Legion Spotlight

The Empire's Finest: Unveiled!
by Fleetfang on Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:59 pm

Legion members are all volunteers in the service of Vader's Fist, but we also work everyday jobs as professionals in industries like marketing, photography, and advertising... like Florida Garrison PR Officer Rob Semos. When he isn't patroling Mos Eisley as Sandtrooper TD-5085, he works as a Senior Art Director and Video Editor at St. John & Partners, a full-service advertising and public relations agency, but he doesn't let that stop him from lending his talents to the promotion of the 501st!

The Legion's last 'ad campaign' (entitled "I HAVE..." and developed by Rob, Legion PR Officers Dean Plantamura (TK-899) & Brian Troyan (TB-8968), and SJ&P's Kristen Bankert in 2011) had over 100 different versions and formats and was translated into 5 languages.

"Empire's Finest," our new campaign, was conceived as an evolution of that campaign, with a tighter focus on having the copy relate to Star Wars canon events and showing off more of the great detail that is captured by the screen accurate costumes worn by 501st Legion members. The images of Darth Vader here are merely the beginning of what will be rolled out over the coming year.

Development on Empire's Finest started back in January of 2014. Finalizing the look and feel of the images and developing copy for the first set of ads took several weeks. And the photo shoot for the first 4 ads to be released spanned over two solid overnight studio sessions. Experimenting to get the perfect lighting set-up took several hours the first night.

The Legion would like to thank Kristen Bankert for her help during the shoot and all of her creative development input. Special thanks also go out to Troy Reichenbach Photography and SJ&P for supporting the 501st and its mission to promote costuming, celebrate Star Wars, and give back to the community!

Vader: SL-9707
Stormtrooper: TK-4965
Commander Cody: CC-9356
Boushh: BH-9357
Design: TD-5085, with TK-899 & TB-8968



Mission Spotlight: Middle East Film & Comic Con, Dubai
by Fleetfang on Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:40 pm

This year's Middle East Film & Comic Con was held in Dubai World Trade Centre on April 3rd to 5th. The organisers approached the Legion's UAE Outpost directly to make an appearance, as they had never been able to arrange an official 501st troop in the event's three-year history.

On Saturday the 5th, UAE Outpost XO Ian Trebinski (TD-19976) attended the event and trooped for the duration of the day, supported by his wife, Susi. The day was extremely successful including meetings with comedian/screenwriter (and 501st Honorary Member!) Seth Green, Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos and "V for Vendetta" artist, David Lloyd.

There were plenty of photo opportunities with members of the public and other convention contributors (including some real-life vikings!), but the highlights were participation in a 3D art installation by renowned artists Joe & Max (the results of which will be published on their website, www.3djoeandmax.com) and also having photos taken with a member of the Dubai Royal family and his sons; unfortunately, no independent photos were allowed and we didn't need to see their identification!

The Vikings said, "No blasters! No blasters!"

All the photos have been uploaded to the UAE Outpost's shiny, new, official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UAEOutpost. As the Outpost's first official troop, it was a resounding success, and the 501st Legion very much looks forward to re-appearing - in greater numbers - at next years event!


501st Trooper Spotlight: TI-4523
by Fleetfang on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:18 am
Name: Jeff Hickey
Legion Number: TI-4523
Nickname: Vesper
Unit: Georgia Garrison
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Member Since: May, 2006

Primary Costume: TIE Pilot
Other Costumes: 501st Legion: Stormtrooper, Imperial Crewman
Rebel Legion: Jedi, Rebel Pilot
Chattooine (FanForce): Loki (Marvel), Professor Snape (Harry Potter), Aragorn (Lord of the Rings), Big Daddy (Kick Big Ass), Ra's Al Ghul (DC), Statler (Muppets), Geppetto (Disney), generic gold shirt Lieutenant (Star Trek), Dr. Stein (Soul Eater), Zartan (GI Joe)

Legion Service:
MidSouth Garrison XO - 2009
MidSouth Garrison GWL - 2010

Favorite Event: The St. Patrick's Day parade in Atlanta, GA would have to be my favorite event. In 2009, I met my future fiancée (and fellow 501st member), Kerys Dolan (IG-9126) on the way to the parade, so the event is very special to us.

