"Most of the music is from the movies, but there is a segment that we're dedicating to the armed forces," said Rudiakov. He also joked, "The music director may be fighting Darth Vador."

Everyone is invited to come dressed as "Star Wars" characters. At the end of the concert, which is free, parents may take pictures of their children with the Storm Troopers.

The Storm Troopers are from the Connecticut Garrison of the 501st Legion of Storm Troopers, a volunteer organization that appears in "Star Wars" costumes at various charity events. Charles Corrente, a founding member of the Connecticut group, organized the troopers for Saturday's show. He and other members, wearing impressive, homemade trooper costumes, are receiving a small donation for their appearance, which
Advertisement
they will give back to the Danbury community.

"The music is fantastic and the kids love us," Corrente said. "And the adults do, too."

Saturday's event will conclude with an outdoor laser light show presented by CityCenter.

The Danbury Symphony Orchestra has been the premier orchestra in Danbury since 1935. Its mission is to provide opportunities for area residents to perform great music and present concerts of high quality to the public.

Rudiakov said over 800 people attended last year's kickoff concert, and he's confident this year's event will be just as successful.

While the fun begins at 7:30 p.m. on Danbury's CityCenter Green on Ives Street, early arrival is suggested. Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic supper if you wish.

Lawn chairs are available for rent; ample parking is available at the Patriot Garage; downtown restaurants will provide take-out meals; and refreshments will be available for purchase.

In the event of bad weather, the rain location is at Danbury High School. The decision to relocate will be made by 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Source: http://www.newstimes.com/ci_9643377?source=most_emailed

June 19, 2008

At AdventureCon, fathers become superheroes

At AdventureCon, fathers become superheroes
KNOXVILLE (WVLT) – Fathers Day was Sunday, and for many, their dad was a hero all weekend. In downtown Knoxville, a convention of superheroes proved to be the perfect spot for dads to celebrate fatherhood with their sons and daughters.

"Why not wear purple spandex on a Saturday?" asked Joe Reinwald, who attended the Great Smoky Mountain's AdventureCon Show at the Knoxville Conventional Center with his young son. "There are other people here who are just as freaky as we are!"

During a trip through the large exhibition hall, you could run into Storm Troopers from Star Wars and even the Ghostbusters. Nearly 70 vendors took up residence in the shows booths and sold various sci-fi and superhero collectibles.

For the father-son, superhero-sidekick duo of Reinwald and son, it was a love for comics that brought them downtown.

"I'm dressed as Zan from the Wonder Twins, my son is my faithful sidekick Gleek and we're from the comic books," said Reinwald, before taking pride in his son following in his own footsteps. "He's just now starting to collect the Iron Man series, mainly because I was tired of him tearing up my own."

Another father and son duo included Andy Lane's and his boy, who was dressed in a homemade Storm Trooper uniform.

"It took a lot of trimming, sanding, and gluing stuff together," he said, mentioning he passed up wearing his own homemade uniform. "It's a little hard to dress up with a three year and follow him along."

According to Lane, sharing his passion for Star Wars is what made the weekend so special.

"Just having fun with him is better than actually getting a gift," he said.

Organizers admitted that they had heard similar stories from many people attending AdventureCon.

"I was watching the ticket booth, and all these dads and sons and dads and little girls were coming in," said JP Parks, an organizer. "It was very special."

AdventureCon warped up on Sunday, June 15th, 2008. Tickets cost $12.

Source - http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/19949534.html

Aliens invade Tampa Convention Center for Scout Con 2008


Aliens invade Tampa Convention Center for Scout Con 2008

By Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer
In print: Sunday, May 25, 2008
TAMPA — Jacob Polk and Clay Cumbee came all the way to the Tampa Convention Center from Dade City to see characters from one their favorite movies, Star Wars.


Flanked by storm troopers, Christian Allyn, known to his fellow Klingons as tIn’HIch’nuj, and Richard Woods, also known as Qahoine thlolrop, wait for the verdict in the Scout Con 2008 costume competition. The Klingons, from Clearwater and Tampa, respectively, took first place.


"There was an Ewok and a storm trooper," Clay mused.

Dressed in their Boy Scout uniforms, Jacob, 12, and Clay, 13, took photos with Vader's 501st Legion, which tours sci-fi conventions in full battle gear with replica weapons of those in the movies.

Hundreds of people came out to Scout Con 2008 Saturday to talk about space and see the stars of their favorite sci-fi TV shows.

The proceeds of the miniconvention will help maintain Scout troops in low-income areas that got a huge funding cut from the state this year.

