Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Imperial Storm troopers have feelings too.....

The 501st Legion on Call at C2E2
It may be time for all of us to accept that we have been lied to.  For decades now, we have all been led to believe that the Galactic Empire and their minions were nothing more than a group of power hungry, greedy, SchutzStaffel-ish soldiers with no purpose other than striking fear in the hearts of all humanoids they encounter throughout the galaxy.
                It is time for these ideas to change.  While those who label themselves rebels have persisted in giving the Galactic Empire a terrifying image, these “evil” Imperials are busying themselves with actions that bring smiles to hundreds and perhaps thousands of individuals in the Mid-Western United States alone.  Leading this charge of charitable actions are a group of passionate and creative individuals who march under the banner of the 501st Legion, also known as “Vader’s Fist”(though from my new standpoint I believe “Vader’s Philanthropic Mechanical Hand” would be a more suitable name, but it just does not seem to roll of the tongue as well).
                The 501st Legion gives back to the community in numerous ways, and all are done out of the kindness of their Imperial hearts, with no personal financial gain being made by any of the 501st’s members.  When you see the 501st marching during parades on the Fourth of July, the rebels would have you believe the 501st is there to show off their strength and strike fear in every individual along the parade route.  This could not be further from the truth, and this one sided propaganda has gone on far too long.

                The 501st has specifically done some AMAZING work with the Make a Wish Foundation by providing once in a life time opportunities to children with terminal illness.  If a child with an illness has a dream of being able to meet members of the Galactic Empire, or even practice their light saber dueling skills against a Sith lord, the 501st is more than happy to and grant a child their wish.  It is amazing the lengths the 501st is willing to go to oblige those in need.
From community festivals and private birthday parties, Sporting events and corporate parties, to their relentless efforts in helping the Make A Wish foundation, the 501st legion has shown that its members are willing to bring smiles to the faces of so many people.  Smiles are not the only thing they help to bring to people at the events they participate, they also donate all payments received for making such appearances to a wide array of charities.  Definitely important information that has conveniently been kept out of the Rebellions reports on the Galactic Empire.
I was lucky enough to hear a speech by TK 8968, a Stormtrooper who is on the front-lines of the Empires charitable efforts, and he informed me of some of events that he and his comrades in the 501st partake in.  When informing me of the 501st’s work involving Make A Wish Foundation, I could tell he was choking back tears behind his normally concealing veil of his trooper’s helmet.  That kind of heart and emotion is not what I had expected from what is considered to be the most brutal and hate filled force in the galaxy.
           Reminiscing on my previous opinion of the Empire, I must say that I could never have imagined a Sith lord helping to put a smile on the face of a sick child.  This horrific misrepresentation of the Galactic Empire has gone too far.  While nice guys may be known to finish last, it is about time that we change that, and cause the nice guys(The Empire) to finish first.  It is the least we can do to support such a kind and giving organization.
          If it had not been for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition, I may never have had the chance to discover some of the great things that TK 8968 and the rest of the 501st provide to people around the world.  On this planet alone they are providing strong helping hands to people on 6 continents. 
          At this point, I cannot possibly believe the Death Star had any purpose other than simply being a large mining facility with a massive laser used to help blue collared Imperials make a living wage.  In a universe that needs jobs, every job counts.

501st Legion Members at C2E2

Under the white helmet: The 501st Legion are the largest star wars costume organization, and they have members all throughout the world.  The members are dedicated to promoting Star Wars through the constructing and wearing film quality costumes to numerous different events, both for Star Wars promotions as well as charitable events. 
                At the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition 2012(C2E2), the Midwest garrison of the 501st was there to show off their intricate Star Wars costumes.  While there may be costumes that are available to purchase, the costumes worn by the members of the 501st are of far superior quality.  Often times, the costumes themselves are actually of better quality and workmanship than those seen in the movies. 
While the movie costumes are made to be worn over at most a couple weeks period, the costumes made and worn  by the 501st are made to be worn many times over years periods of time and have to be capable of withstanding constant motion and different weather conditions.  The passion within members of the 501st Legion often causes them to spend large amounts of money on their costumes in order to insure their integrity in being a perfect representation of the model their costume is based on.
                Founded in 1997, the 501st has been constantly growing and now can boast the high honor of being the largest Star Wars costume organization in the world.  The Midwest Garrison was founded in 1999, and currently has 125 active members, and this garrison itself is involved in close to 150 events a year.  Their desire to have more opportunities to show off their costumes allowed the 501st to easily decide to make a point of volunteering and giving back to communities around the world on every continent except for Antarctica.  They help to raise millions of dollars a year by taking part in charitable work and volunteering at events such as conventions, birthday parties and charity walks. 
                Being the largest Star Wars costume group is not the only honor that has been bestowed upon them, they are also considered to be Lucas Films preferred Star Wars costuming groups, often times being seen at Star Wars promotional events, recently having taken part in promoting the release of Kinect: Star Wars for the Xbox 360 gaming console.
                You can find out more about the 501st by going to www.501st.com  or by visiting them on Facebook at The 501st Legion.

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