Sandwiched between May Day and Cinco de Mayo in the first week in May is Star Wars Day, May the 4th. It’s a portmanteau, “May the Force be with you” becomes May the 4th be with you. May the 4th. Star Wars is more than a good time at the movies for some people, but what drives someone to spend hours studying pictures and videos to figure out how to make movie accurate Stormtrooper costumes?
You can call what the 501st Legion does cosplay, but that’s actually too simplistic in their case because they have standards. Their costumes aren’t just sorta accurate, they are screen accurate and if you’re going to be an official member of the 501st Legion you have to measure up. Now it’s not a contest, the community is very welcoming and helpful if you want to join up, but the point is that these people take their fandom seriously.
The 501st is more than 4,000 members strong with garrisons across the U.S. and around the world, including the Canadian Garrison, which launched in 1999 and has over 200 active members. They show up at charity events, fundraisers, movie premieres, parades, promotional events, and conventions, and, as you can imagine, May the 4th is basically their Christmas. This week, we’re joined by Santa.
Jim Sobota, who is the C.O. of the Canadian Garrison of the 501st Legion, will talk to us about how he got involved in the organization, and what he finds appealing about dressing up as a Stormtrooper. He also talk about the difficulty level making movie-accurate Star Wars costumes, and how various members choose the costumes they make. Also, Sobota discusses what type of event he would like to do but hasn’t done yet, and his favourite Star Wars movie or series.
So let’s see if the Fourth is with us on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
To learn more about the 501st Legion, go to their website. You will be able to see the Legion this week in-person on Thursday at the REC Room in Toronto, at the LEGO Store in Yorkdale on Friday, and at Heroes Cards and Comics in London and GNU Books in Oshawa on Saturday for Free Comic Book Day. The 501st Legion won’t be there, but you can take part in Free Comic Book Day festivities at The Dragon in Downtown Guelph on Saturday.
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