Classic actors like Erin Gray of Buck Rogers and Grace Lee Whitney of Star Trek mingled with Scouts and their excited leaders and parents to help try to bridge the gap between space curiosity and exploration.

"I'd been to a lot of events like this before," said Ted Johnson, director for the Scouts' gulf region. "And I thought it would be great to do something like this in our area."

Johnson said 90 percent of all NASA's astronauts had been in Boy Scouts, so tying the organization to sci-fi didn't seem like a stretch.

Other actors better known for their work outside of Science fiction, such as Police Academy's Michael Winslow, also participated in the event.

"I was in the Scouts back when I was in Colorado," he said. "So any time I get a call from them, I'm interested."

Winslow, who is famous for his beat-boxing and noise imitations, was sure the Scouts would get a kick out of requesting sounds from him at his performance in the afternoon.

"I always get requests," Winslow said. "That's why I know the value of hot tea with lemon."

Sunnie J'oy Planthold, dressed in Star Trek gear with matching red and white hair, greeted children as they entered the convention.

"I'm a retired teacher, so I love to come to these things to help out my kiddies," she said.

Planthold and her husband, Ralph, run the USS Gasparilla, which gathers Trekkies to do community service in the area.

"It's great to translate something I'm a fan of into something good for the entire community," she said.

Johnson couldn't agree more.

"Events like this bring together Scouts from all over, and it benefits our lower-income Scouts," he said. "I can't think of a better reason to do it."

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or rmitchell@sptimes.com.

Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article523614.ece

PHOTO: War on Trash

PHOTO: War on Trash

Kristin Quick dons her Storm Trooper helmet at the Red Spring picnic area near Las Vegas on Saturday. Quick was attending "Don't Trash Nevada," an event sponsored by various public lands agencies to raise awareness about illegal dumping in the desert.
Photo by John Locher.


Source: http://www.lvrj.com/news/19437589.html

MR Helmet Stripes

Last night, I made the last external modifications to my MR bucket. As I've mentioned a couple of times now, there are several changed that need to be made to make this already cool helmet better.

Caulk Seam
Replace Lenses

Replace Stripes
Screws (I'm not going to do this with this helmet)

The stripes in question are the vents on the side of each helmet. The MR bucket's stripes are too dark and a little too small. Thus, they need to either be repainted or have decals applied. Fortunately, there's some reasonable and cheap decals out there. I've since purchased a couple of these for people who've also recently gotten the helmet.

I found that I didn't even need to take the old stripes off. These new ones covered it nicely. The decals that I purchased could probably be applied as a stripe, but my experience with that has been iffy, and my FX helmet really shows as the stripes are pretty lopsided. So, I removed the backing and applied each decal individually, over each pre-existing stripe to get the proper placement and orientation. It took me about a half hour in all, very quick and painless, and my helmet is now, for all in tents and purposes, done.

June 18, 2008

R2-KT In Clone Wars?

This story has been making it across the various Star Wars news places over the day: R2-KT might be in the Clone Wars movie when it's released this year.




R2-KT, for those of you who don't know, is a pink R2 unit that was created in honor of Katie Johnson, the 501st Legion's daughter who we lost to cancer a couple of years ago. This is absolutely fantastic news. Kudos to theforce.net for the good news.

June 17, 2008

501st Mention in If magazine

I came across this mention of the 501st in this interview with Liam Sullivan:

iF: Your videos have Stormtroopers from STAR WARS, and dancers, and zombies, and a wide variety of interesting background players. Are these all people you know?
SULLIVAN: Yeah pretty much. The Stormtroopers are from an organization called the 501st Legion. They donate their services at function and then you donate charity in their name. I found them online and contacted their local chapter. Everyone else were friends or friends of friends. It still has that feel of ‘hey guys you want to shoot a video?’

Read the full interview here.

The video that they mentioned is here:
(Caution, there's a lot of strong language here)


..

Gas Prices, The Economy and Trooping





In August of 2007, two major lenders in the American Subprime mortgage industry, American Home Mortgage and Countrywide Financial filed for bankruptcy or came close to doing so. This helped trigger a ripple effect that eventually led to the current economic recession in the United States. This ripple effect, augmented by rising fuel prices, has caused monetary problems throughout the world and the US. The American dollar has dropped, employment and domestic sales has dropped while the cost of oil breaks records almost everyday, contributing to a rise in global food prices.

This has several discrete effects on the activities of the members of the 501st Legion. With members in every state around the US and in numerous countries, the combined rising prices and fuel and goods is beginning to influence the activities of the members within the Legion.

The primary effect that this is having is in the ability of the members abilities to travel to and from events. Troopers have reported fuel prices anywhere from four to five dollars a gallon, which in some cases leads to an increased cost when it comes to attending events.