Most Memorable Trooping Moment: The St. Patrick's Day parade in 2014 will be one I won't forget. Parades are normally pretty casual with very brief moments of interaction with the attendees. I normally keep my eyes on the side of the street I'm stationed on and noticed a woman waving her arms clearly trying to get my attention. I figured she just wanted a picture, but then I noticed a small girl in front of her started slowing walking toward me with a walking stick tapping back and forth.This little girl wanted to "see" this costume. Bending own so she could reach, her hands moved over the chest box, up to the helmet and back down to my gloves. I was speechless. This probably only lasted a few moments, but during that time, the parade didn't exist. I was going to stay right there until she was satisfied. I don't know how many people were in the crowd, but at that moment, it was just me and her.

Fun Fact: Massive RUSH fan. Been a fan of their music since the early '80's. My first concert was in 1982 during their Signals tour. During their concerts in recent years, they always have a costumed character mess with their various props on stage (chicken rotisserie, popcorn machine, clothes dryer). I would love to wear my stormtrooper for the brief 30 seconds on stage with them.


501st Mission Spotlight: Dice Dojo Game Day, Chicago
by Fleetfang on Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:32 pm
On Saturday, February 22nd, members of the Midwest Garrison and the Rebel Nar Shaddaa Base invaded the Chicagoland Games Dice Dojo for their Star Wars Game Day! The Dojo, one of the largest gaming stores in Chicagoland, devoted their entire open gaming room to running demos of Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Role Playing Game, X-Wing starfighter miniatures battle game, and Star Wars Living Card Game (LCG).

Star Wars games are serious business!

Keith Kappel, a contributing author for Fantasy Flight's Star Wars: Edge of the Empire role-playing game, is a local to Chicago and his new release "Suns of Fortune" (a sourcebook on the Corellian Sector) was a cause for celebration. Honorary Member of the 501st Cris Macht, filmmaker behind the Star Wars documentaries The Force Within Us and The Force Among Us, was there. And artist Matt Zeilinger (with credits on Fantasy Flight's X-Wing game, LCG, and EotE RPG) was in attendance, as well.

Our members mingled with the packed crowd at the store and took countless photographs with excited fans. Chicago's Finest showed up in response to a concerned 9-1-1 call about someone with a rifle standing out on the streets, but as their police cruiser rolled up and the officer saw us, it was clear from his smile that he knew that the call had been made by someone who had never seen Star Wars.

Faith, daughter of DZ-12108, was wearing the colors of the Rebellion, but IG-8968 made sure to set her straight about which starships to root for.

For the Legionnaires there, the highlight of the event came near the end of the game day, when Keith Kappel gathered us around a gaming table and handed each of the troopers in attendance a character sheet for the role-playing game. But these were not just any Star Wars characters. Keith had gotten some information from the garrison commander about each of the members who would be playing that day and had made custom Edge of the Empire characters that represented each of our in-costume personas, complete with our profile photos from the Legion galleries!

For example, Aimee Jorgensen (member 101) was playing a Biker Scout character with designation "TB-101," trooper Carlos Mendoza (5924) was handed a character sheet for Stormtrooper "TK-5924," Brian Troyan (8968) got to play as Imperial Gunner "IG-8968," and so on. And naturally, all of our characters were members of the elite fighting force of the 501st Legion, Vader's Fist!

Keith ran us all through a tailor-made game scenario which saw our squad of troopers breaching the escape pod ports of the Tantive IV and storming the bridge of the rebel ship (taking place at the same time as the main group of stormtroopers broke in through the rear airlock). Due to an abundance of bad dice rolls, it was a comedically chaotic misadventure, but we are proud to report that it ended in victory for Lord Vader's forces!

Keith Kappel (top right) manages the action as the player characters storm the bridge of the Tantive IV.

Big thanks go out to Fantasy Flight Games for all of their contest prize support, to the Chicagoland Games Dice Dojo for hosting a great event, and to everyone who came together to make the game day a success. And especially huge thanks to Mr. Kappel, who put a ton of extra work into creating an unforgettable adventure for our members to play. Game on, troopers!

Photobucket Album: http://s1099.photobucket.com/user/MidwestGarrison/library/2014/2014%2002-22%20Dice%20Dojo?sort=3&page=1

Tour of Duty:
TB-101 Aimee
TK-5924 Carlos
SL-8596 Matt
IG-8968 Brian
TS-9989 (Hoth Rebel Trooper) Kathy
ID-10015 James
DZ-12108 Kim
TK-41551 Eric
TB-81470 Darcy
IC-82659 Chris

Hawk - photographic support
Faith - cuteness support


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The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.