Some garrisons are harder hit than others. Some have members concentrated in a smaller area, such as the Neon City Garrison of Nevada, or the New England Garrison, which is mainly concentrated around Boston. Other garrisons, such as Excelsior and some of the California garrisons, cover a lot more ground, with troopers spread out much more. This in turn makes it much harder for members to make it out to events.

Carpooling seems to be the most common way in which people get to and from events. Numerous people have stated that they will often try and get several troopers together in each vehicle, which helps cut down on gas prices per person traveling, and has the added effect of getting cars off the road, which then in turn leads to fewer emissions, if one looks at all the benefits of this. Others limit which events they are attending. Several have said that they won't attend an event that is more than a couple of hours away from where they live, and pick and choose events more carefully.

Another major effect that the rising prices of petroleum is increases in prices for ABS and other types of plastic. According to at least one armor maker, because the price of plastic is rooted in the price of crude oil, the prices of raw materials has gone up, which will most likely cause this already fairly expensive hobby to get a little more expensive.

Some people have coped by selling off their sets. A number of sets have come across the trading section on the legion forums prefaced by: 'I really hate to do this, but...' followed by the sale of a suit in order for one of our members to focus on more important things, such as the regular onslaught of bills and food. It is an unfortunate thing to see happen. I for one had to contemplate selling off my scout armor at one point (I didn't, for which I'm very glad), and I cannot imagine selling my TK armor for any price. It's far too special for me, and I think this underscores the problems that some people are having during these difficult times.

I can't say that I've been wholly effected as badly by the economic crisis. Vermont has been largely spared in the housing market, and I feel that I have a job that is both secure and leaves me with enough time and money to continue this hobby. Since I've gotten back into the swing of things, I've attended a number of events that have been three to four hours away from where I am, and I'm planning on doing it several more times this summer. Currently, my expenses are fairly low, and this helps keep me active and able to attend events.

Because of my location, I have found it difficult to arrange events up here in Vermont. Many members in my garrison aren't willing or able to drive the distance up, and with prices the way they are, I can hardly blame them - it can cost around $60-$70 in my car to get to and from some of these events. This has largely influenced me to recruit more in the state, which is slowly happening, to help build up a good local base, and to work more closely with the Canadian Garrison, which is much closer to us than most of our members.

A positive note is that while the fuel prices have mainly effected troopers abilities to get to and from various events, translating into lower attendance at various events, there hasn't been any firm indication that donations at and for events has gone down at all because of current events. While it certainly makes people think twice about driving to and from events more, its a positive sign that what we do is still valued and needed.

June 16, 2008

Darth Vader Dances To Thriller

Okay, I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfIH-Bn_fbE


..

And We're Back!




This has me really, really excited. The Unofficial Clone Wars site is now back and running!

From 2003 to 2006, I worked on this webpage in the leadup to the movie Revenge of the Sith, helping put together one of the biggest and most comprehensive Clone Wars databases out there, with information on the characters, locations, battles, reviews and interviews. After Revenge of the Sith, we all took a break, and the site went by the wayside.

Until now - with the movie coming out this August, we decided to dust it off and start again, and the side can now be seen at its new home: http://theclonewarz.net. Go check it out and let us know what you think!

June 13, 2008

Events Report - June 13 - June 30

The following events have been reported for the 501st Legion between June 13th and June 30th, 2008. Please note that all events are subject to change without notice and to contact the hosting garrison prior to attending any event.

Friday Jun 13
Empire City Garrison - American Cancer Society: Relay for Life - Fishkill, NY
Florida Garrison - Orlando Predators Half-time show
70th Explorers - Relay For Life - Ozark, Mo
Midsouth Garrison - ADCON
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 2

Saturday Jun 14
Midsouth Garrison - ADCON
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 2
Northeast Remnant - Walk for Autism - Mount Laurel NJ
Southern California Garrison - Garrison Start of Summer Picnic
Garrison Carida - Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games - Newark, DE
Old Line Garrison - Provinces Library
Southern California Garrison - Encino/ Sherman Oaks Optimist Dad's Day Dash
Garrison Carida - Indiana Township DARE Day - Indianola, PA
UK Garrison - Cotswold Wildlife Park Sponsored Walk - Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxfordshire
UK Garrison - Rhiwbina Primary School Fete - Rhiwbina Primary School, Cardiff
Garrison Tyranus - Great Wolf Lodge Resort - Williamsburg
Garrison Excelsior - Fort Drum Centennial Celebration
Garrison Carida - Race for the Cure - Allentown, PA
Garrison Carida - 11th Annual Ford City Relay for Life - Ford City
70th Explorers - Pevely Flea Market Sci/Fi & Comic Book Show - Pevely , MO
Star Garrison Crimson Nova Squad - Family Fest @ Sylvan Hills Church of Christ - Sherwood, AR
Florida Garrison - Stars of Hope Charity Fundraiser - N. Pinellas Park, FL
Carolina Garrison - Special Olympics - Winterville PD Car Show - Winterville, NC
Florida Garrison - ASSIMILATION 2008 SciFi Event

Sunday Jun 15
Midsouth Garrison - ADCON
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 2
Midwest Garrison - Relay for Life / Star Wars Breakfast - Racine, WI
Garrison Carida - Shriners Children's Hospital - Philadelphia, PA
UK Garrison - Sheffield Childrens Hospital Theo Bear's Party! - Sheffield Childrens Hospital, Sheffield
UK Garrison - St Patrick's Church Garden Party - St Patricks Church, Scotland
Swiss Garrison - Comic Convention - Schauspielhaus in Volkshaus

Wednesday Jun 18
UK Garrison - Terry Cooper book launch - The Friary, Cardiff

Friday Jun 20
Great Lakes Garrison - Drive-in Movie Night for Make-a-Wish - Chesterfield
70th Explorers - Wonderscope Space Camp - Shawnee , KS
UK Garrison - Summer Fayre for Hearing Impaired - Eggbuckland Vale Primary Schoo, Plymouth
Mountain Garrison - Relay for Life - Rio Rancho, NM
Ohio Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Holmes County - West Holmes High School Stadium, Millersburg, OH
Midwest Garrison - ACS Relay For Life - Sussex/Menominee Falls, WI
German Garrison - GG-Event im Freizeitpark "Schloss Thurn" - Heroldsbach
UK Garrison - Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline troop - Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3

Saturday Jun 21
Ohio Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Holmes County - West Holmes High School Stadium, Millersburg, OH
Midwest Garrison - ACS Relay For Life - Sussex/Menominee Falls, WI
German Garrison - GG-Event im Freizeitpark "Schloss Thurn" - Heroldsbach
UK Garrison - Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline troop - Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3
Alpine Garrison - Museum of the Rockies exhibit - Bozeman, MT
70th Explorers - Toys R Us Grand Opening - Topeka, KS
Golden Gate Garrison - Alameda County Fair Parade - Downtown Pleasanton, Pleasanton, CA
70th Explorers - Fulton Street Fair Grand Parade - Fulton, MO
German Garrison - Free Gaming - Rotterdam - Rotterdam
New England Garrison - Kellogg Hubbard Library Summer Reading Program
Garrison Excelsior - Saratoga Springs Comic Con - Saratoga Springs, NY
Garrison Carida - WV University Childrens Hospital
Garrison Carida - Relay for Life - Coal Township, PA
UK Garrison - Fundraiser - Dale Primary School, Preston
New England Garrison - Hasbro Kid's Carnival - Benefit: March of Dimes - Pawtucket, RI
Connecticut Garrison - Star Wars Outdoor Concert - Danbury, CT
Garrison Tyranus - Beachstreet USA in VA Beach Make A Wish Benefit - VA Beach
UK Garrison - Ty George Thomas Hospice - Tŷ George Thomas, Cardiff
Bloodfin Garrison - CMN Fundraiser - Greenwood Indiana
Florida Garrison - Stars of Hope Charity Fundraiser - N. Pinellas Park, FL
Florida Garrison - End of Year Party - Gulf Breeze, FL
Alpine Garrison - South Jordan City Parade & Festival - South Jordan City
UK Garrison - Rocket & Space - Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex
Southern California Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay for Life - CA
UK Garrison - Forbidden Planet ~ West End Live - West End Live, London

Sunday Jun 22
Carolina Garrison - HeroCon - Charlotte, NC
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 3
UK Garrison - Rocket & Space - Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex
Southern California Garrison - American Cancer Society Relay for Life - Fullerton, CA
UK Garrison - Forbidden Planet ~ West End Live - West End Live, London
Costa Rica Outpost - Cosparty
Southern California Garrison - ICAN Strike Against Child Abuse
Cloud City Garrison - Cloud City Garrison Meeting

Thursday Jun 26
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL

Friday Jun 27
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL
Neon Garrison - Weird Al Concert - Henderson, NV - Henderson, NV
UK Garrison - National Autistic Society ~ World record - Lego House, Berks
Midwest Garrison - Relay for Life - Normal, IL
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 4
Terror Australis Garrison - Super Nova - Perth

Sunday Jun 29
Midwest Garrison -Wizard World Chicago - Rosemont, IL
Florida Garrison - Star Wars Weekend 4
Terror Australis Garrison - Super Nova - Perth
Nordic Garrison - Star Wars: The Exhibition - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
UK Garrison - Amagh Planetarium Astro Family Event - Armagh Planetarium, Armagh
Connecticut Garrison - Barnum Festival Parade - Bridgeport, CT
Garrison Excelsior - Ridgewood Manor Tract Party - Greece, NY
Cloud City Garrison - Sci-Fi / SuperHero Costume Bowling nite! - Kiezer OR
UK Garrison - Ty Hafen Hospice Fun Day - Ty Hafen Hospice, Sully
Weird Al Concert - Ventura, CA

Monday Jun 30
Weird Al Concert - San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

eFX Helmets On Sale

This in from theforce.net, which posted this story (which seems to be from a press release):

eFX ANNOUNCES JULY 8, 2008 AS THE ON-SALE DATE FOR THE STORMTROOPER(tm) HELMET

We are very excited to announce that our very first product, the Episode IV: A New Hope(tm) Stormtrooper(tm) Helmet will go on sale Tuesday, July 8, 2008. In the U.S. it will be available on our website, www.efxcollectibles.com, and Star Wars Shop will have a very limited quantity, as well.

- Full size Stormtrooper(tm) Helmet - Asymmetrical, hero version
- Worldwide Edition: 500
- Digitally scanned and cast of an original screen used helmet
- Fiberglass construction with fully padded interior
- 2 sets of “bubble” lenses, grey and green
- Display Stand
- Numbered Plaque and Plaque Stand
- Certificate of Authenticity

ORDERING INFORMATION AND RULES
- Order date and time is July 8, 2008 at 9AM Pacific Daylight Savings Time.
- THIS IS NOT A PRE-ORDER. Product will be ready to ship in 3-5 business days.
- The limit is 1 (one) per person on the first day. If any remain after the first day, you can order a second one. Any order with more than 1 (one) helmet or duplicate orders on the first day will result in the cancellation of BOTH orders.
- Ordering will be via www.efxcollectibles.com ONLY, no phone or mail orders.
- Payment by VISA, MasterCard and American Express ONLY.
- Please review our Return Policy on our website before purchasing.
- International customers can purchase either through an authorized retailer in their country or on our website. However, if you order directly from us, you will be responsible for all shipping costs, duties, taxes and other fees.

As we had announced previously, if you ordered a Stormtrooper(tm) Helmet DIRECT from Master Replicas and your order was cancelled, you will have priority ordering for this helmet. And now It is even easier since Master Replicas has graciously agreed to verify anyone whose order was cancelled, so you can stop trying to hunt down your cancellation e-mail. So, if your order was cancelled and you are interested in purchasing one of these helmets, please e-mail Amy your contact information with the best time to contact you during business hours, at customerservice@efxcollectibles.com and she will contact you to give you the ordering instructions. You must contact Amy by July 1, 2008 to reserve your helmet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Amy at customerservice@efxcollectibles.com

501st Caught on Camera

Here's a series of pictures of the 501st from the past week:

Trooper in Austin Texas:


I just found this hilarious:


A clone trooper, Garrison unknown:



Trooper at Dragon*Con:

Troopers from Brazil:




UK Garrison and London Cops:


UK Trooper in Maidenhead:


Troopers in Omaha:

Some fun at Wizard World Philly:







Scout Trooper:

Some more Star Wars Weekend pictures:




TK at the UK Games Expo:


TKs at a wedding:


TKs:


TK at Warsaw, Poland:




501stCast: Episode 17: June 13, 2008: TK-899, Why Aren’t You at Your Post?

The latest podcast is now up!

501stCast: Episode 17: June 13, 2008: TK-899, Why Aren’t You at Your Post?

Part one of an interview with Gerald Home (Squidhead/Mon Calamari Officer), an on-site report from Disney’s Star Wars Weekends, a Droid Hunt roundtable, and 501st news and event coverage from around the globe.

Show Notes: Episode XVII (June 13, 2008)

Hosts: Nicky Blum (DZ-8397), Varza (DZ-8772) and Lor (TK-7883)

Post-Production: Dean Plantamura (TK-899), Lor (TK-7883)

Content Development: Nicky Blum (DZ-8397)

Contributors: Andrew Liptak (TK-3220), Burr Martin (TD-9993), Dean Plantamura (TK-899)

Recent News

Honorary Member Interview with Gerald Home (part 1 of 2) (SWORA website)

Mission Reports

Upcoming Events

Other

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